Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Silent Anvil: Mr. Watson

Update: Final plans will be announced in the next day or so about a memorial service to be held in Gordonsville, Virgnia, most likely on Saturday, January 3, 2009. Arrangements are being handled by the Preddy Funeral Home, 301 N Main St, Gordonsville, VA 22942. The closest airports are Charlottesville and Richmond. Thanks to David Watson for the information.

If you are in the farrier profession in the eastern United States, you probably know who I am talking about when I just say "Mr. Watson died".

Edgar Watson, known respectfully as "Mr." and affectionately as "Eddie", lived in Keswick, Virginia and was one of the great "living legends" of not just the farrier world, but the horse world as well.

He will long be remembered for the champions he shod, the beautiful artistry he created at the anvil, and the stories he told, but mostly will be remembered for his gentle manner and his willingness to help and encourage all of us, in whatever we tried to do to better our work or our horses' care.

For the past ten years or so, Mr. Watson was chronically ill with a list of ailments that would have been the end of any normal human. He kept coming back and even ordered himself a brand new shoeing rig recently...when he was 80 years old. He began shoeing horses professionally in 1948.

Follow this link to an album of photos of the appreciation day held for Mr. Watson in 2007, when he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon. Thanks to the Virginia Horseshoers Association for posting these photos. And here's a second link to a few photos of his fantastic shop.

I will add to this post when I know more; thanks to Steve Mayer for letting me know.

If you have a kind word to say about your friendship with or memories of Mr. Watson, please click on the colored link word "comments" at the end of this article. A new window will open up and you can leave your message. It will default to "anonymous" unless you sign it, and that's fine, but just include your name in the comment if you want to be identified. You can also email a comment to "" and I will post it for you.

Update: The latest word is that a memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 3, 2009.

Mr. Watson, right, talking to Danny Ward, left, sometime in the last 20 years or so.

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Anonymous said...

The epitome of a gentleman. We'll miss you Eddie.

- Henry

Anonymous said...

All of you at this site know Eddie as a farrier...the best farrier, in fact. I have heard many stories of his good times among horse people. But, I know him as a golfer. A decent golfer, but mostly a fun golfer. My husband and I had a lot of fun with Eddie and Shirley over the years, playing golf, followed by a dinner outing somewhere...the Tides Inn, Wintergreen, whereever. Eddie is the one who introduced me to the dark rum and tonic with a slice of lime, which is my only drink to this day. I'll salute him with my next one. Eddie was a fine human being and we will all miss him tremendously.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Everyone, for thier support through this tough time.I never felt my heart hurt, until Saturday night. I will miss Him deeply, as I know alot of people will. The sevice is set for the 3rd of January, 11:00am, at the Preddys Funeral Home, in Gordonsville, Va. Thank You Fran!

Anonymous said...

The strongest lesson I learned from my daddy (my hero) was to put others first always because in doing so you enrich your life twenty fold. He was the master at this. Even while we were getting chemo together he was working hard to make me and others around him smile. I will forever remember when we were gathered around him at the end my sister Nette telling Daddy that he had a good life and his reply was "I surely did." His only regret was leaving his family and wonderful friends behind. He loved us all so much and I am eternally grateful for you all. The ring of his anvil will live on in David and all the others he touched. God Bless you all! ...and thanks so ever much for your support of Momma and the family. Rest in Peace Daddy!
-from Sherri