Biography of George Watson

George Watson, born in 1851 in Ontario, Canada, is a notable progressive farmer in Davison and Hanson counties, South Dakota. Son of Ebenezer and Margaret (Sims) Watson, he moved to Rockford, Iowa, in 1873, and later to Davison County, Dakota Territory, in 1879, where he homesteaded government land. Watson now owns a 720-acre farm, primarily cultivating corn and oats, and raising Shorthorn cattle and Poland-China hogs. A staunch Republican, he served in the state legislature in 1893. He and his wife, Livonia Phelps, married on October 25, 1883, have six children: Florence, Robert, Frances, Earl, Richard, and Herbert. They are members of the Baptist Church in Mitchell.


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 devoted 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. He then 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. Each year he ships an average of four carloads of cattle to the eastern markets, 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 now being 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 Houston 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.

Source

Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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