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Joseph WATSON 1832 - 1897

      Joseph WATSON was born to Ann Catherine EVANS (1807 - ?) and posthumously to Thomas FARMER (1808 - 1832) on the 2 October 1832.
      His mother remarried to William WATSON (1796 - 1843) in 1832 and Joseph appears to have taken his name.
      Joseph WATSON was married on the 6 February 1856 to Ann ARNOLD (1836 - 1915).
      Their children were:
  1. James 1856
  2. Sarah Ann 1858
  3. William 1860
  4. Louisa (1862 - 1938)
  5. Alexander Joseph (1865 - 1937)
  6. Thomas (1866 - 1951)
  7. Charles (1868 - 1892)
  8. Annie (1870 - 1944)
  9. ?Ann Maria (baptised 1872)
  10. Alice Elizabeth (1872 - 1947)
  11. Samuel John (1875 - 1965)
  12. Minnie 1890
      Joseph WATSON was a Police Constable at Chapman Valley, Greenough, Strawberry and Irwin.
      In 1859 he had 50 acres of land at Irwin. Also in 1859 he investigated the murder of BILLAMARRA and this eventually led to the execution of Richard BIBBY later that year.
      In 1862 John Sydney DAVIS's flocks at KOCKATEA were attacked and his shepherds were held as prisoners for some days, the natives daring them to move, even to get food. Large numbers of sheep were killed. [INQUIRER 9/4/1862]. After some days the attackers became suspicious and left. Eleven of them were caught by a group of men headed by PC WATSON. They were sent to Fremantle en route to Rottnest Island and the INQUIRER noted that they were in a state of perfect nakedness......this is not the first time the water police have been obliged to find some covers to drape over them [INQUIRER 9/4/1862].
      In 1863 WATSON was sent to establish a police station at Strawberry and he took his wife and four children with him. They built a small pug cottage on the right bank of the Irwin River, near Strawberry Island.
      His opinion then of the "troublesome" aboriginals was that they were from inland, near Mt Magnet.
      During 1863 WATSON reported that while he was out on patrol at the beginning of the dry season, he had met a number of men moving overland to the Greenough Flats and Champion Bay, in search of work.
      In January of 1864 WATSON reported that the "natives were wild and were attacking cattle and sheep. The men being encouraged by the women to do it because they did not believe that they would be punished if they were caught."
      In February of 1864 he with his Native Constable and two aboriginal assistants investigated the death of John LEWIS at KOCKATEA SPRING. On the 29th they came upon the group and captured WILLAKA, MULKABY and NELGIR. JEENANGA escaped and was tracked down to a thicket where he made a stand with his spears. During the ensuing fight, the Native Constable was speared through the palm. WATSON then rode his horse at JEENANGA, knocking him down, then jumped off and after about ten minutes subdued him. [CSR 547, 7/3/1864].
      After he was secured WATSON settled him and the other prisoners, turned the horses out, and prepared some tea. Shortly after, about fifty natives appeared, beginning about two hundred yards away. [CSR 547, 7/3/1864] The horses were then tied up and the attackers began throwing spears, whereupon shots were fired in return, wounding some. At dark the camp was shifted about two miles away and a probable attack on the old site was heard about 10pm. At 4am the police party set out for Champion Bay, hearing pursuit at 7am, but they were not overtaken and making the prisoners run, they reached the Bay about 4pm. He found some of LEWIS's possessions on the prisoners. [CSR 547, 7/3/1864]
      For this WATSON received an award of 10 pounds and his helpers appear to have received 3 pounds for one and one pound each for the other two.
      After Thomas BOTT was speared at RUDD's station at BUTTERABY on the 22 August 1864, WATSON with Constables Samuel FARMER (his brother) and Robert BIRD accompanied by Native Constable trackers including BEN, set out to find the culprits.
      On the 29 September 1864 the police party arrested WANGAYAKOO, YOURMACARRA, GARDER, CHARLACARRA and WILLIAKARRA about 100 to 120 miles from BUTTERABY and they were charged with the offence.
      RUDD's decomposing body was found at BUTTERABY on the 3 October 1864 by Constable BIRD and his assistant when they went ahead to get fresh supplies for the rest of the party, that arrived the next day.
      The prisoners recognised and named the owners of the tracks found around the hut. [PG 14/1/1865]
      After the party delivered the prisoners to the coast, WATSON set out again on the 10 October 1864 on the tracks of RUDD's killers. On 27 October 1864 he arrested MUMBLEBY, BELA his wife and BEEJA - BEEJA, a 14 year old girl, about one hundred miles east of BUTTERABY.
      WATSON was present at BUTTERABY on the 28 January 1865 for the execution of those convicted of the murder of BOTT. [INQUIRER 15/2/1865]
      During 1865 WATSON acted as a guide for HAMMERSLEY & Co's expedition to evaluate the land that he and his brother Samuel had traversed during their campaigns.
      In 1868 in company with BEN, he found the body of KOOR-KOOR who had been killed by six Irwin aboriginal men (see COOCOONQUERT etc) and arrested them on the 6 March 1868. [INQUIRER 8/7/1868]
      WATSON's house was destroyed in the Irwin floods of 1872.
      During one of his investigations his native assistant Tommy MOUL, a New Norcia man, was murdered 280 miles east of Geraldton in c1875 by WANABA alias TOMMY, WADGAGARY, BEN and another aborigine, who were all charged and sentenced to death. BEN and the unnamed aborigine had their sentences commuted but the first two were probably executed on the 12 April 1875.
      WATSON was retrenched as a sergeant from the Police on the 1 July 1878 with a gratuity of 208 pounds 10 shillings and 10 pence.
      Henry BROAD complained to the Commissioner of Crown Lands in a letter of 1880 about Victoria Location 1315 which he thought was on his lease A3369, granted in his name in 1878 around MUTHINGOOTHA SPRING, but was in fact on Joseph WATSON's lease A2052 granted the previous year. There was a well sunk there named MULLONCOOLA or BROAD'S WELL, and when BROAD found out that the freehold title controlling the water didn't control the grazing and was in fact in an area leased to WATSON it upset his plans of consolidation.
      WATSON also held adjoining Lease A2904 in c1880.
      Lease A2052 was transferred to McKenzie GRANT in 1888.
      Joseph WATSON died on the 24 May 1897.
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