Alva Samuel Watson was born on 27 Aug 1905 in Mississippi, the youngest child of Elbert and Vina (Reed) Watson. His siblings included: Inez (male), George, Hannah, Ida, Joseph, Timothy, Jonathan, St. John, Sarah Ann, Sallie, Mary Eliza, Isadora, and Colletta. The family moved to Kansas between 1906 and 1910. In 1920, he was living with his brother George. He graduated from Oakley High School in 1925.
On 14 Sep 1925, he entered K-State pursuing an education in veterinary medicine. He attended for a year and a half, through the spring semester of 1927. Then he took time off until the fall semester of 1929. He last attended during the spring semester of 1930.
He lived at 711 Pottawatomie his first year, but lived in the Phi Beta Sigma Chapter House, 1020 Colorado, during the rest of his time in college.
In 1930, he moved to Saginaw, MI, and joined the Antioch Baptist Church, later named the Mt. Olive Baptist Church. He was an active member of the congregation throughout his life, teaching Sunday school for 75 years. He served on the board of the church and played an important part in the rebuilding effort after the Mt. Olive Church was destroyed in an explosion in 1944.
He worked at the Saginaw Grey Iron Foundry from the early 1930s until his retirement in 1969. He married Jessie (Evans) Townsend on 10 May 1953.
He was the first president of the Saginaw Valley District Laymen and the first president of the Wolverine State Laymen. He also served as vice president of the National Laymen's Movement. Among the awards he earned for his dedicated service were ones from the Youth Department and the Wolverine State Congress.
Alva Samuel Watson died on 14 Feb 1997 in Saginaw, MI, and was buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery.
K-State Directory, 1925-1926, 1929
Royal Purple, 1926-1927
1910 Census: Kansas - Logan County - Elkader - District 82
1920 Census: Kansas - Logan County - Lees - District 92
Social Security Death Index
Article: Saginaw News, 07 Apr 1945 (courtesy of the Public Libraries of Saginaw)
Obituary: Saginaw News, 14 Feb 1997 (courtesy of the Public Libraries of Saginaw)