John William Watts
Columbia County delegate
John William Watts was born Nov. 6, 1830 in Pike County, Missouri. He came to Oregon in 1852 and settled in Columbia County. Watts was a physician by training.
Watts represented Columbia County as a “free state” delegate at the constitutional convention. He served as a member of the Committee on Boundaries and opposed adoption of the constitution at the final vote.
Some accounts indicate that Watts was affiliated with the Know-Nothing Party in the 1850s. He became an active and respected member of the Republican Party in Oregon once it organized.
In 1863 Watts moved his family to Yamhill County. He was appointed to serve as receiver at the U.S. Land Office in Oregon City in 1879. In 1886 Watts was elected senator to the Oregon Legislature. He was appointed register at the U. S. Land Office in Lakeview in 1892 and in 1895 he served as Mayor of Lafayette.
He died in Yamhill County July 6, 1901.