Robert Watson

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Sir Daniel Hunter McMillan, Sir William Whyte and Senator Robert Watson, were some of the First Major Shareholders of the M & S Coal Company Ltd.

Watson's Genealogy

Honourable Robert “Bob” Wilfred Watson
b- Apr 29, 1853 in Elora, Wellington Co., ON
d- May 19, 1920, at Brandon MB, age 76
died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Frances Mary McGregor
He suffered a paralytic stroke a short time earlier at home in Portage La Prairie.

Father- George W. Watson
b- Edinburgh Scotland
d- bef 1881
Owned a Lime Kiln by the river, in Elora, ON
came from Edinburgh Scotland in 1847

Mother- Elizabeth Watson, nee McDonald
b- Inverness Scotland
d- aft 1881
1881 living as a widow with Robert Watson family in Portage

married Isabelle “Isabel” “Belle” Brown, July 15, 1880
b- Apr 16, 1861 in 1901 census, May 1860 in 1911 census
daughter of Duncan Brown of Lobo, ON

Robert and Isabel had 4 daughters and 2 sons:

1. Elizabeth Mabel “Bessie” Watson
b- Mar 30, 1881, in Portage La Prairie, MB
married Arthur Sidney Swinford, July 14, 1905 in Portage La Prairie, MB
lived in Winnipeg in 1929

2. Florence Eleanor Watson
b- Feb 7, 1883, in Portage La Prairie, MB
d- 1933
married Dr. Robert Ollerenshaw, M.D., F.R.C.S
b- 1882 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England
d- 1948
father- George Ollerenshaw, J.P. , of Glossop
they lived in Didsbury, Manchester England
she was still at home in 1911 census

3. Alice Isabel Watson
b- Apr 7, 1886 in MB
d- aft 1910
married William Henry Barker, Nov 12, 1910 in Portage La Prairie, MB
d- aft 1910
Living in Chicago IL, in 1929

4. Frances Mary “Frankie” Watson
(Mary Francis Watson in one source)
b- Sept 3, 1891 in Portage La Prairie, MB
d- aft 1946
married James Hilton M. McGregor, Apr 15, 1916, in Portage La Prairie, MB
b- bef 1900
d- bef 1936
He was the son of James Duncan McGregor, (1860-1935)
who was appointed Lieutenant Governor of MB (1929-1934).

James lived in Brandon MB in 1929, 1932 in Winnipeg MB
James was living in Brandon when they were married
Frankie was living at home in 1911
While a widow in 1936, she bought property at 227 Minnesota St., in Collingwood ON, from the Alfred Knight estate.
She sold this in 1946, so still living then.
Frankie and James, had a son, James Duncan McGregor, who was engaged July 31, 1942, to Margaret Eleanor Moyle, daughter of Cecil A. Moyle

5. Robert J. Watson (Jr.)
b- Sept 3, 1894 in MB
d- Oct 6, 1917 in Brandon MB,
(age 46 in one record, which doesn't add up to marriage date of mother/father)
(died 3 yrs before his father)

6. Wilfred Watson
b- Aug 1895 per 1911 census
d- aft 1911

Sibling- 1 I know of

Brother- John Watson
b- 1856 in ON (age 25 in 1881)
married to Jennet Watson
b- 1852 (age 29 in 1881)
they had 2 children by 1881
Jessie Watson, b-1873 in ON
George Watson- b- 1868 in ON

Robert Watson Bio

Received his education at Public School, Salem, Elora, Wellington Co., ON

President of the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Coal Co.

A millwright by trade, Came to Manitoba in 1876
Age 23 he travelled west and spent all his money erecting Flour Mills at Portage La Prairie, and Stonewall, MB
One of Portage La Prairie’s pioneer businessmen, and member of the Town Council in 1881 for 2 years as Alderman.

May 23, 1884, Director of the Portage Knitting Co.

1886 he went into partnership with his brother John Watson, under the name, “R & J Watson”, and operated a Machine Shop and Planning Mill, as well as other things.
John Watson was a Machinist.

Name was on list of petitioners to incorporate the Emerson and North Western Railway Co., May 18, 1888

May 30, 1882, Director of the Portage La Prairie Street Railway Company

Lived at 139 Dufferin Avenue E. in Portage La Prairie, just prior to his death. Funeral was held in Portage La Prairie

MP for Marquette, elected in 1882, remaining for 10 years. At one time, the only Liberal MP in the west.
1892 elected to MB Legislature, became Minister of Public Works.
made a Senator Jan 1900, by the Earl of Minto.
1911 Him and his wife attended the Coronation in London of King George and Queen Mary. One of 5 Senators chosen to attend.

Watson SK. incorporated in 1908, named after Senator Robert Watson, who originally owned the land the town is on

President Central Electric Light Company Ltd. in Portage La Prairie

He had many Western land grants, lots of lots in Portage La Prairie, then some in region I am interested in
one is especially interesting, S part, Sec 20, Tsp 2, Rge 6, W2
shown as Robert Watson, et al- the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Coal Co., complete with Mineral Rights

also SW, Sec 28, Tsp 21, Rge 6, W2 with just his name on it. plus many, many more.

When he was Minister of Public Works in the Greenaway Government in MB
Sir Daniel Hunter McMillan was Provincial Treasurer and Land Commissioner
there is the connection for the M&S coal mine ownership.


  • Last modified: 2017/10/21 12:31
  • by dlgent