Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Mary Urie Watson

Female 1866 - 1950  (84 years)


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  • Name Mary Urie Watson 
    Born 1866  Ayr, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Female 
    Religion 1881  North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    C. Presbyterian 
    Religion 1891  Ayr, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    C. Presbyterian 
    Died 13 Sep 1950  Ayr, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4
    Buried 16 Sep 1950  Ayr Cemetery, Ayr, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4
    Hall of Fame - Waterloo Region Bef 2012  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Interesting life story, education 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-96649 
    Person ID I96649  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2019 

    Father John Watson,   b. 12 Jun 1820, Glasgow, , Lanark, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Dec 1903, Ayr, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Ann Dolman,   b. 1828, , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1866, Ayr, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Family ID F14918  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1866 - AYR, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - C. Presbyterian - 1881 - North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - C. Presbyterian - 1891 - AYR, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 13 Sep 1950 - AYR, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 16 Sep 1950 - Ayr Cemetery, Ayr, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHall of Fame - Waterloo Region - Bef 2012 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Mary Urie Watson
    Mary Urie Watson

  • Notes 
    • A woman of whom the residents of Ayr have every reason to be proud was Mary Watson. In 1903, she became the first principal of the Macdonald Institute of Domestic Science and Art, a part of the Guelph Agricultural College.

      The Toronto Globe said: "No other Canadian teacher along these special lines has the standing and experience of Miss Watson."

      She graduated from the Philadelphia College of Domestic Science in 1895, taught for two years in Hamilton and then went to Columbia University, New York, graduating in Domestic Art from the Teacher's College in 1900. She later held positions in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Normal School in Hamilton.

      As part of her community service, in the Second World War she had charge of the knitting of socks, sweaters and other articles for the Ayr Women's Institute. She died in 1950.

      Waterloo Region Hall of Fame

      __________________________

      Mary Urie Watson 1866-1950

      Principal, Macdonald Institute, 1904-1920

      Mary Watson was born in Ayr, Ontario, and educated in Toronto. She moved to the United States to further her education in domestic science since no instituion in Canada provided such a program. Watson was a graduate of the Philidalphia Cooking School and also received a Teacher's College Bachelor's Diploma in Domestic Art from Columbia University in New York. After a brief teaching career in New York and Missouri, she returned to Canada in 1901 to become "lady principal" of Adelaide Hoodless' Ontario Normal School of Domestic Science and Art in Hamilton.

      In 1903, the Ontario Normal School was transferred to the newly created Macdonald Institute in Guelph. Watson was named Head of the Home Economnics Department within the Insitute and reported to the Dean, Dr. W. H. Muldrew. She succeeded Muldrew as principal of the institute after his death in 1904, quite an accomplishment for a woman in those times.

      Watson led Macdonald Institute in its early years, developing several programs and diplomas in domestic science, such as the two-year Housekeeping Certificate and popular three-month short courses. These courses focused on such topics as food and food chemistry, as well as housekeeping practices, including sewing, laundry, and household sanitation. Admission to such programs was offered first to rural women before urban applicants were considered. In 1904, the Macdonald Institute program was described in the United States as the only one that "trains housekeepers scientifically." Furthermore, these "skilled young women" were considered essential for operating modern hospitals.

      Watson played a leading role in the early years of the American Home Economics Association, serving as the third Vice-Presidential, and was the only female member of the Canadian Food Board during World War One. Above all, she was known for her devotion to the Institute's students. She developed a close relationship with them that continued long after their graduation. Watson undertook the task of organizing the Institute's first reunion in 1920.

      Historical Plaque University of Guelph

      ______________________________

      Passing of Miss Mary Urie Watson

      The last member of the family of the late John Watson, who established the John Watson Mfg. Co. Limited in Ayr over 100 years ago, passed away at her home on Wednesday, Sept. 13th, in the person of Miss Mary Urie Watson, in her 85th year. Her mother, the former Elizabeth Dolman, was a member of one of the prominent Ayr families of pioneer days. Miss Watson had been ill for several months.

      She was the first principal of MacDonald Institute, Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, going there in 1903 when the Institute was opened. She remained as principal until 1920, when she retired to live in Ayr.

      Miss Watson was a graduate of Philadelphia College of Domestic Science, and Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York City.

      Her interest in home economics dated from the time she was engaged by Mrs. Adelaide Hoodless to teach what was then termed domestic science to classes in the Hamilton Y.W.C.A. in 1897. These classes were also attended by pupils from the public schools of Hamilton so that Miss Watson was the first teacher of the first domestic science classes in Canadian schools.

      Joining the staff of the Ontario Normal School of Domestic Science and Art, Hamilton, in 1900 under Miss Hope of Boston, Miss Watson was promoted to be head of the school on Miss Hope's retirement the following year.

      In all this pioneer educational work in the Province of Ontario, Miss Watson was closely associated with Mrs. Adelaide Hoodless, Hamilton. As an instance of this, Miss Watson was the first speaker at the first regular meeting of the Stoney Creek Women's Institute, which had just been organized by Mrs. Hoodless.

      Under Miss Watson's guidance, MacDonald Institute grew from a tech-training school (which was the prime necessity at the time) to include courses for institutional housekeepers, dieticians, and short courses for rural women. Some years later, the two-year course was recognized by the University of Toronto for credit on a degree course.

      With her passing, a page of history has been turned. Miss Watson's pupils and graduates respected and loved her. To her labours in the early days of MacDonald Institute is due in no small measure the prestige which that institution enjoys.

      During the first world war, Miss Watson was the only woman appointed to the Canadian Food Board. In July of this year, she was made honourary member of the Canadian Home Economics Association and the Canadian Dietetic Association.

      In world war two, Miss Watson was in charge of the knitting activities of the women of Ayr and community.

      She is survived by two nieces: Mrs. James H. Lovett, Toronto and Mrs. William Gerard, Georgetown, California; and two nephews, A. Wyllie Watson, Ayr and John Bryant, Sacramento, California.

      The Funeral

      The funeral, which took place on Saturday afternoon at 3: 30 o'clock to the Ayr Cemetery, was largely attended. The services were in charge of Rev. W. D. Goodger, pastor of Knox United Church, and the pallbearers were: Charles Inglis, Toronto; J. C. Swan, Ayr; Prof. Shutt, Guelph; John Henderson, Ayr; Dr. Albert J. Hobbie, Lewiston, N.Y.; and Lachlan Arthur, Hamilton.

      Among those attending the funeral were: Dr. Margaret McCready, Principal of MacDonald Institute, Guelph; Prof. Bell of Guelph, who represented the various alumni associated with MacDonald Institute and the O.A.C.; also many former students and friends from Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph, Galt and Paris.

      The Ayr News Sep 21 1950 pg 1

  • Sources 
    1. [S205] Census - ON, Waterloo, North Dumfries - 1881, North Div. 2 Page 79.

    2. [S367] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Ayr - Ayr Public CC#4489 Internet Link .
      Mary Urie/ wife of/ John Watson/ died Apr. 5th 1851/ aged 24 Yrs. / Elizabeth Dolman Watson/ died Oct. 29th 1944/ aged 78 years/ Mary Urie Watson/ died Sept. 13th 1950/ aged 84 years/ Alfred Edward Watson/ died Feb. 26th 1943/ aged 83 years/ Jennie Wyllie

    3. [S564] Census - ON, Waterloo, Ayr - 1891, pg 10.

    4. [S367] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Ayr - Ayr Public CC#4489 Internet Link .
      [Front-Northeast] Mary Urie/ wife of/ John Watson/ died Apl. 5th 1851/ aged 24 Yrs./ Elizabeth Dolman Watson/ died Oct. 29th 1944/ aged 78 years/ Mary Urie Watson/ died Sept. 13th 1950/ aged 84 years/ Alfred Edward Watson/ died Feb. 26th 1943/ aged 83 years/ Jennie Wyllie/ Wife of/ Alfred E. Watson/ Died June 19th 1898/ Aged 35 Years/ Helena Alma Quance/ Wife of/ A. Wyllie Watson/ Died July 31st 1949.
      [Left-Southwest] John Watson/ born at/ Glasgow, Scotland/ June 12th 1820,/ died/ Dec. 14th 1903,/ aged 83 years, 6 Mos./ Elizabeth Ann Dolman/ wife of John Watson/ died Sep. 12th 1866;/ aged 37 Yrs./ H. McKallor/ wife of/ John Watson/ died July 26th 1888/ aged 61 Yrs./ William Dolman Watson/ Died April 15, 1907/ Aged 54 Y'rs./ Jessie Murray Watson/ died March 23, 1947/ aged 89 years/ Watson
      [Back-Southeast] Children of John Watson/ Robert/ died Jan. 13th 1860/ aged 5 Yrs. & 5 Mos./ Anna Maria/ died Jan. 19th 1860/ aged 2 Yrs./ Charles Jerome/ died Aug. 24th 1869/ aged 11 Mos. & 17 Dys./ James Hillman/ died Nov. 3rd 1874/ aged 18 Yrs. & 9 Mos./ Margaret/ Sister of John Watson/ Died May 19th 1873/ Aged 45 Yrs./ Emily B. U. Watson/ Wife of/ Charles F. Bryant/ Died May 23rd 1888/ Aged 25 Years.
      [Right-Northwest] Sara Margaret Watson/ died Jan. 13, 1988/ aged 91 years/ Alfred Wyllie Watson/ died Sept. 20, 1965/ aged 68 years/ Daisy Ellen Watson/ only daughter of/ Margaret and John G. Watson/ died Feb. 18th 1901/ aged 23 years/ John William Watson/ only son of/ Margaret and John G. Watson/ Died July 14th 1945/ Aged 73 Years/ John George Watson/ Died Oct. 11th 1918/ Aged 71 Years/ Margaret Boyd Hall/ Wife of/ John G. Watson/ Died Dec. 22, 1928/ in Her 80th Year.

    5. [S220] Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.