William H. Watkins.
For twelve years past William H. Watkins
has been devoted to the newspaper business, and is now the owner and
editor of three thriving papers in as many places, all in Oklahoma.
He is well known and prominent as a leader in Helena, and in such
other places as he has business interests, and especially in Helena
has he been conspicuous for his activities.
Mr. Watkins was born
on January 25, 1867, on a farm in Washington County, Ohio, and is a
son of Edward T. and Marie (Thornton) Watkins.
Edward Watkins was
himself a native Ohioan, born in 1836 at Stafford, and his parents
were natives of Maryland. He has been a farmer and saw-mill man all
his life, and is now living retired at Wichita, Kansas, at the age of
seventy-nine. He is a veteran of the Civil war, having served as a
private in Company M, Ninety-second Ohio Volunteers, for three years.
He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and saw much fighting in
the years of his service. He was married in 1865 to Marie Thornton,
daughter of Elijah and Mary Thornton. Mrs. Watkins was born at
Stafford, Ohio, in 1835, and she was the mother of three sons and two
daughters, all now living. The first of their children was William H.
of this review. George W. was born June 24, 1869, and now lives in
St. Johns, Oregon. Estella was born September 9, 1872. She married
John Sellers in 1892 and now lives in
Wichita, Kansas. Winifred was born September 29, 1874, and married
George Jones in 1898 and lives at Cunningham, Kansas. O. E. Watkins
was born on May 31, 1882. He is in the railroad service in Wichita.
William H. Watkins
was reared on his father’s farm and educated in the public schools of
Cunningham, Kansas. In 1891 he commenced the study of telegraphy -
and a year later became station agent and telegraph operator for the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. He was employed by them at different
stations for twelve years. In 1903 Mr. Watkins established The
Advocate at Sharon, Kansas, which he edited and published for a year.
In 1904 he moved the plant to Ringwood, Oklahoma, buying The Leader
and consolidating the two plants. he still operates The Leader. In
1914 he established a branch of the paper in Oklahoma, and in 1915 he
bought out The Star at Helena, Oklahoma. He operates the three papers
under the firm name of Watkins & Sons, his three sons being
associated with him in the enterprise. They are John A., Virgil L.
and Edward V.
Mr. Watkins is a
Mason, and politically he is a staunch republican. He was married on
January 28, 1892, at Crisfield, Kansas, to Miss Lillian M. Hutchings,
daughter of Charles and Mary (Standley) Hutchings. She was born
October 15,1873, at Walton, Kansas, and her parents are natives of
Indiana, who pioneered to Kansas in young life. They live now in
Major County, Oklahoma. The three sons born to Mr. and Mrs. Watkins
have already been named. John A. was born on July 4, 1893; Virgil
Lloyd on September 1, 1895; and Edward Vernon on January 28, 1898.