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 William Frisbie Watrous

William Frisbie Watrous

Birth
Bridgewater Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 18 Jul 1910 (aged 84)
Fort Collins, Larimer County, Colorado, USA
Burial Fort Collins, Larimer County, Colorado, USA
Plot D 30 1
Memorial ID 65659442 · View Source
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Fort Collins Weekly Courier July 21, 1910 p14
WILLIAM F. WATROUSE
A COLORADO PIONEER
DIES AT RIPE AGE
Was a Native of Pennsylvania and Among the Early settlers of Northeastern Wisconsin, Where He Located in 1849.

FUNERAL WEDNESDAY AT THE FAMILY RESIDENCE

The vernable William F. Watrous closed his eyes in death at 4:26 o'clock on Monday afternoon, July 18, 1910, at the family home, 115 Shields street, this city. He had been gradually failing in health and strength for more than a year, so that the end, though sad, was not unexpected. On Friday of last week he sank into unconsciousness and remained in that condition until death ensued on the day and hour named.
Mr. Watrous was born August 10, 1825, in Bridgewater, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and was, therefore, nearly 85 years of age. When six years old his father moved the family to a farm in Broome county, New York, in the valley of the Susquehanna river, whre the boy grew to manhood's estate. He received his education in the public schools of New York and at a neighboring academy. On November 4th, 1847, he was united in marriage with Miss Jane B. Carrier, who, with four children, two sons and two daughters, survive him. The children's names and residences are Mrs. Alice M. Patterson, widow of the late A. H. Patterson, of Pueblo; William A. Watrous of Wheatland, Wyoming; Frank L. Watrous and Miss Anna Watrous of Fort Collins. His aged companion and youngest son and daughter were at his bedside when the summons came.
In the fall of 1849 Mr. Watrous and his wife and little daughter Alice migrated to Wisconsin, and located in the unbroken forests of Charlestown, Calumet county. Young and ambitious and strong of heart he worked with undaunted courage and cheering hopes to carve out a home for himself and family. A rude log cabin furnished them a dwelling place for several years and until the forests had been cleared away and his fields burdened with the harvest, gave assurance of something better, then it was that a comfortable and substantial farm house, surrounded by barns, a carriage house and other accessories of comfort and convenience, took the place of the log cabin that had sheltered them so long. Here as later in Colorado, Mr. Watrous took an active interest in fruit growing and was the first to demonstrate that apples and all the hardy kinds of fruit could be grown with success in Northeastern Wisconsin. In the fall of 1864 he old his Calumet county farm and moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where he engaged quite extensively in fruit growing and market gardening, remaining here until the winter of 1871, when he came with his family to Larimer county, which had since been his home. He purchased a farm situated in the Cache la Poudre valley about three miles northwest of Fort Collins and built himself a house at the corner of College avenue and West Myrtle street. In 1882 he sold the most of his town property and moved to a fruit farm situated on the river bank about one mile northwest of Fort Collins on which he lived until about two years ago when increasing years with their physical burdens admonished him to retire from active business pursuits. Since then, for a portion of the time the family has lived at 115 Shields street this city.
From early manhood Mr. Watrous took an active interest in public affairs and there were but few years of his life in Wisconsin that he did not hold some official position either in town or county, always with credit to himself and satisfaction to the people. In 1862 he represented his county in Wisconsin legislature, and for several years in succession he was chairman of the town board of supervisors which made him also a member of the board of county supervisors. Since coming to Larimer county in 1871 he has been a public spirited, progressive citizen always among the foremost in assiting whith energy, pen and purse, any enterprise that promised to advance the material, social, educational and moral interests of his chosen home. In March 1877 Governor Routt appointed him a member of the first state board of agriculture, a position he occupied until April 1891, a period of fourteen years. He was elected president at the first meeting of that board and continued to preside over its meetings for a period of nearly ten years. It was during his administration that the main college building and various other buildings connected therewith were erected. He devoted a great deal of time and contributed largely from his own pourse to the upbuilding of that institution. When the main building was ready to use and it was desired to open school in the spring of 1879, it was found that there was no public money to be obtained for that purpose until later in the season. To get over this difficulty Mr. Watrous and the late John J. Ryan, who was also a member of the board of agriculture, went to Denver and borrowed $3,000 at a bank on the strength of their joint note, and with this money the school was opened and started off on its career of usefulness. After the taxes had been collected later on the note was paid off out of College funds.
In the spring of 1882 he was elected a member of the board of town trustees, which contracted for and supervised the construction of Fort Collins' first system of water works, and his name with the other members of the board is engraved on a stone tablet inserted in the front wall of the old pump house.
He was one of the pioneers in fruit growing in Colorado, sharing that honor with the late J. S. McClelland, A. N. Hogg and Z. C. Plummer, and his and their success in that direction gave encouragement to hundreds of others in Larimer county, who now boast of fine orchards and an abundance of health giving and health preserving fruits.
Mr. Watrous experienced religion in early life and became a member of the Baptist church, but had not affiliated with that or any other church organization since coming to Colorado. He was nevertheless a true Christian gentleman, religiously following the scriptural injunction of doing unto others as he would have them do unto him. He was honest in his dealings with his fellowmen. He never during all of his long life knowingly wronged any person out of a penny, always carefully rendering unto Ceasar the things that were Ceasar's. He was firm in his conviction concerning right and wrong and invaribly pursued the course that to him seemed right let the consequences be what they might, and was tolerant of the opinions of others.
A pioneer citizen, a just, upright man, good neighbor and friend sank to eternal rest when William F. Watrous closed his eyes in death.
The funeral will be held from the family residence at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, Rev. W. T. Milliken officiating.


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  • Created by: Thomas L. Harman
  • Added: 15 Feb 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 65659442
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Frisbie Watrous (10 Aug 1825–18 Jul 1910), Find A Grave Memorial no. 65659442, citing Grandview Cemetery, Fort Collins, Larimer County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Thomas L. Harman (contributor 46867870) .