George Watson; Collector of Customs at Collingwood, was born near Aberdeen, Scotland, December 2,1828. He lost his mother when about six years old. In 1836 the remainder of the family, father and two sisters, immigrated to Upper Canada, settling on a farm in the Township of Chinguacousy, twenty miles from Toronto. George finished his education at a grammar school in Toronto; continued on the farm until 1855; then became a passenger conductor on the Northern Railway, and was in that position between eleven and twelve years, his home being at Collingwood. He left the road on account of ill health on the 4th of November,1866; on the 22nd of the same month was appointed Sub Collector at the out port of Collingwood, and when the port was made an independent one, he was appointed Collector of Customs, an office which he still holds, and in which he is very prompt and faithful.
In politics he is a Reformer, and belongs to a family of staunch Reformers, who know no “shadow of turning.” He has considerable prominence as a politician in that part of Ontario.
Mr. Watson was elected Mayor of Collingwood on the first of January, 1867, and by repeated re-elections held that office five consecutive years, when he declined serving longer at that time; but in 1877, he was again elected and served another term. He made an eminently useful chief Magistrate of the town. He is a Justice of the Peace, Surveyor and Registrar of shipping at the port, and Chairman of the Board of License Commissioners for West Simcoe, and has the reputation of being a man true to every trust imposed upon him.
In June1865, Mr. Watson married Miss Joanna Watson, daughter of John Watson of Chinguacousy, and they have one son, named George, aged twelve years.
Mr. Watson is a Presbyterian, as firm in the religion as in the political faith of his forefathers, a positive man, knowing why he believes in any tenet, and adhering to it with the utmost tenacity. In a word, he is a conscientious, honest, Scotchman, a true characteristic of “the land of brown heath and shaggy wood.”
He has earned for himself a competency sufficient to maintain his independence a trait in his character.