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For many years, Felton has been an active member of the Kenly Free Will Baptist Church, where he was elected to the Board of Deacons for life. He has served three terms as an active deacon. Felton continues to be active in gardening and assisting in community activities such as his church, the masons, and the shriners. One of the most important parts of his life has been his family, with his grandchildren as a special highlight.
Felton and Madlyn both have been active in the Selma Chapter 209 Order of the Eastern Star. Since becoming a member in 1963, Madlyn has held several offices. She is a Past Worthy Matron, and presently serves as Marshal. Since becoming a member in 1966, Felton has held and is presently holding the office of Sentinel.
Madlyn has been a homemaker all of her 55 years of marriage. Among her hobbies are cooking and entertaining. She has helped her family financially by working from time to time at different stores. She is a past president of the Kenly Federated Woman's Club, a charter member of the Kenly Garden Club (serving as president 3 times, and presently serving again), a past president of Keep Johnston County Beautiful (serving on the Board of Directors currently). She has served on the Kenly Public Library Board since it began long before Kenly had the first building. She helped with getting the Kenly News started, and was a feature writer for a while, covering the civic clubs' meetings. Madlyn has been a member of the Kenly Free Will Baptist Church for 53 years and has served on various church committees (Youth, Secretary, Benevolent, etc.). When Mount Olive College was founded, she was elected to the College Board for several years. She went to Black Mountain, NC, for seven weeks and gave her services to help open the Original Free Will Baptist Youth Camp, Cragmont, in 1946.
When the Tobacco Farm Life Museum was started, Madlyn was eager to help in any way she could. She has quoted that the museum is "the best and most helpful way to educate the youth of today about the history of the area and local farm life". She is very proud to have been a part of helping the museum to grow and continues to volunteer her time and efforts. The museum has on display several relics from Madlyn's and Felton's past.
The Watsons' first son, James Felton Watson, Jr., married Janice Hamilton of Pittsburgh, PA, and they have one daughter, Jill. Their present home is in Minneapolis, MN. The second son, Caughman Harris Watson, married Elizabeth Boykin of the Rock Ridge community, and they have two children, Stephanie and Stephen. Their present home is here in Kenly.
August 15, 1991
JAMES FELTON WATSON
MADLYN CRAWFORD WATSON
James Felton Watson, the onlyson of James "Jimbo" and Eliza Hales Watson, was born in Kenly on June 1, 1909. He has lived in Kenly all of his life. As a young boy he worked on the farms of an uncle and a friend. He enjoyed the life on the farm and events of the seasons.
Madlyn Crawford Watson was born in Fremont on December 28, 1912, to Wiley Layfette and Lena Moore Crawford. Lena died when
Madlyn was 3 years old. At this time she went to live with her grandparents, James Henry and Catherine Rose Crawford, and was raised at their country home. Madlyn learned to love the country, the big fields, the orchards, the big barnyard with all the chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. She had a great desire to learn about the things her grandparents did, especially gardening, cooking, and other cultural aspects of their lives. They were also very active in community life.
The Watsons were married on March 14, 1936. They have two sons: James Felton Watson, Jr. born January 24, 1938 and Caughman Harris Watson born December 17, 1948. Felton was managing Whiteway Service Station at the time of their marriage. He continued this job until he began working for Watson & Alford. In 1944, he was drafted by the U.S. Army. After being wounded in training, he returned home and went back to work for Watson & Alford for approximately two more years. At this time, he started work in the plaster contracting business, where he remained until 1961 when he accepted a position in plaster maintenance with the U. S. Government at Seymour Johnston Air Force base in Goldsboro. After retiring in 1978, he worked several years as a security guard at Squibb in Kenly.
In 1945, Felton was accepted as a Mason, and he was elected the Master of Kenly Lodge No. 257 in 1952. He became a member of the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Masons in 1981 by completing his degree work in Raleigh. He became a shriner and a member of the Sudan Temple.