THE historian of Closeburn is a native of that highly historic and romantic Dumfriesshire parish. He was born in 1845 and educated in the Wallace Hall Academy, founded byJohn Wallace of Closeburn, a Glasgow merchant, in 1723. The rector in Mr. Watson's time was Dr. Crawford Tait Ramage, who at an earlier day had been tutor to Archbishop Tait.
Mr. Watson began business life in the office of Messrs William Baird & Co., but soon passed into the Caledonian Railway Company's service. He became station-master successively at Cambuslang, Gartsherrie, and Mossend, then in 1876 was appointed first agent at Stobcross goods and mineral station. Next he became successively head of the traffic canvassing department and plant superintendent, and in January, 1901, received his present appointment of District Superintendent. His district - from Beattock in the south to Greenhill in the north, including the mineral districts of Motherwell, Hamilton, and Lesmahagow, and the coast lines to Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Ardrossan, and Balloch - is the busiest and most important of the Caledonian system; nevertheless Mr. Watson finds time to indulge his taste for the finer things oflocal history and literature. His "History of Closeburn" is one of those invaluable parish records which preserve with loving care the local memories, and become most important material for future national history. Of these it is to be wished we possessed more. Mr. Watson is also an eloquent lecturer, and a frequent contributor to the press on his favourite subjects, and when President of the Glasgow Dumfriesshire Society in 1905, he delivered an address, on the great men connected with the county, which will be long remembered.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)