Genealogy Query 138

[Author Unknown]


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 103-103

Article Type:
Editorial Material

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Query 138

Information is desired on Judge James O. Wattles, particularly for the years after 1830.

Judge James O. Wattles, born about 1787 (probably in Connecticut). The first record of him is in Whitestown, Oneida County, New York, where he resided in 1810–1811. In the year 1815 or earlier he removed to Manlius Village, Onondaga County, New York. He was a lawyer and was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1818.

"Upon the change of Politics which put Mr. Clinton out of office, and some failures at the same time by which Judge Wattle[s] lost considerable sums of money; the Judge determined to retire into the Western States, and ultimately fixed his residence at Albion [Edwards County, Illinois]." "The Diaries of Donald Macdonald, 1824–1826," in the Indiana Historical Society Publications, XIV (1942), 261.

Judge Wattles served as judge of the Fifth Judicial District of Illinois from January 19, 1825, to January 12, 1827. About this time he became interested in Robert Owen's experiment and removed to New Harmony. The last record found of him is in the Census of 1830, where he appears still a resident of New Harmony.

George Flower in the History of the English Settlement in Edwards County, Illinois, 159, speaks of him as "an albino, white hair and white skin, with peculiar red eyes of that race, dreadfully near-sighted, had to turn the paper upside down, and put it close to his spectacles, to enable him to read it."

Willard C. Heiss
406 North Temple Avenue
Indianapolis 1, Indiana

Published by the Indiana University Department of History.