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Watson and Garver Family Papers

Identifier: ASC 012

Scope and Content

The Watson and Garver Family papers are arranged in two (2) series: Garver (5 folders) and Watson (5 folders).


  • 1881 - 1957

Conditions Governing Access

This manuscript collection consists of physical materials. This collection has not been digitized. This collection is open for research use only in the Reading Room. It is not available for request through Interlibrary Loan. Please contact the archive via email ( at least a week in advance of your arrival to ensure the availability of the material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to the archive. Standard copyright laws (U. S. Title 17) apply.


Hampton Watson was born April 6, 1859 to a large family. In his early teens, he moved from Germantown, Tennessee to Hope, Arkansas with three of his brothers. In 1880, they relocated to Jonesboro. In Jonesboro, Hampton established a hardware store with his brothers which later would merge with the Jonesboro Hardware Company. Hampton married Maggie Field on July 22, 1896 and they soon welcomed three daughters: Frances, Elizabeth, and Margaret.

Hampton was active in the growing community of Jonesboro. He invested in the First National Bank, held controlling interest in the Jonesboro Hardware Company, and regularly participated at the First Methodist Church. Hampton died in 1923, his wife and children surviving him.

Elmer Garver was born in 1862 in McVeytown, PA. He attended Lebanon Valley College studying medicine. His younger sister Lola Garver also attended LVC to study piano, organ, and choir. In 1881 Elmer graduated from LVC with a bachelor of science in medicine. Shortly after he relocated to Hastings, Nebraska and married. Mary and Elmer welcome their only son Leigh in 1893, but Elmer died two years later in 1895. Mary Garver eventually remarried in 1903 to Otto Barth. Otto raised Leigh as his own though Leigh continued to use the last name Garver.

After becoming a traveling auditor for the Emporia Telephone Company, Leigh married a longtime friend, Miss Margaret K. Together they settled in Kansas City, Missouri.


0.4 Linear Feet (The Watson and Garver Family Papers Collection is comprised of 10 folders contained within one document box. )




Hampton Watson was a prominent businessman of Jonesboro during the early 1900s. Leigh Garver was a traveling auditor for the Emporia telephone company based out of Kansas. This collection contains letters, college papers, legal and financial records from both families. The material in the collection was collected in part by Maggie Watson and in part by Leigh Garver, and chronicles the lives of their respective families. There is no apparent connection between the Watson and the Garver families. However, the collection was received by the archive as a single unit and has been maintained that way.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the archive by the Arkansas State University Museum in 2013.


Further additions to this collection are not expected.

Watson and Garver Family Papers Finding Aid
Meredith McFadden; Flora Smith, Editor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections - Dean B. Ellis Library Repository

Arkansas State University
Dean B. Ellis Library
P.O. Box 2040
State University AR 72467 United States
870-972-3199 (Fax)