History of Margaret (Watson) Miller
May 17, 1836 - June 5, 1918
Margaret Miller was born in Rutherglen, Lanark, Scotland on
May 17, 1836. She was the 6th child of Charles and Mary McGowan
In 1846 her parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints in their native land of Scotland.
Within the next three years, Charles, Mary and their 11
children made preparations to join with the Saints in Utah. They
made it as far as St. Louis, Missouri. There her father worked
mining coal to make enough money to continue their journey west
From June 22nd to July 4th, 1849, her mother, father and 2
brothers contracted cholera and died. Margaret was just 13 years
old. Margaret's older siblings took over the task of parenting
as well as the job of preparing for the journey west.
Margaret and her sister Elizabeth evidently did not move to
Southern Utah with many of their brothers and sisters.
Margaret married Alexander (Sandy) Watson on the 8th of
November 1855. She was just 19 years old.
Quote from her brother John's history, "In the winter of 1858
all able bodied men were called to go into Echo Canyon to hold
the soldiers from entering the Salt Lake Valley. My sister
Margaret's husband, Alexander Watson, was one who was called to
go into the canyon, also my two brothers, David and James. My
sister and I were left home alone, (she with a very young baby)
in that severe winter weather with only a green wood fire. A
sack of flour stood in one corner of the large room. Often I was
forced to get into bed to keep warm, or rather to keep from
freezing to death. My heels were frozen, swollen and raw, with
sores as big as a half dollar upon them."
Taken from the Web Site Find a Grave
Margaret was the great-grandmother of LDS President Thomas Spencer Monson.
A granddaughter, Agnes Woodbury, recalled some memories of Margaret Ellen
Miller Watson in her biography:
"My Grandmother Watson lived next door to us on the south. Her home was
on the corner of 5th South and 3rd West. It was made of adobe and very well
insulated. Our home was not separated by a fence from Grandma's house, so we
had a big yard where we could play baseball, hide and seek, and lots of other
fun games. When we were little, we never went very far from home."
"It seemed that every night, the members of Mom's family who lived nearby
would always gather at Grandma Watson's house just to visit and discuss the
events of the day. We were always a very close family."
"I remember Grandma Watson as a very loving, but strict individual. She was
Scottish and very proud of it. She would sit in a little rocking chair on the
back porch and rule the neighborhood. She died in 1918, and we all missed her
for a long, long time."
Margaret was the mother of 12 children:
Alexander, born - February 22, 1856, died - October 20, 1927
Mary Jane, born - February 25, 1859, died - February 24, 1877
Margaret Ellen, born - December 7, 1859, died - February 24,
Robert William, born - December 30, 1861, died - January 15,
James David, born December 22, 1863, died - December 23, 1940
Sarah Elizabeth, born - February 18, 1866, died - July 30,
William Charles, born - December 30, 1867, died - June 27,
John Robert, born - December 16, 1869, died - November 26,
Janet or Nettie, born - December 8, 1871, died May 14, 1952
Hugh Miller, born - November 19, 1872, died November 18, 1932
Agnes Harriet, born - May 31, 1876, died - October 29, 1932
Annie, born - June 7, 1878, died February 21, 1948
Margaret died on June 5, 1918 at the age of 82.