Cora Dunavan Watts was born June 20, 1879, in Baker, La Salle County, Illinois. She died May 22, 1964, in Ottawa and is buried in the Precinct Cemetery in Earlville. She was a member of the large Green clan, a great-grandaughter of John Green, through his daughter Nancy, who married Joseph Albert Dunavan.
When she was a young girl she took an art course at the Art Institute in Chicago and later a correspondence course. Then she married and went to reside on a farm near Leland. Her duties as a wife and mother filled her time, but her love of art remained.
She renewed her hobby when, at the age of 78, she became a resident of the Cora J. Pope Home in Ottawa. She began her new career by taking a three-year correspondence course. She believed her early art training helped her to complete the course in only one and a half years.
She did some portrait work, as well as still life and scenes, and exhibited at the Allen Park Art Show and the Town and Country Art Show in Ottawa. She frequently worked from photographs as well as from life. Many of her relatives have pictures she painted from a favorite photograph.