The name "Quintus" is yet another unusual first name that has its origins in ancient Rome, and anyone (politically inclined or otherwise) possessing an exotic sounding name like "Quintus Ultimus" or "Quintus Flaminius" is certainly worthy of more than just passing notice. The first of three political figures with this curious first name is Quintus Ultimus Watson, a two-term Texas state senator whose name hearkens back to another oddly named Texan profiled here: Decimus et Ultimus Barziza (1828-1882). Mr. Watson was a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State, being born in Washington County, Texas on July 2, 1874, one of four children born to Branch Archer and Anna Amanda Gay Watson. The New Encyclopedia of Texas (which devotes a substantial biography to Watson) notes that he attended "the public schools of Washington County" and later studied at Texas A. and M. University for a time.
In the early 1890s, Watson turned his attention to the study of law, studying at a law office located in Brenham, Texas. He was admitted to the state bar in 1893 and soon removed to the neighboring county of Lee to open a practice in the town of Giddings. In March 1897 he married in Burton, Texas to Jessie Burton (1874-1951), a granddaughter of the town's founder. The couple were married for over thirty years and are recorded as being childless throughout the duration of their marriage.
In the years after beginning his law practice in Giddings Watson firmly established his reputation in Texas law circles, and by the turn of the 19th century, there were calls for him to run for public office. In November 1906 Watson won election to the Texas State Senate from the 19th District, and during his first term (extending from 1907-11) served on the following committees: Agricultural Affairs, Counties and County Boundaries, Insurance, Statistics and History, Judicial Districts, Public Debts, Claims and Accounts, Public Printing, State Penitentiaries and Roads Bridges and Ferries.
During a portion of his first term Watson served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and in November 1910 won re-election to the senate for another four year term. Watson again served as Senate President Pro Tempore Ad Interim, and during the latter portion of his senate term fate intervened, and with this bit of happenstance, Watson's political career gained statewide press. On January 9, 1915 he served as Acting Governor of Texas for one day, in the absence of Governor Oscar Colquitt, who was then visiting Louisiana. As President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate and acting Lieutenant Governor, Watson was second in line of succession to the governorship, as the previous Lieutenant Governor of Texas, William Harding Mayes, had resigned from office some months prior to serve as head of the journalism school at Texas State University.
Quintus U. Watson, courtesy of the Texas Legislative Reference Library.
Quintus Watson's second term concluded in January 1915 and afterward returned to practicing law, resettling in Houston with his wife. In 1922 he joined with fellow attorney John Tyler Garrison to form the law firm of Garrison and Watson, remarked by the New Encyclopedia of Texas as "being one of the leading law firms of Houston." Their services as General Division Attorneys were retained by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and Watson is noted as "giving the greater part of his time to legislative matters connected with the large practice handled by his firm".
After decades of service in Texas public life, Quintus U. Watson died at age 55 on November 14, 1929 in Houston. He was survived by his wife Jessie, who died in 1951. Both were interred at the Oakhill Cemetery in Burton, Texas.
Quintus Flaminius Atkins, from the 1878 History of Ashtabula County.
A native son of Connecticut, Quintus Flaminius Atkins found success in a number of different vocations after resettling in Ohio in the early 1800s. A former sheriff and auditor of Ashtabula County, Atkins would also serve as Associate Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Atkins was later a resident of Brooklyn (a suburb of Cleveland) and died there in 1859, being buried at the famed Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland. As luck would have it, I managed to photograph his gravesite at that cemetery during a trip to Cleveland in July of last year. Some photos from that excursion will conclude his profile here!
Quintus Flaminus Atkins was born in Wolcott, Connecticut on May 10, 1782, a son of Josiah and Mary Gillet Atkins. His early life was spent in New Haven County in the state of his birth and in October 1802 removed to the Ohio Territory, settling in Ashtabula County village of Morgan. He married in February 1804 to Sally Wright and later had ten children. Shortly after their marriage Atkins and his wife began work as missionaries in the Sandusky area, working with the Rev. Joseph Badger. Their time administering supplies to local Native Americans was cut short by illness and they eventually returned to Ashtabula County sometime later. Atkins would be appointed as the sheriff of Ashtabula County in 1811 and would serve during the War of 1812 as a volunteer guard. He resigned as sheriff in 1813 and continued to devote his time to military service, eventually being promoted to Lieutenant under General (and later President) William Henry Harrison.
Upon leaving active service Atkins returned to his home and was once again selected as Sheriff of Ashtabula County. He served a four-year term and after its completion was appointed as Ashtabula County auditor, serving in this capacity from 1819-1822. Upon leaving the office of auditor Atkins was selected to be the Superintendent of construction of the Miami and Western Reserve Road, then referred to as the "Maumee Road". The building of this road took place over a period of three years and after its completion lost a substantial sum of money due to a bad business investment-partnership involving the construction of a canal.
In the mid 1830s, Quintus Atkins became active in the anti-slavery movement in Ohio and from 1835-36 was employed as an agent by the Arcole Furnace Company, headquartered in Madison, Ohio. He would remove to the Cuyahoga County village of Brooklyn in 1839 and from 1849 to 1856 served as an Associate Justice of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Atkins' wife Sally died in 1853 and he followed her to the grave six years later on January 23, 1859 at age 76. Both were interred at the famed Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, which is also the resting place of a great many notable figures, including former President James Garfield, John D. Rockefeller, U.S. Senator Mark Hanna and Eliot Ness.
The headstones of Quintus and his wife Sally.
Quintus Quincy Quigley, from the "Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky", 1916.
Paducah, Kentucky native Quintus Quincy Quigley may be one of the few individuals in recorded history to have had the initials "Q.Q.Q.", and behind this highly alliterative name is a man who was for many years at the front of Paducah legal circles, being referred to as the "Dean of the Paducah Bar". Quigley earns a place here on the site due to his service as a Constitutional Union Party Presidential Elector in 1860.
Born on July 17, 1828 and raised in Paris, Tennessee, Quintus Q. Quigley was one of eight children born to James Boner and Martha Ogburn Quigley. His family relocated to Kentucky a short period after his birth and would go on to attend the Cumberland College. he began the study of law at age 19 under Judge John Watkins Crockett, a prominent member of the Kentucky bar. Quigley was admitted to practice a few years later and would open a law office in Paducah, where he would reside for the remainder of his life. Quigley stands as one of the founding fathers of that city, and in 1856 helped draft the city's charter. He married in February 1853 to Mary Husbands (1833-1911), later having six children: Bruce (born 1854), Isaac M. (1856-1902), Quintus St, Clair (1857-1906), John Hugh (1859-1904), Mary Quintina (1861-1942) and Joseph (died in infancy in 1863). Of these children, Issac M. Quigley followed his father into law and would eventually serve as Chief Justice of the Kentucky State Court of Appeals from 1894-1895.
Described as having "avoided public life as much as possible" in his 1910 obituary in his the Paducah Evening Sun, Quigley had fleeting political involvement in 1860, when he served as a Presidential Elector for the Constitutional Union Party, whose standard-bearers were John Bell and Edward Everett. Aside from this office, Quigley had earlier served as a village trustee of Paducah and city attorney of Paducah, being the inaugural holder of the latter post.
Following his service as a Presidential Elector, Quigley continued to be active in the civic life of Paducah, being a high ranking Mason, a past superintendent of the Grace Episcopal Sunday School, and in 1872 became the President of the American-German National Bank. Quigley's law firm would eventually add his son Isaac as a partner, and their office is noted as being counsel for the Illinois Central Railroad for a number of years.
Quintus Q. Quigley died at age 82 on December 19, 1910, and had been preceded in death by four of his children. Mary Husbands Quigley died two months after her husband in February 1911 and was interred alongside him in the Quigley family plot located in Paducah's Oak Grove Cemetery.