Dwight Watson (American football)
May 29, 1873|
Geneva Township, Van Buren County, Michigan
|Died||December 28, 1920
South Haven, Michigan
|1899||Michigan State Normal|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1899||Michigan State Normal|
|Head coaching record|
Dwight Grant Watson (May 29, 1873 – December 28, 1920) was an American football player and coach. He was the head football coach at Michigan State Normal College (now known as Eastern Michigan University) during the 1899 college football season. He was also involved in the telephone industry in its early years, serving as manager of the Michigan Telephone Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and as the general manager of the Van Buren County Telephone Company in the years prior to his death.
Watson was born in 1873 in Geneva Township, Van Buren County, Michigan. His father, Jerome Watson, was a farmer. At the time of the 1880 U.S. Census, he was the seventh of nine children ranging from age 1 to age 26. He became a school teacher, and as of 1894, he was teaching elementary school in Lacota, Michigan.
In the late 1890s, Watson enrolled at Michigan State Normal College (now known as Eastern Michigan University) located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. During the 1899 college football season, he served both as a player and as the head college football coach for the Michigan State Normal Normalites (now called the Eastern Michigan University Eagles. He was a third-year student at the college during his tenure as the football coach. His coaching record at the school was 1 win, 1 loss and 1 tie. As of the conclusion of the 2010 season, this ranks him #32 at Eastern Michigan in total wins and #14 at the school in winning percentage (.500).
Head coaching record
|Michigan State Normal (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1899)|
|1899||Michigan State Normal||1–1–1|
|Michigan State Normal:||1–1–1|
Watson served with the 31st Michigan Volunteers Company G in 1898 during the Spanish–American War. He was under the command of former Michigan Normal head football coach and future Governor of Michigan Fred W. Green.
After completing his education at Michigan State Normal College, Watson became employed with Swift & Company in Chicago starting in 1902. In approximately 1903, Watson left his position with Swift & Company and began a long career in the developing telephone industry. He started as a "trouble shooter" for the Kibbie Telephone Company in Crawford County, Illinois. He subsequently accepted a position with the Van Buren County Telephone Company, where he was promoted to district manager in Paw Paw, Michigan. At the time of the 1910 U.S. Census, Watson was living in Paw Paw, working as a manager for the phone company. He was married to Pearl A. Watson, and they had one son, F. Stanley Watson, and three daughters, Katherine, Barbara and Virginia.
In December 1916, after five years in Paw Paw, Watson became the manager of the Michigan State Telephone Company at Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1918, Watson returned to the Van Buren County Telephone Company as its general manager. At the time of the 1920 U.S. Census, Watson was living in South Haven, Michigan, where he was still working as a manager for the phone company. By 1920, his family had grown to six children with two additional daughters, Elizabeth and Marion.
Watson died in 1920 at age 47 at his home in South Haven following an illness that had lasted for several months.
- Watson listed his date of birth as May 29, 1873 in a draft registration card completed in 1918. However, the 1880 U.S. Census entry for his family lists his age as nine years.
- Census entry for Jerome and Catherine Watson. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Geneva, Van Buren, Michigan; Roll: 607; Family History Film: 1254607; Page: 440A; Enumeration District: 212; Image: 0912.
- Educators of Michigan. The Wilton Smith Company. 1894. p. 222.
- Player Honors and Letter Winners (PDF). Eastern Michigan University. 2009. p. 162.
- Year Book of the Michigan State Normal College for 1899-1900. Michigan State Normal College. 1900. p. 180.
- "Football Bowl Subdivision: Eastern Michigan University Directory". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- DeLassus, David. "Eastern Michigan Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- Michigan Volunteers of '98. G. F. Sterling & Company. p. 91. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
- "Michigan Governor Fred Warren Green". National Governor's Association. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
- "Obituary". Telephony, Volume 80. 1921. p. 24.
- "New Manager at Kalamazoo". Bell Telephone News. January 1917. p. 5.
- Census entry for Dwight G. Watson. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Paw Paw, Van Buren, Michigan; Roll: T624_677; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0168; Image: 185; FHL Number: 1374690.
- Census entry for Dwight G. Watson. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: South Haven Ward 1, Van Buren, Michigan; Roll: T625_799; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 204; Image: 545.