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George Watson Biography


This biography appears on pages 761-762 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. I (1904) 

GEORGE WATSON, who was formerly a member of the state legislature, from Davison county, is one of the progressive farmers of the state, his fine landed estate being located in Davison and Hanson counties. Mr. Watson was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, in 1851, being one of the four children of Ebenezer and Margaret (Sims) Watson. The father of the subject was born and reared in Scotland, whence he emigrated to Canada as a young man, settling near Ottawa, Ontario, where he was engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1890 His wife, who was a native of Ontario, passed away in 1882, and all of their children are still living. 

The subject of this sketch was reared to the sturdy discipline of the farm, and has devotee the major portion of his life to the great basic industry of agriculture. He received a common school education and continued to reside in Ontario until 1873, when he removed to Rockford Iowa, locating in Floyd county, where he was engaged in farming until 1879, when he disposed of his interests there and came to Dakota, taking up government land in Davison county, where he has ever since maintained his home. He has added to his landed estate until he is now the owner of a finely improved farm of seven hundred and twenty acres, located in Davison and Hanson counties, about three hundred acres of the tract being under cultivation. He devotes special attention to the raising of corn, finding this more profitable than the raising of wheat, while he also devotes a number of acres to oats each year. Upon his place are to be found shorthorn cattle of high grade, while he also raises hogs, while he ships each year to the eastern markets an average of four carloads of cattle, the greater portion of which are from the thoroughbred stock which he keeps, while his herd of swine is of the Poland-China type. Upon coming to Davison county Mr. Watson took up homestead and timber claims, and this half section of 
land constituted the nucleus of his present well improved farm. He now has a fine lot of trees on his place, the same having been planted by him and being now well matured. 

In politics Mr. Watson is a staunch Republican, and he has held various local offices, while in 1893 he represented his district in the state legislature, making an excellent record in the connection. He and his wife hold membership in the Baptist church at Mitchell. They were pioneers of the county, and have the high regard of the community in which they have so long made their home. 

On the 25th of October, 1883, Mr. Watson was united in marriage to Miss Livonia Phelps, who was born and reared in Huston county, Minnesota. being a daughter of H. M. and Rebecca Phelps. Of this union have been born six children, all of whom still remain beneath the parental roof, namely: Florence, Robert, Frances, Earl, Richard and Herbert.