Saturday, October 11, 2003

John Watson, Clermont judge, county organizer

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mr. Watson

PIERCE TWP. - Countless calls have poured in this week to the home of John L. Watson, a former Clermont County Common Pleas judge and a man who contributed to the development of that county for the past 50 years.

"I was always very honored to be his son, (but) I've never been more proud of him than I am right now - to see how admired and respected he was is overwhelming," said Tony Watsonof Pierce Township.

Mr. Watson died at his home here Sunday after a 15-year battle with cancer. He was 79.

"As a judge he was known for his even-handed approach to the administration of justice," said attorney Scott Croswell of Milford. "He was a lawyer's judge. He never forgot he had once been a lawyer also."

Mr. Watson grew up in Danbury, Conn., where he graduated from the public high school in 1942. He served as an Army 2nd lieutenant with a tank division and was about to be shipped out to invade Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Mr. Watson entered the University of Cincinnati's College of Business Administration in 1946 and was admitted to the College of Law two years later.

After earning a law degree in 1950, he went into private practice in Bethel and later Batavia.

He was appointed to Common Pleas Court in 1981and served until 1994.

Mr. Watson was chairman of the committee that made recommendations on subdivision regulations in Clermont County. He also provided legal assistance in the incorporation of several agencies, including the Community Improvement Corp. and the Williamsburg Ohio Development Corp.

Mr. Watson was director of the Clermont County Board of Elections from 1957 until 1980, solicitor for the village of Williamsburg from 1951 until 1977; for the village of Moscow 1971-80; and was a director of the First Milford Savings Assn.

He was also chairman of the Clermont County Republican Executive Committee from 1966 until 1975 and again from 1978-80.

"From a political standpoint, I believe he is responsible in large part for Clermont County being a Republican stronghold," Croswell said. "He and his wife, Eda, were keenly involved in politics. While he was clearly a partisan politician he was a fair politician."

In addition to his son, Tony, survivors include Eda, his wife of 58 years; another son, Mike of Batavia; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is 1:30 p.m. Monday at Anderson Hills Methodist Church, 7515 Forest Road.

Memorials: Vitas Healthcare Corp. of Ohio, 11500 Northlake Drive, Suite 400, Cincinnati, OH 45249.


We're No. 1 - in airfare costs
How fares compare from CVG, other cities
Kids rewarded for showing up
Cardinal: Change will restore church
Writing on the wall for sculpture
'It's a sad end to a sad story'

County workers threaten strike
Some in Norwood fight to sell homes
Spring Grove invites guests
Boy's suicide intensifies father's crusade
Marching band refuses to yield
Regional Report

Bronson: 'Married ... With Children' - not as seen on TV
Faith Matters: Educate yourself in Islam
Howard: Good Things Happening

Man gets death sentence in murder of wife
Man guilty in kidnap, assault attempt
County signs off on soldiers
Historical society runs contest
Corwin Nixon in poor health
Computer viruses bedevil Miami University systems

John Watson, Clermont judge, county organizer
Geneva L. Frederick, 80, was homemaker, ex-Marine
'Captain' Morton Chapman, 91, owned the Anchor Grill
Kentucky obituaries

Publishers dusting off vintage comic characters
Radioactive reactor might be coming through Cincinnati
Soft mattress, dumplings greet soldier on vacation
Pension files get scrutiny
Man gets life term in pizza driver's murder
Safety becoming top priority for car buyers, experts report
Ohio Moments

Day-care owners quit amid inquiry into death
Lawyer caught in con's web
Gubernatorial hopefuls tangle in Bowling Green
Former Ky. Gov. Breathitt collapses
State Rep. Kerr switches to GOP
Appellate court favors liquor option
Ky. budget outlook brightens
Troopers to man checkpoints
Boone County zoning decision overturned
Kentucky News Briefs