Watertowff, a city and the county seat of Jefferson co., New York, on the Black river, 10 m. above its mouth in Lake Ontario, at the intersection of the Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg and the Utica and Black River railroads, 145 m. N. W. of Albany and 250 m. N. W. of New York city; pop. in 1870, 9,336; in 1875, 10,041. The city is handsomely laid out in wide streets, well shaded principally with maple, and contains a large number of handsome public buildings and private residences. The county poorhouse and insane asylum are just outside the city limits. Brookside cemetery is about 3 m. S. of the city, and contains 70 acres. The grounds of the county agricultural society and the river park race course are within the limits. The river divides the city into two unequal portions, which are connected by three bridges, one a suspension bridge of iron. It is surrounded by a rich agricultural country, abounding in limestone and iron, with which it carries on a valuable trade. It has unbroken railroad connection with New York and the Pennsylvania coal regions. The Black river falls 112 ft. in its passage through the city, a distance of less than two miles, affording water power equivalent to nearly 84,000 horse power, much of which is utilized.
The chief establishments are six flouring mills, producing 200,000 barrels annually; four paper mills, producing 3,600 tons of printing paper annually; steam engine works, two founderies, sewing machine works, a spring wagon manufactory, knitting machine works, a paper flour sack manufactory, a cotton mill, four tanneries, two carriage manufactories, two furniture factories, two breweries, a malt house, nine boot and shoe factories, seven cigar factories, five planing mills, and five sash and door manufactories. There are four national banks, with an aggregate capital of $760,000; two state banks, capital $400,000; a savings bank, with $314,842 deposits in 1875; and four fire insurance companies. The city has an efficient police force and fire department, and is lighted with gas. Water is pumped from the river into two reservoirs with a combined capacity of 6,500,000 gallons, within one mile of the centre of the city, on the brow of a limestone ridge 180 ft. above the level of the public square. The assessed value of real estate in 1875 was $5,496,225; of personal property, $3,460,300. The public schools embrace a high school and inferior grades.
There are nine school buildings; children of school age in 1875, 3,031; number enrolled, 2,032; teachers, 44; school expenditures, $36,996 35, including $17,998 50 for teachers' wages; value of school property, $88,131 58. The public school library contains 2,728 volumes. Two daily and three weekly newspapers are published. There are nine churches, viz.: Baptist, Episcopal (2), Methodist (2), Presbyterian (2), Roman Catholic, and Universalist. - Watertown was settled in 1800, incorporated as a village in 1816, and as a city in 1869.