John Watson and Amelia Alomes
John was born on April 12, 1814. After the death of his father, William, he was left the estate of York Grove. It was mainly through his energies that York Grove was transformed into one of the best cultivated farms in Tasmania.
He married, when 35 years old, Amelia, the daughter of Robert Alomes, who was the first man as sergeant of marines under Colonel David Collins, R.M. (afterwards Lieutenant-Governor) to plant the Union Jack at Hobart Town at the spot where Risby Bros.’ mill was formerly located.
John Watson was an enthusiastic sportsman, and gained a great reputation as a marksman, and also distinguished himself as an oarsman in some of the State’s early regattas. It is said of him that he was a good father, a faithful friend, and that his hospitality was well known throughout the district. His name was a household word for miles around. Besides cultivating York Grove, he rented several adjoining farms as well as leasing Crown Land, all of which was greatly improved under his management.
He raised a family of three sons and 12 daughters.
He died on November 2, 1881. His funeral was one of the largest ever known in the district, being attended by nearly all the residents of South Arm, Sandford, and Clarence, whilst Hobart, Bellerive, and Sorell sent representatives to testify to the respect in which he was held by all. His remains were interred in the Rokeby cemetery. His wife Amelia survived him for many years, dying on September 16, 1917. His brother Thomas died on March 8, 1864, at the age of 42.