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Carlisle Area Historical Society

Saving History for Tomorrow

William Watts

William Watts, (1822-1901) was a Warren County pioneer. Born in Pennsylvania, he became a teacher there. He visited Iowa in 1848, went back home but returned to Warren County in 1853 and continued his teaching career. He eventually opened a store on Middle River, and married Perthenia Corzatt, of Warren County, in 1880.

Mr. Watts purchased a sawmill and gristmill from John Parmelee, and became a stockholder in the Warren County Bank. He was a successful and influential businessman and was well-known for his philanthropy. When he died in 1901, he was remembered as being an honorable and respected gentleman.

William and Parthenia did not have children, but generously raised and educated four nieces and nephews. After William died, Perthenia and her nephew, Alva Corzatt, continued the business interests of William and eventually became partners in farming and cattle ranching. They built homes in this area, and Alva married and raised his family here. Alva and Parthenia also joined a group of business men who became partners in the Citizen's Bank of Carlisle. The president of the bank in 1908 was William Buxton, Jr.

Parthenia had an unusual name and was an unusual person. According to a grandson of Alva, she was an astute business woman who lived to the age of 95. She enjoyed smoking cigar-clippings in a corncob pipe, as well as an occasional swig of "Pocatella Tonic." This same grandson added, " the large stained-glass windows on the east side of the Methodist Church were contributed by Billie and Aunt Phine, as we called them."

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