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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Harry" William Henry WATSON

Born 10 April 1876 in Grace Plains, South Australia [55]
Son of John WATSON and Emma HOWARD [55]
Left South Australia and shifted to Western Australia in 1898 [5: 16-Sep-1948]
In Western Australia he initially worked in the timber cutting industry in Wellington Mills and at Kalamunda [P24]
Married Harriett STIRK in Kalamunda in 1905 [15]
Teamster for Millars Karri and Jarrah Company for a number of years, and in 1915 owned eleven Draught horses [34]
Purchased a 410 acre "Ready Made Farm" in Carnamah from the Midland Railway Company on 5 October 1915 [27]
     The 410 acres was Lot M939 of Victoria Locations 1934 and 1936, cost £2050 and was payable by instalments [27]
     Due to overpricing the price of his farm and its instalments were later reduced by 40% from £2050 to £1230 [27]
Farmer of The Mannas Farm on the Carnamah-Perenjori Road in Carnamah 1915-1948 [P24]
     Himself and his son Norman arrived in Carnamah on 9 November 1915 [P24]
     His wife and their children Leonard, Arthur and Eva arrived in Carnamah on 20 November 1915 [P24]
For his first season on the farm, in 1916, he planted 150 acres of crop [34]
During his second season he increased the cleared portion of his farm by 60 acres [152]
In addition to farming his own property he also did contract ploughing, seeding and harvesting for the Midland Railway Company [34]
During his second season on the farm, in 1917, he grew 250 acres of wheat crop[10: 19-Jun-1917]
In May 1917 A. J. BARBER, General Manager of the Midland Railway Company in London, England remarked: [34]
     "W. H. the type of man who puts his back into his work and makes a success of it" [34]
In June 1917 was one of the two settlers on the Midland Railway Company's farms who were paying their instalments on time [34]
     He was also the only settler on the Company's farms in Coorow, Winchester and Carnamah who didn't require any concessions [152]
     "He is an exceptionally good man and he has a good team of horses" remarked the Company's Superintendant of Farm Lands [152]
In 1917, due to rust and dry blight, lost a large portion of his crop and only obtained a little seed wheat and some inferior hay [34]
Member of the Winchester-Carnamah branch of the Farmers & Settlers' Association in 1917 [34]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs [34]
Gave evidence in favour of the Midland Railway Company to a Royal Commission on Agricultural Industries in Carnamah in 1917 [34]
Purchased some of his general supplies from general store "The Supply Stores" in Yarra Street, Carnamah in 1917 [92]
In February 1918 a fire swept onto his property and 20 men helped him save his farm, only losing some stubble and fencing [34]
In addition to his own farm he also share-farmed the Midland Railway Company's Lot M938 in Carnamah in 1918 [34]
After receiving little wheat in 1917 he purchased 25 bags of Currawa seed wheat from the Midland Railway Company in 1918 [34]
Member of the Carnamah Hall Committee in 1919 [10: 29-Aug-1919]
     The title for the Carnamah Hall and its land was jointly in the names of himself, Donald MACPHERSON and John LANG [34]
On 10 September 1920 extended his farm by 600 acres with the purchase of Lot M1047 of Victoria Locations 1934 and 1936 [27]
     The 600 acres was purchased from the Midland Railway Company for £300, payable by instalments over 15 years [27]
During the second week of November 1924 he purchased a new five-seater Oakland car [225: 15-Nov-1924]
Elected as Member for the Central Ward of the Carnamah District Road Board at an election in April 1925 [9: 24-Apr-1925]
     Served on the Carnamah District Road Board representing the Town Ward from 1925 to 1928 [9: 24-Apr-1925] [7: page 111]
In 1925 helped collect donations for the improvement of the road over the sandplain between Carnamah and Watheroo [9: 17-Apr-1925]
Member of a committee formed to obtain a hospital at Carnamah in 1928 [4: 17-Mar-1928] [9: 23-Mar-1928]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s [53]
In 1930 purchased a new Chev six truck from local dealer Scott WYLIE [4: 8-Feb-1930]
Attended the funeral of "Father of Carnamah" Donald MACPHERSON at the Winchester Cemetery on 14 August 1931 [4: 22-Aug-1931]
By 1932 had increased his farm to a total of 1,883 acres with the purchase of Lot M1082 of Victoria Location 1935 [3]
     He appears to have purchased the 873 acre Lot M1082 from neighbouring farmer Richard ROBERTSON [27]
Purchased two stud Merino Rams from Mrs E. C. WELLS of Mingenew in February 1934[5: 2-Mar-1934]
In August 1934 purchased a new spring-tyne cultivator from the Sunshine Agency in Carnamah [5: 31-Aug-1934]
Attended the funeral of Mrs Christina B. D. FORRESTER of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 31 August 1934 [4: 8-Sep-1934]
Through the agency of Dalgety & Co Ltd sold 33 lambs at 15/4 per head and 35 wethers at 15/1 per head in August 1935 [5: 9-Aug-1935]
     Two months later in October 1935 sold 34 suckers at 12/1 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Midland Market [5: 18-Oct-1935]
Attended the funeral of Miss "May" Mary L. LANG of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 26 November 1935 [5: 29-Nov-1935]
Vice President of Carnamah's Parkinson Tennis Club in 1936-37 [5: 18-Sep-1936] [56]
Attended the funeral of Carnamah agent William B. SHERIDAN at the Winchester Cemetery on 27 January 1936 [5: 31-Jan-1936]
Sold 7 lambs at 17/1, 13 hoggets at 15/1, and 16 ewes at 13/4 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd on 4 March 1936 [5: 6-Mar-1936]
Vice President of the Carnamah Athletic Club in 1937 [5: 19-Mar-1937]
Sold 144 sheep through Dalgety & Co Ltd with three consignments to the Midland Market in 1937 [5: 26-Feb-1937, 12-Mar-1937, 16-Jul-1937]
     29 lambs at (2 at 20/-, 12 at 16/10, 15 at 13/10), 20 hoggets (10 at 24/4, 10 at 14/7), 19 wethers at 23/7, 76 unspecified at 11/4[5]
The dam on his farm was a popular swimming and meeting spot on hot summer evenings [5: 15-Jan-1937]
Inaugural Vice President of the Carnamah Cycle Club in 1937 [5: 21-May-1937]
During the last week of May 1937 he took delivery of a new Fordson tractor [5: 28-May-1937]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society in 1941 and 1946 [13]
Had the telephone connected in 1947 - was telephone number Carnamah-26 [60]
Father of Norm, Len, Eva, Arthur and Mavis [P24]
Died 11 September 1948 in Carnamah; buried Winchester Cemetery, Carnamah (Row E, Plot 3) [1]
Rev. Gilbert S. FOSS officiated at his funeral, which was undertaken by H. H. KNIGHT, both of Three Springs [1]
Following his death his estate was valued at £12,952/14/3 [39: 23-Nov-1948]

Contract work undertaken in Carnamah and Coorow by William Henry WATSON for the Midland Railway Company:
In later 1915 secured the contract to harvest 600 acres of the Company's crop in Carnamah for 7/6 per acre [34]
Among the crops harvested was 102 acres on Lot M941 in Carnamah, for which he was paid £38/5/- [34]
In 1916 ploughed and seeded 119 acres on Lot M941 in Carnamah for 13/- per acre[34]
In 1916 also ploughed and seeded 122 acres on Lot M963 in Coorow for 13/6 per acre [34]
The Midland Railway Co agreed to give him a £10 advance for the ploughing and seeding: "Mr Watson is a most trustworthy man" [34]
In later 1916 contract harvested and bagged Lot M941 in Carnamah for the Midland Railway Company for 8/6 per acre [34]
Contract ploughed and seeded 119½ acres on Lot M943 in Carnamah for 13/- per acre in 1917 [34]
In 1917 also ploughed 113 acres on Lot M944 in Carnamah for 8/- per acre [34]
Did 115½ acres of scrub cutting on Lot M938 in Carnamah for 2/- an acre (a total of £11/11/-) in 1918 [34]
During 1918 cropped the cleared portion of Lot M938 in Carnamah on a "half-sharers" share-cropping arrangement [34]
In 1918 ploughed, cultivated and harvested 116 acres on M938 in Carnamah, and fallowed 122½ acres on M943 for 11/- per acre [34]
Fallowed 132 acres on Lot M941 in Carnamah for 8/- per acre in 1919 [34]

From the Progress Report of the Royal Commission on the
               Agricultural Industries of Western Australia on the Wheat-Growing Portion of the South-West Division of the State
Wednesday 6 June 1917 at Carnamah
"WILLIAM HENRY WATSON, Farmer, Carnamah, sworn and examined: I hold a ready-made farm of 410 acres. I had previous experience in South Australia and Victoria. The number of my block is 939. I have 200 acres cleared. I am paying £4 for the land, with 5½ per cent interest. I think my farm large enough at present, but I hope to add to it later. I had just sufficient capital to pay the deposit. I got 19½ bushels the first year and 23 bushels last year. I am satisfied with my venture. I do a little contracting, which pays me fairly well. Last year it just about paid my rent. I can pay my instalments out of my cropping operations. I think I am over the worst part. I think the other ready-made farms do not follow good methods. I have no fallow yet. I sowed 57lbs. of seed and 60lbs. of super. I started ploughing about the 1st March and finished about the end of May. There is little or no fallow in the district. One man who has a little fallow does not find it very successful. I think it is beneficial. Generally thinking, I am satisfied with the conditions in the district, including railway freights. I think bulk handling would be beneficial to the farmer."

From The Western Mail newspaper, Thursday 9 January 1930:
Country Towns and Districts - Carnamah's Advancement
"Mr. W. H. Watson came to the district 15 years ago, and settled on 410 acres. Settlement was sparse in those days. He has since increased his area to 1,000 acres, all of it being cleared. About half of The Mannas is first class land - red loam with a clay sub-soil - and the timber was salmon gum and gimlet. The balance is second class country being heavy sandplain and high-yielding. Mr. Watson's 500 acres of wheat this season averaged 17 bushels. He had 350 acres on fallow and practises a two-year rotation. It was his experience that the light land cropped better than the heavy soil, which suffered from lack of moisture. Mr. Watson was formerly a members of the road board."

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Thursday 16 September 1948:
"Obituary - The Late William Watson. The death occurred at Carnamah on Saturday morning last, of an old Carnamah resident, in Mr. William Henry Watson, at the age of 72 years. The late Mr. Watson was born in Mallala in South Australia, and came to Western Australia in 1898. In 1915 he came to Carnamah and took up land, continuing his farming operations until the time of his death. Deceased was a member of the Carnamah Road Board from 1924 until 1928, during which period he represented the North Ward. He leaves a widow, three sons, Norman, Leonard and Arthur, and two daughters Eva Mrs. Stan O'Grady and Mavis (Mrs. Williams). A large assembly of friends and relatives attended the service conducted by the Rev. Foss in the Church Hall, Carnamah, and later gathered at the gravesite at the Winchester Cemetery to pay their last respects to the late Mr. William Henry Watson. The chief mourner were his widow, sons Norman, Len and Arthur; daughter Eva (Mrs. S. O'Grady), and sister (Mrs. E. J. Watson). The bearers were: Messrs. D. Bowman, L. Schier, L. Ferguson, W. Atkinson, G. Houston and L. W. Grierson. Pall-bearers: Messrs. J. Bowman, J. K. Forrester, J. Bentley, S. Hollingsworth, E. K. Wells, R. Niven."

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

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