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Irving Allison Watson, M.D., of Concord, born at Salisbury, this State, September 6, 1849, is a son of Porter Baldwin, born at Corinth, Vt., July 13, 1825, and Luvia E. (Ladd) Watson; grandson of Ithamar Watson, born at Weare, N.H., September 17, 1784; and great-grandson of Caleb Watson, born at Hampstead, N.H., December 6, 1760, who was a soldier in the Revolution. Having received his preliminary education in the common schools of New Hampshire and at the Newbury (Vt.) Seminary and Collegiate Institute, he commenced the study of medicine in 1868 with Dr. Cochrane, of Newbury, Vt., and continued it successively with his uncle, Dr. H. L. Watson, and Dr. A. B. Crosby, of New York. Then he attended lectures at Dartmouth Medical College and at the medical department of the University of Vermont, graduating a Doctor of Medicine from the latter institution in 1871. Afterward, in 1885, Dartmouth College conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts.
Immediately after graduating in medicine, Dr. Watson commenced practice at Groveton (Northumberland), N.H., where he remained ten years. In that period he was Superintendent of Schools for some years, in 1879 and 1881 he was in the State legislature, and he was surgeon to the Grand Trunk Railway. In the legislature he was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the act creating the State Board of Health. Of this body he was appointed a member; and at its organization in September, 1881, he was elected its Secretary and executive officer. In October of that year he removed to Concord, where he has since resided, still holding the office of Secretary and executive officer of the State Board of Health. In 1889, when this Board was also created a Board of Lunacy, the executive work of the latter devolved upon Dr. Watson. He is Registrar of the vital statistics of the State; President of the State Board of the Cattle Commissioners since its organization in 1891; has been Secretary of the American Public Health Association since 1883; was Vice-President of the International Conference of the State and Provincial Boards of Health in 1894; is a permanent member of the American Medical Association; honorary member of the Academia Nacional de Medicina de Mexico; was Assistant Secretary General of the Paris; of the Medico-Legal Society of New York; of the New Hampshire Medical Society; of the Centre District (N.H.) Medical Society; of the New Hampshire Historical Society; and he is a registered pharmacist in the State of New Hampshire. December 12, 1884, he was appointed Surgeon, with rank of Major, of the Third Regiment, New Hampshire National Guard; and on May 20, 1889, he was promoted to the post of Medical Director, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, of the First Brigade, New Hampshire National Guard, which commission he resigned in 1894.
Dr. Watson has compiled and edited the New Hampshire Registration Reports since the year 1881; the reports of the State Board of Health of New Hampshire, fourteen volumes; and the reports of the Commissioners of Lunacy of New Hampshire, six volumes. He is the author of numerous papers and articles, published in these reports and in various sanitary and medical journals of the country, including: “Danger in the Use of Chloral Hydrate,” Philadelphia Medical and Surgical Reporter, 1872; “An Epidemic of Diphtheria,” Transactions of the New Hampshire Medical Society, 1879; “Sanitary Suggestions,” Ibid., 1882; “Water Pollution-Wells,” Ibid., 1883; “The Extent and Distribution of Consumption in New Hampshire ,” Ibid., 1887; “Medicine in Mexico ,” Ibid., 1892; “Address to the Graduating Class of Dartmouth Medical College,” 1885 : “Common Law Citations relating to Nuisances,” Report of the State Board of Health of New Hampshire, 1882; “Milk from a Sanitary Standpoint,” Ibid., 1887; “Sanitary Survey of School-houses,” Ibid., 1887; “Our School-houses,” Ibid., 1888; “Historical and Other Facts regarding Vaccination,” Ibid., 1891; “Friere’s Inoculations and the Yellow Fever Commission,” The Sanitarian, April, 1886; “Tuberculosis: Its Prevalence, Communicability, and Prevention,” read at the meeting of the State Board of Agriculture, The Weirs, N.H., August 16, 1894, and published in the Transactions of the New Hampshire State Grange, 1894. He edited and published the Sanitary Volunteer, a monthly journal in the interests of healthful homes and communities, one year, 1889, Concord, N.H., Republican Press Association; and he was the editor and compiler of “Physicians and Surgeons of America,” eight hundred and fifty pages, illustrated, 1896.
In 1891-92 Dr. Watson travelled extensively in Mexico and Central America. He is a Mason and a Knight Templar. In 1872 he married Miss Lena A., daughter of Gilman Farr, of Littleton, N.H., and has one child, Bertha M. Watson.