Samuel R. Watt served as the Solicitor of the Seventh Judicial Circuit from 1930 until 1953. He was the fifth of eight children of farmer Samuel W. and Rosa McPhail Watt. He was educated in the Due West schools, at Erskine College two years and at Furman College, where he received an A.B. degree in 1920. He attended the University of South Carolina Law School, earning his LL.B. in 1925.
Upon graduation, he went to Spartanburg to assist Solicitor Ibra C. Blackwood. When John G. Richards was elected Governor of South Carolina, he was appointed Solicitor and was re-elected to five terms. His private clients included railroads, utilities, and insurance companies.
He married Eloise Montjoy and they had one daughter, Ann. An ardent churchman, Rotarian and member of the Spectators Club, he also served as President of the South Carolina Bar Association from 1951 through 1952 and of the Spartanburg County Bar Association in 1938. He was a member of the American Bar Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Fearless, hard working, but fair to those accused of a crime, he was often appointed by the Attorney General to try difficult cases in other circuits. He showed special concern for young offenders, seeking to aid their reform.
He will be remembered as a great trial lawyer and leader of the Bar.