CHARLES H. AND RUTH M. WATSON
FRIENDS OF NATURE
Written by William A. Greene, 2015
Info from Ruth Allen Sandy and Andover Newspapers.
Before I start the story, I will tell you that it would never have been written if it hadn’t been for Ruth Allen Sandy. Her mother and father were neighbors and very good friends with the Watsons. They had lived beside each other since 1941 until the Watsons deaths in 1957.
When Ruth Allen was born in the mid to late 1940’s, the Watsons took her right in as if she was their own. When Ruth could speak, she called them Aunt and Uncle until their deaths.
Ruth has kept some items that the Watsons had kept. Now she is getting ready to move from one state to another and decided to share some of them with us. So I say “Thank You” Ruth for your kind thoughts and for letting us see what the friends of nature saved for us.
The Watson’s weren’t originally from Andover. Ruth was born in Rushford on March 21, 1881, the daughter of Cyrenius and Harriet Botsford Mason. Charles, who we’ll call Huber from now on, as that was what he was called, was born in Cuba on June 17, 1879 the son of Charles H. and Olive Mulking Watson. They were married in October 1908 and lived in Westfield, Pa. for a short time and then moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and worked in the watch-maker and engraver business for fifteen years. Sometime in late 1918 they arrived in Andover, and bought a jewelry business from a T.R. Bassett on Main Street on October 4th, 1918. He called his store “A Good Jewelry Store” and ran the business until July 5, 1935 then selling it to Everett Clair, who turned the building into a drug store.
Now out of the jewelry business full time he was now planning to devote his entire time to his work on lecturing as a naturalist on bee culture, horticulture and then a little watch repair.
Huber became very well known for his photo studies of animals and even won some awards in a show in Buffalo. He had a great talent and at that time cameras were not that great for shooting wildlife. Some of his photos were even taken at night.
Ruth was very intelligent; she graduated from Alfred University in 1903 where she was number one in her class. At one time they went on a photo shoot to Labrador Canada and spent one winter there. They spent a night on an island and had to eat goose eggs. They became close friends of the natives, the Eskimos and Indians. Ruth also found great pleasure with Huber in the study of all phases of nature and was his partner in the preparation of many articles which were published in both area newspapers and national magazines.
Both Huber and Ruth died in 1957; Huber died on May 22 and Ruth on August 5. They are both buried in the White Cemetery in Rushford. They had three children and all died before the age of ten.
I think I have talked long enough, now sit back and enjoy some of their great nature photographs from over the years.
Moth & Coccoon....
And below, they did their own postcards & Greeting Cards...
They saw beauty & humor in nature!