Harry Clarence Watton. The acknowledged leadership among
Oklahoma photographers belongs to H. C. Watton of Oklahoma City. Mr.
Watton is not in the class of the ordinary maker of pictures, but has
a mechanical and artistic genius in that field which sets him above
the majority of men of that vocation. The work that comes from his
studio in the Terminal Arcade Building represents the highest
standards, and to say that it is a Watton photograph is to speak the
last word of praise in respect to the artistic finish.
For ten years Mr.
Watton has been established in his profession at Oklahoma City. He is
a native of Illinois, born at Shelbyville in Shelby County, April 15,
1872. His father, Granville D. Watton, was born in Ohio, and was of
English ancestry, the grandfather, Fielden Watton, having spent most
of his life as an Ohio farmer. Granville D. Watton was reared and
educated and married in Ohio and by occupation was a contractor and
also a teacher in schools. He is still living, being now
retired at the age of seventy-five, with his home in Shelbyville,
Illinois. He moved from Ohio to Illinois, about 1863. His wife’s
maiden name was Emeline Wineland, who was born in Ohio, and is now
seventy-five years of age. Her father was a native of Ohio and of
German stock. Mr. H. C. Watton is the fourth son and fifth child in a
family of nine living children.
His early boyhood
was spent in his native county, and he acquired an education in the
common schools. At the age of seventeen, about 1888, he started to
learn the photographic art at Shelbyville, Illinois. After serving an
apprenticeship of one year, he had as much skill and knowledge of the
trade as his preceptor, and after that for four years he was a
regular journeyman photographer, working at his trade in many
different localities. For a time he was under Fritz Guerin. the noted
photographer of St. Louis. For twelve years Mr. Watton was in
business at Lancaster, Wisconsin.
From there he came
to Oklahoma City and established his studio in 1905. While there were
other photographers in the city at the time, and there had been many
before him, he is now the oldest photographer in point of continuous
business in Oklahoma City.
It is only necessary
to speak of some of the honors won by Mr. Watton in the profession of
photography to indicate his attainments and standing. He was the
winner of the following trophies: 1909, Angelo Trophy; 1909, Silver
Loving Cup; 1910, Angelo Trophy: 1912, Silver living Cup; 1914,
Angelo Trophy; 1914, Wollensack Loving Cup; and of the following
medals: 1907, Genre Medal F; 1909, Genre Medal F; 1910, Genre Medal
S; 1912, Genre Medal F; 1914, Genre Medal F; 1914, Best Baby,
Diploma. All these trophies and medals were won by exhibitions of his
art in competition with that of the best photographers in the
country. During his professional career Mr. Watton has photographed
many notable men. Among them might be mentioned the late Elbert
Hubbard, who was a victim on the ill fated Lusitania; C. T. Daly, the
noted playwright; Augusta Cottlow, the noted pianist; and many
In 1895 Mr. Watton
married Miss May Helen Nathan. They are the parents of two charming
daughters: Frances is now attending Knox College at Galesburg,
Illinois: and Helen Maria is still at home.
Mr. Watton is well
known in Oklahoma. City affairs. He is a member of the Masonic Order,
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen of
America, the American Yeomen, and is a member of the Oklahoma City
Golf and Country clubs and of the
Men’s Dinner Club.
In politics he is a democrat. During his residence at Lancaster,
Wisconsin, he was a member of the city council and did much in a
local political way. Through his profession he has acquired a
well deserved success and prosperity and for twenty-six years has been
a competent photographer. He has witnessed a great many changes in
his art during that time. His studio is now acknowledged as the
largest and best equipped in the State of Oklahoma, and his
patronage is not confined to people in and in the immediate vicinity
of Oklahoma City, but comes from all over the state and from many
parts of Northwest Texas.