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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


George Robert WATSON

Born 1867 in Rokewood, Victoria, Australia [54]
Son of John WATSON and Maria HARDY [54]
Prospector / Miner in Victoria until 1891 when he shifted to Western Australia [10: 19-Sep-1916]
Pioneer Prospector on the Northern and Murchison goldfields in Western Australia [10: 5 & 19-Sep-1916]
During his later bachelorhood he worked in Marble Bar, where he lived in a dwelling made out of spinifex [10: 30-Apr-1915]
Married Minnie Marie BATTEN in Perth in 1902 [15]
He and his brother John H. WATSON owned in partnership the Moonlight Gold Mine [10: 19-Sep-1916]
After selling the mine he purchased prospective farmland in Three Springs [10: 19-Sep-1916]
Attended the Midland Railway Company's 9th Subdivision Sale at the Builders & Contractors' Exchange in Perth on 18 June 1909 [39]
     The sale was the Company's first of agricultural blocks of virgin bush and townsite blocks in Three Springs [39: 19-Jun-1909]
     He purchased 1,084 acres of land in Lots M754, M755, M759 and M760 of Victoria Location 2020 for £1086/14/9 [27]
     Also purchased the quarter-acre Lot 10 of Victoria Location 2020 in the Three Springs townsite for £83 [27]
     At the time he was living in the Murchison [39: 19-Jun-1909]
     By August 1909 he had settled in Three Springs and had built a house on his farm [9: 6-Aug-1909]
Farmer of Moonlight Farm in Three Springs 1909-1916 [6] [9: 27-May-1910] [10: 10-Sep-1915] [19]
     On 30 November 1909 he acquired a further 420 acres in Three Springs in Lot M752 and M753 of Victoria Location 2022 [27]
     He acquired the additional 420 acres from John F. HEARN of Woopenatty Station in Arrino who had purchased it at the auction [27]
     The 420 acres was expensive - at the auction it sold for £1114/8/6 - Lot M752 was £3/12/- an acre and Lot M753 £1/7/- an acre [27]
     His farm was then 1,504 acres and consisted of Lots M752, M753, M754, M755, M759 & M760 of Victoria Location 2020 [27] [44]
     By May 1910, about a year after purchasing his farm, he had 200 acres of his property cleared and ploughed [9: 27-May-1910]
     His 1910 crop was "good and regular, and testified to the fertility of the soil, and to a good rainfall" in Three Springs [31: 14-Jan-1910]
     His crop was among those inspected when Samuel J. F. MOORE M.L.A. visited Three Springs in September 1910 [9: 14-Oct-1910]
Foundation Vice President of the Kadathinni Cricket Club in Three Springs in 1909 [9: 20-Aug-1909]
Chaired a meeting to form a local race club at the Commercial Hotel in Three Springs on Saturday 16 December 1910 [31: 19-Dec-1910]
Inaugural Vice President and Committee Member of the Three Springs Race Club in 1910 and 1911 [9: 23-Dec-1910]
Member of the Kadathinni Farmers & Progress Association in 1911 [9: 13-Jan-1911]
He sold his quarter-acre Lot 10 in the Three Springs townsite to Stephen SHERIDAN on 2 June 1911 [27]
In 1911 he was one of the few farmers in Three Springs who had a "really elegant home" [31: 30-Jun-1911]
His horse One Spot came 2nd in the Arrino Handicap and 3rd in the Carnamah Plate at the Three Springs Races in 1911 [9: 17-Mar-1911]
By 1911 he had been appointed a Justice of the Peace and local Honorary Magistrate [31: 30-Jun-1911]
When harvesting in 1911 he remarked that his crop "could be better, a lot better, but some crop is better than no crop" [388: 28-Oct-1911]
Had the telephone connected to his farmhouse - was telephone number Three Springs-6 [60]
Donated the prize for the dux of Standard VII of the Three Springs State School in 1913 [9: 19-Dec-1913]
After almost fatal health problems it was reported in mid July 1915 that he was on the road to good health [10: 23-Jul-1915]
In early September 1915 he was the first in Three Springs to get his binder out and start seasonal hay cutting [10: 10-Sep-1915]
Won 1st prize for Two Sheaves of Green Fodder exhibited at the "Three Springs Day" on Monday 16 September 1915 [10: 24-Sep-1915]
Died 4 September 1916 in Three Springs; buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth (Anglican, AA, 299) [2] [39: 6-Sep-1916]

From The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate newspaper, Tuesday 5 September 1916:
Our Three Springs correspondent telegraphed yesterday:
"After only two days illness Mr. George Watson died here this morning. He was one of the most prominent and popular settlers of this district. He was well-known on the Northern and Murchison goldfields."

From The Moora Herald and Midland Districts Advocate newspaper, Tuesday 19 September 1916:
Death of a Mining Pioneer
"Mr. George R. Watson, farmer of Three Springs, passed away suddenly at that place on the 4th inst., in his 50th year. The deceased gentleman was born (says the "West Australian") at Ballarat, Victoria, and was associated with the Victorian goldfields, especially Ballarat, until his arrival in this State 25 years ago. He was a pioneer prospector in the great and unknown districts from Kimberley, right down to the Murchison for about 15 years. Mr. Watson owned half of the Moonlight Gold mine with his brother, Mr. J. H. Watson of North Fremantle. About seven years ago Messrs Watson Bros. sold the Moonlight Gold mine to advantage and the late Mr. G. R. Watson purchased a fine farming property at Three Springs, where he resided ever since. He was very popular in that district, and always took an active part in its welfare. The remains were conveyed by train to the Karrakatta Cemetery and they were interred in the Church of England portion on Wednesday morning. The procession from the farm to the Three Springs railway station was a long one, and included most of the residents of the town and the leading farmers in the district. At Karrakatta the Rev. C. H. D. Grimes officiated in the presence of numerous relatives and friends. The chief mourners were: Mrs M. M. Watson (wife), Mrs J. Watson, snr. (mother), Messrs. J. H. and E. J. Watson (brothers), Mesdames J. Bunnun and E. Caddy (sisters), Mrs. J. H. Watson, jun. (sister-in-law), Mrs B. Yates, Mrs A. Campbell, Mrs W. Bunnun, and Miss M. Bunnun (nieces), Messrs. W. Bunnun, P. Bunnun, B. Yates (nephews), Mr. and Mrs. Cato, and Mrs. C. C. Maley. The pall-bearers were Messrs James Gardiner M.L.A., S. F. Moore, F. Corney, and G. C. Bridgwood. The Three Springs Farmers and Settlers' Association was presented by Mr. H. H. Richardson. Many letters and messages of condolence have been received by the relatives. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs Arthur E. Davies and Co."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'George Robert Watson' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2024 from [reference list]

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