Thursday, December 26, 2019

Joseph Elliot Watson



Photographer:
Watson & Bowles; Wyandotte
example from LOST GALLERY
(Probablyfinished between 1895 and 1900)
(Listed under Bowles also)

Joseph Elliot Watson
(1852 - 1939)

Timeline based on: city directories; US census, David Tinder Directory of Early Michigan Photographers, newspaper items as shown

1852 28 Aug

New York, NY, state records, J E Watson is born to Horace C Watson and Elizabeth Ann Elliot
1870
Detroit, MI, US census as clerk in store, still living with parents
1876 Early
Detroit, MI, Tinder Directory, Grand Central Gallery operated by Land and Watson
1876 Later
Detroit, MI, Tinder Directory, Grand Central Gallery operated by Watson and Company
1877
Mt Clemens, Pontiac and Detroit, Tinder Directory, Waterman and Watson advertise as photographers;
Detroit, MI, State Gazetteer, display ad for Grand Central Gallery at 41 and 43 Monroe Av;
Tinder Directory says that J E Watson was proprietor of the Grand Central Gallery from 1879 to Sep 1882

1878
Detroit, MI, city directory NOT listed
1879
Detroit, MI, city directory, Tinder Directory, Joseph Watson as photographer at Grand Central Gallery, 41-43 Monroe av; res 264 First; It is speculated here, that for a few months early in 1879 was when Watson was partners with Esther A Bowles. No actual documentation has been found to support this.
1880 Jun 01
U.S., Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880, as photographer
1881 - Sep 1882
Detroit, MI, city directory J E Watson as photographer at 41-43 Monroe av; res 264 First
Sept 1882
Tinder Directory J E Watson moves gallery to 236 Woodward Avenue
1883
Detroit, MI, city directory J E Watson as photographer at 236 Woodward ave; (Now called the Watson Gallery) res 12 Madison av; also listed as sec-treas Detroit Stave and Barrel Co
1883
Detroit, MI, state records J E Watson marriage to Ida M Case

1884
Detroit, MI, city directory as Pres Stoepel Lumber; res Russel Home; also Watson Gallery at 236 Woodward ave, T N Tomlinson, Prop;
1885
Detroit, MI, city directory as Pres Stoepel Lumber and lumber dealer cor 4th av and Holden rd; res 350 Cass; also Watson Gallery at 236 Woodward ave, T N Tomlinson, Prop;
1886
Detroit, MI, city directory as Pres Scranton and Watson Lumber Co at 2nd av bet Boston and Amsterdam; also Watson Gallery at 236 Woodward ave, T N Tomlinson, Prop;
1887
Detroit, MI, city directory Joseph E Watson and Watson Gallery are NOT listed; T N Tomlinson is operating the gallery at 236 Woodward; Scranton J P, Lumber Co listed at 1250 2nd av
1888
Detroit, MI, city directory, there is a listing “Watson, Joseph, died March 26, 1888” But this is probably NOT the photographer; Joseph E Watson NOT listed; Watson Gallery NOT listed; Tomlinson still operating own gallery at 236 Woodward
ALSO not in the Portland, OR, city directory for that year


1889
Detroit, MI, city directory AND Portland, OR, city directory Joseph E Watson NOT listed
Late 1880’s and Early 1890’S
Tinder Directory says Watson spent these years ranching in Idaho and Oregon
1890
Portland, OR, city directory as photographer at 225 ½ First st; res 21 10th
1890 Nov 04 and 05
Portland (OR) Morning Oregonian small ad says photographer Watson is at 226 First Street
1890 Dec 10
Portland OR, US census and Military Service records, son Horace Edward Watson is born
1891
Portland, OR, city directory as photographer at 225 ½ First st; res 528 K
1891 Mar 13
Oregon City (OR) Enterprise news item says Joseph Watson and wife have been seriously ill
1892
Portland, OR, city directory as photographer at 225 1/2 First; res 791 Corbett
1893
Detroit, MI, city directory, Joseph E Watson NOT listed;
Portland, OR, city directory NOT listed

1894
Detroit, MI, city directory, only 23 pages available; Portland, city directory NOT listed
1895
Detroit, MI, city directory, as photographer at 148 Woodward; res 264 First
1896
Detroit, MI, city directory as photographer at 148 Woodward; res 625 3rd av
1897 - 1898
Detroit, MI, city directory as photographer at 148 Woodward
1899
Detroit, MI, city directory as photographer at 911 Third St; not listed in business pages
1900 Jun 07
Detroit, MI, US census as photographer; res 911 Third St;
1900 - 1901
Detroit, MI, city directory NOT listed in residential or business pages
1902
Detroit, MI, city directory only a few pages available
1903 - 1904
Detroit, MI, city directory NOT listed in residential or business pages

1910 Apr 14
Jersey City, NJ, US census as Art Dealer in own studio; Ida and both sons also listed
1915 Jun 01
Huntington, NY, NY state census as photographer; res 11 Bayview av
1920
Huntington, NY, US census as photographer; res Bayview st
1925
Huntington, NY, NY state census as photographer
1930 Jan 03
Northport (NY) Observer item says Mr and Mrs Joseph E Watson are visiting their son in Laredo, TX
1930 22 Apr
Laredo, TX, US census as no occupation; res 1118 Mier st; Wife Ida C, also listed ; Their son Horace Watson lived in Laredo, TX, working as a farmer at this time.
1930 Nov 03
Huntington (NY) Longislander news item says Watson son Horace as died in a fire
1933 Oct 30
Laredo, TX, state records, son Horace Watson dies at age 42

1934 Jul 13
Northport (NY) Northport Journal item says Robert E Watson is visiting Mr and Mrs Joseph E Watson of Bayview Avenue
1934 Aug 10
Huntington (NY) Longislander item says Mrs Joseph E Watson is home from hospital
1934 Nov 23
Huntington (NY) Longislander item says Mr and MRs Joseph E Watson have closed the Bayview Av home and are spending the winter with son Robert in Nyack, NY
1939 Feb 25
Nyack, NY, state records, Joseph Elliot Watson dies at age 86

Joseph Elliot Watson appears to have moved several times. Records place him and his wife and profession in New York, Michigan, Oregon and Texas.

J E Watson is probably the Watson of “Watson and Bowles” but so far no documentation has been found showing if and when they actually worked together. Although there were other photographers named Watson in the area, J E Watson seems the most likely candidate.




Mrs. Esther A. Bowles (nee Buck) lived her entire life in Michigan. She was born in April 1853.

Esther married the Reverend George A. Bowles in 1869. Available records show she worked as a photographer In Wyandotte, Michigan, from 1892 to 1921. Wyandotte is a suburb of Detroit, MI.

This is quite likely the Bowles of “Watson and Bowles” as no other candidate has been found with that name, living in the right place at the right time.

Between 1876 and 1880 J E Watson had other partners and assistants in the “Grand Central Gallery” also named “Land and Watson” and “Watson and Company”. Then in 1890, Watson moved to Portland, OR, for his health. He returned to Detroit in 1895. By then, Esther Bowles was in business for herself in Wyandotte, MI

In any scenario, the partnership seems to have lasted only a short time, months, perhaps weeks.

Michigan State Gazzeteer - 1877

Detroit (MI) Free Press -
05 Mar 1876


Detroit (MI) Free Press -
21 Nov 1880


Detroit (MI) Free Press -
21 Dec 1880


Detroit (MI) Free Press -
21 Dec 1880

J E Watson advertised repeatedly October through December of 1880

Detroit (MI) Free Press -
19 Feb 1882

Milford (MI) Times -
09 Sep 1882

Detroit (MI) Free Press -
06 May 1883


Detroit (MI) Free Press -
06 Jul 1884


Ad from the Detroit, MI,
city directory of 1884


Oregon City (OR) Oregonian -
04 & 05 Nov 1890


Oregon City (OR) Oregonian -
13 Mar 1891





Brooklyn (NY) Times -
20 Jul 1912


Northport (NY) Observer -
03 Jan 1930

Northport (NY) Observer -
17 Feb 1933


Huntington (NY) Long Islander -
03 Nov 1933

Northport (NY) Observer -
03 Nov 1933

Northport (NY) Journal -
13 Jul 1934


Huntington (NY) Long Islander -
10 Aug 1934

Huntington (NY) Long Islander -
23 Nov 1934


Huntington (NY) Long Islander -
07 Jun 1935






photographer J E Watson
41 and 43 Monroe
example from auction site

This card would have been finished around 1879-1882 when the studio was on Monroe Street.


photographer: Watson Brothers
Fairbury, IL
example from auction site

Watson Brothers
It appears that the firm of the Watson Brothers was the enterprise of Charles H Watson and Stephen A Watson. They operated as Watson Bros Photography in Streator, IL, from late 1887 through 1888. Streator, IL, is just forty miles from Fairbury, IL.

In January of 1889 the brothers incorporated The Illinois Art and Portrait Company for copying and enlarging pictures and teaching the art of drawing and painting. They apparently never returned to the studio portrait photography business.

So far no connection, business or family, has been made to Joseph E Watson of Detroit, MI.



photographer J E Watson
236 Woodward Avenue, Detroit MI
CDV example from Cabinet Card Gallery

reverse of card at the left

This is another example from J E Watson. This was finished when Watson was at 236 Woodward, around 1883-1887.



Not the one you were looking for?
Here's the photographer's INDEX by name. Listed here are all the Cabinet Card photographers of the 19th century found in LOST GALLERY. This is a work in progress. For a look at the original postings go to LOST GALLERY.

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