Biography of George W. Watson
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





GEORGE W. WATSON. - It would be difficult to mention any important progressive movement of permanent value to the industrial, commercial or educational advancement of Eureka that has not received, at some period in its development, the practical cooperation of George W. Watson, who as president of the Eureka Foundry Company, part owner of the American Shoe Company and a leading member of the local group of realty men, has contributed variously but effectively and efficiently to civic growth. Nature adapted him for commercial pursuits, thorough apprenticeship prepared him for industrialism, habits of close observation fitted him for skilled work, while the possession of keen mental faculties enabled him to develop his varied talents not only to his personal advantage, but also in the interests of the community. Through long residence in Eureka and close, continuous study of property conditions, he is an expert judge of values and exceptionally well qualified to handle real estate deals with intelligence and discretion.

Although a native of Scranton, Pa., Mr. Watson passed his early life mostly on a farm near Flemington, N. J. At the age of eighteen he went to Boone, Iowa, where he became an apprentice as a machinist and remained until he had mastered the trade. Upon returning east he secured employment in his native city of Scranton, where he worked as a machinist in the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western and Lehigh Valley Railroad shops, also in the shops of the Dixon Manufacturing Company, large locomotive works. The year 1889 found him in California, where he settled at once in Eureka. Working as a machinist successively for the Humboldt Iron Works, the Vance mill and the old Excelsior mill, he finally bought the Humboldt Iron Works, which he operated for ten years and then sold it to the Eureka Foundry Company. After a service of four years as chief engineer for the Eureka Lighting Company he bought an interest in the California Iron Works of Eureka and served as president of the company operating the plant. Upon the consolidation of the concern with the Eureka Foundry Company he became president, which position he still holds. Under his oversight a large business has been developed that gives steady employment to a number of skilled men. In addition to the presidency of the foundry company, he with a brother, John G. Watson, conducts the American shoe store at No. 313 F street, Eureka, and he also maintains a real estate and insurance office in the store.

The marriage of Mr. Watson in Eureka in 1890 united him with Miss. Millie Langford, a native of Scranton, Pa. They are the parents of three children, all born in Humboldt county, namely: Eunice J., who has received an excellent education and at present is engaged in teaching school; Charles, a graduate of the California State Agricultural College at Davis; and Allan, attending the University of California. The family hold membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Eureka, in the maintenance and support of which Mr. Watson is a leader, as he is also in the local temperance movement and other measures that he believes to be for the permanent religious, moral or general welfare of city and county. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is the only fraternal organization with which he holds membership, being a member of Humboldt Lodge No. 77, I. O. O. F. Active in the associations for exploiting the natural advantages of Humboldt county, he is a member of the Eureka Development Association and the Eureka Chamber of Commerce. Direct in his dealings with his fellowmen, optimistic concerning the future of this section of the state and glad to be a part of the forward work of development, his long life in Humboldt county furnishes an example of stanch fidelity to the duties of citizenship and a growing community spirit of mutual helpfulness.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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