Presidents & First Ladies home


Charles and Emily Watkins

Charles Watkins No photo available of
Emily Watkins

Charles Nephi Watkins

Charles Nephi Watkins was born in Nooselane, Willenhall, Stafford, England. He was the oldest of five children. His family immigrated to New York City soon after he was born and later moved to St. Louis, Missouri where his father died when Charles was about eight years old. His widowed mother Ann lived in St. Louis for several years before she remarried in 1867. In the early 1870s Charles' family, including his maternal grandparents, moved west to the Bear Lake area on the Idaho-Utah border.

Charles married Emily Horsley in the Logan Temple in 1884. They were the parents of four daughters.

In 1891 when Jacob Spori resigned as principal of Bannock Stake Academy, Karl G. Maeser, General Superintendent of Church Schools, sent Charles N. Watkins as a replacement. While Charles was not as well educated or as highly trained as Spori, nevertheless he worked hard to build and keep the school open. He strove to up hold the high educational and spiritual standards set by Jacob Spori.

The Academy continued to struggle to stay open as local Church members helped with contributions. Often students paid their school fees with produce. There was only one other teacher at the school, so Charles was involved not only with administration duties of the Academy, but also with teaching on a full-time basis. He taught the upper grade classes while Miss M. Lawisch taught the lower grades. Charles served at the Academy until 1894 when he resigned as principal for health reasons, but he continued to teach at the Academy until his death in 1896. Charles is buried in Paris, Idaho.

Emily Horsley Watkins

Emily Horsley Watkins was born in Providence, a small town in the Cache Valley of northern Utah. Her parents were from Birmingham, England. Her family joined the Church in England and came to Utah in 1864. Emily was the fourth of ten children. By 1866, the family had settled in Cache Valley, and in 1871 the Horsley family moved north to Paris, Idaho.

Emily married Charles N. Watkins in the Logan Temple in 1884. In 1891 Emily and Charles moved to the Rexburg area when he was called to be the principal of Bannock Academy; they lived in this area until Charles' death in 1896. They had four daughters, Emily, Ethel, Lola and Mary Adelia.

After Charles' death, Emily moved back to the Bear Lake area where in 1899 she married Matthew Mcblain Thomson. Matthew and Emily remained in the Bear Lake area where they raised their five children and the four daughters from her earlier marriage. Emily died in 1907 and is buried in Montpelier, ID.

McKay Gallery Home SPACE McKay Library Home SPACE Presidents & First Ladies Homepage