Memorable Manitobans: Melford Seldon Watson (1890-1979)
Lawyer, publisher, judge.
Born at Nelson on 13 June 1890, son of Linneus Watson (1864-1951) and Mary Catherine Ruthven (1865-1961), he was educated at Belmont School, Morden High School, and the University of Manitoba. He received an LLB degree in 1915 and commenced the practice of law at Deloraine as a partner in the firm of George and Watson. They were solicitors for the Rural Municipality of Brenda, Rural Municipality of Winchester, Town of Deloraine, and Dominion Bank. They also published the Deloraine Times and Waskada News, and owned and operated the Deloraine Theatre. In 1936 he became the official receiver for the Farmers Creditors Arrangement Act and, in 1941, moved to Winnipeg to become administrator of succession duties for the Manitoba government. He left the civil service in 1946 to become the first judge of the Winnipeg Family Court, remaining in the position until retirement in 1960.
On 27 June 1917, he married Cleta May Rumball (1890-1981, daughter of Mark C. Rumball) at Morden and they had two children: Enid Carol Watson (1918-2008, wife of Henry “Monty” Moncrief) and Douglas Ruthven Watson (1922-2011). He was a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Manitoba Bar Association, Deloraine School Board, Masonic Lodge (Deloraine), Canadian Press Association, Canadian Weekly Newspaper Association (President of Manitoba Division, 1925), Deloraine United Church, and Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. His recreations included curling and tennis.
He died at Winnipeg on 26 November 1979 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Obituary [Linneus Watson], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 December 1951, page 20.
Obituary [Mary C. Watson], Winnipeg Tribune, 16 November 1961, page 32.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 November 1979, page 80.
We thank Darryl Toews and Keith Wilson for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 September 2022