||Seth S. Watrous
Seth S. Watrous, Clerk of Newaygo Country, was born in Norwalk, Huron Co., O., May 11, 1847. His parents, Sears and Emily (Barber) Watrous, belonged to the agricultural community, and he was reared as a farmer's son, obtaining his education at the terms of winter school.
The civil war broke out when he was 14 years old, and the influences that pervaded the entire community, varying in intensity as the months rolled on and the rebellion assumed proportions more and more formidable, had their effect on him and he resolved to enroll in his country's defense at the earliest possible moment, Shortly after passing his sixteenth birthday he was enabled to fulfill his resolve. He enlisted June 6, 1863, in the 2d Ohio Battery, and was in the United States service two years and nine months. He was in the battle at Franklin, Tenn., and in several fights of minor importance, in one of which he was severely wounded, receiving a mini ball in the pit of the stomach, which passed through his body to the right hip, where it was still imbedded, baffling the skill of the physicians. He was in Cumberland hospital at Nashville six months, rejoined his battery to be mustered out one month later, when he returned home and entered Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where he was graduated in February, 1866.
Meanwhile he had come into possession of 30 acres of land and devoted about two years to amateur farming. He sold the property and came to Michigan and settled at Sturgis, where he became proprietor of a restaurant by purchase, and four months later his establishment was destroyed by fire, involving a loss of $1,900.
He went thence to Holland and for a time kept a barber shop, end eventually found employment as a painter of carriage and wagon shop. The company failed four months afterward and thereby he experienced another loss. In the summer of 1869 he engaged with the Engineer Corps of the Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore Railroad, where he was employed until the spring of 1870, when he joined a construction corps and operated until 1872. In that year his home in Holland was destroyed by fire and he suffered a total loss.
He secured a position as conductor on the Chicago & Mich. Lake Shore railroad, and in the spring of 1873 he was seriously injured while engaged in coupling cars. His right arm was crushed and he was laid up for a year. He turned his attention to telegraphy, and after acquiring the details of the business was stationed at Pentwater two years in the capacity of night operator. His next post was at Fremont, where he operated as station agent eight years, and in 1880 was elected Clerk of Fremont village.
In the fall of 1882 Mr. Watrous was elected Country Clerk and moved to Newaygo. He was a member of the Order of Knights of Honor, Chosen Friends, Knights Templar and of the Masonic fraternity.
Mr. Watrous was married at Norwalk, Ohio, Feb. 7, 1866, to Minnie A., daughter of Rev. Solomon B. and Sarah B. Gilbert, who was born Feb. 7, 1848, in Massachusetts. They had two children. Myrtie B. was born in Fairfield Township, Huron Co., Ohio, Dec.6,1867. Harry S. was born in Holland, Ottawa Co., Mich., March 6, 1870, and died in Fremont, Sept. 11, 1879.
Mr. Watrous has passed through ordeals of disaster that would have daunted most men and relegated them to the obscurity of struggle without hope, and made the success, to which the majority look forward with laudable ambition.
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