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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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WATT, GEORGE (1852-1941)

WATT, GEORGE, ship chandler and broker, collector of customs, and consular agent; b. Newcastle, 20 Jan 1852, s/o Patrick Watt and Agnes Mitchell; m. 1879, Elizabeth Grant Habberly, d/o Samuel Habberly (a well-off trader of English birth who came to Chatham in 1860 by way of Boston) and Lydia E. Blackstock; d. Chatham, 25 Sep 1941.

George Watt received his schooling at the Newcastle Grammar School under John Hardie, and at Harkins Academy under John Harper. For several years prior to his marriage he was in partnership in a general merchandising business in Newcastle with his brother William Watt. Afterwards, he moved to his wife's hometown of Chatham and opened a ship chandlery and ship brokerage and insurance agency. He engaged in this business with much success until 1905, when he was appointed collector of customs and excise for Chatham. He was superannuated in 1925.

In 1885 Watt was named Italian consular agent for the four northeastern counties of New Brunswick. He sat on the County Council for many years and was a member in 1896 of the first Chatham Town Council. He failed in a bid for the mayoralty in 1901 but was a councillor for a total of eight years. He was active in Liberal party politics and was president of the County Liberal Association. He served a term as president of the Chatham Board of Trade and was a member of the County Board of Health. In 1902 he was a founding director of the Miramichi Exhibition Association, and he was elected as its first president (1902-04). The association had a difficult start because its exhibition building, on which construction was started in 1902, was blown down in a gale, but a new structure arose in 1903. Watt continued as a director and later served a second term as president (1917-20). In 1908, when a branch of the New Brunswick Fish, Forest, and Game Protective Association was formed at Chatham, he was elected president.

Watt and his wife, Elizabeth G. Habberly, were the parents of one daughter, Frances A. Watt, the wife of Allison A. Ritchie, MD, and following his early death, of Frederick M. Tweedie.

Sources

[b] church records [m] Times 18 Apr 1879 [d] Commercial World 25 Sep 1941 / Advance 18 Apr 1901, 23 Jun 1904; Advocate 19 Apr 1905, 31 Mar 1925; Biog. Review NB; Fraser (C); MacMillan; PPMP; World 10 Oct 1885


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