Introduction to the Reenactment of the
SHOOTING OF JACK WATSON
Most of you who have visited my website are familiar with the family member I so lovingly refer to as "Uncle Jack," see bio of John A. "Jack" Watson. John A. "Jack" Watson is my great, grand uncle, a brother to my great grandfather. The brothers were two of the ten children born to James L. and Margaret (Peggy) Russell Watson of Hardin County, Tennessee.
I was captivated by Uncle Jack when, as a child, I stumbled upon a yellowed piece of newspaper telling of the shooting death of Jack Watson in Price, Utah. My curiosity aroused, I questioned the elders of my family and found out he was my great, grand uncle. Over the years I read that article many times and even made a note of it. I always carefully placed it back in the Bible where I had found it, which brought about its demise. Many times, while visiting my grandparents, I would get a chair, and climb up to reach the top shelves of the old book press to retrieve the Bible, and I would read the article over and over again. Price, Utah to me was over a thousand miles away. Even though I would love to go there, I knew that my chances were slim.
So I lived in my little dream world, and Jack Watson starred in every western I saw. And I saw a lot of them. From Roy Rogers to Gene Autry to Gunsmoke and much later, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I saw Uncle Jack riding beside them. And, my goodness, little did I know that Uncle Jack was actually in a posse that went after Butch and Sundance, but ended up with Joe Walker and Johnny Herring.
The summer of 2004 was a dream come true for that child. The Western Outlaw and Lawman Convention (WOLA) was held in Price, Utah. Among the many interesting speakers was Joel Frandsen of Price, who spoke on the shooting of Jack Watson. For several years Joel and I, along with Kathy Hamaker, also of Price, had collaborated in research for more information on Uncle Jack.
Joel took it on himself to raise money to erect a monument in the Price City Cemetery and I was honored to unveil it at the WOLA convention. I must admit that, upon seeing it for the first time, I was so very proud. The details and artistic talent that went into the making of the monument are incredible.
Joel also wrote a script which was performed by SASS organization, the Castle Gate Posse. The script showed actions of Jack Watson on the morning of his murder that brought about the shooting that afternoon. The following are pictures of the re-enactment as it took place on the streets of Price. It was unbelievable the emotions I felt as watched the scenes unfold, heard the sound of gunshots, and watched as Uncle Jack fell to his death. It was an afternoon I will never forget.
Thanks to WOLA, Kathy Hamaker, all those who contributed to Uncle Jack's monument, the monument artist (whose name I will soon have, I promise), and a special thanks to Joel Frandsen for making the dreams of a little girl come true. And, more than special thanks to my husband, David, who accompanies me on all these trips, and encourages me to stop and smell the roses along the way.