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James Watson (1900-1959)
Stanley William Watson (1926-1959)
William H. L. "Bill" Hough (1925-1959)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, June 11, 1959

Headline: Triple Tragedy Stuns Territory, 1959

    Shock and sadness descended upon the territory Saturday, clouding the sunny weekend and bringing grief throughout the Yukon. Dead in a triple tragedy at Pine Lake were Reverend Stanley Watson, 33, of Haines Junction; his father, James Watson, 58, and Bill Hough, 34, superintendent of the experimental farm at Mile 1019.

    The trio were drowned on a fishing trip when, apparently, their 12-foot, fibreglassed boat capsized. The numbing cold of the water prevented them from swimming to shore and the small boat did not float to provide a place of refuge.

    Pine Lake is a few miles from Haines Junction on the Alaska Highway.It is a fishing spot frequented by many Junction residents.

    The boat was found in about 12 feet of water, the prow just showing above the surface. It had been powered by a three-horsepower motor. Evidence indicated the men had finished fishing and were about to return to shore. The bodies were recovered by searchers from the Junction.

    Funeral services for Reverend Watson were held at Haines Junction at 7:30 pm yesterday. Rites for Mr. Hough will be held in Chesterfield, Ontario. A memorial service for the agriculturalist was also held at the Junction.

    Masonic rites were held in Whitehorse for Mr. Watson senior at 2:30 this afternoon.


    Bill Hough was born August 18, 1925. After being educated at Chesterfield Public School and highschool he joined the army. Leaving the army, he entered Ontario Agricultural College where he graduated with a BSc. in animal husbandry. After one year wth the department of agriculture he returned to University, graduating from Cornell University with a MSc. in animal physiology.

    He spent two years in Ottawa with the civil service then came north in June of 1956 to take the post of superintendent of the experimental farm at 1019.

    During his term there he served as magistrate and coroner for two years.

    He was a member of the Professional Institute, the Agricultural Institute of Canada and of the Masons.

    President of the Community Club in 1957, he was a director of the organization in 1958 as well.

    On the threshold of a promising career, his abilities were summed up by Commissioner F. H. Collings who said "he was a civil servant of their very highest type, keen-minded dedicated and enthusiastic."

    Surviving are his wife, Eileen; daughter, Wendy and son, Thomas.


    Stanley William Watson was born January 13, 1926 at Saidpore, Bengal, India. During the war, he served with the Royal Navy, as a telegraphist.

    He joined the Hudson Bay Company in England and came out to Canada, working up from clerk to manager at Fort Rigly in July 1951. He also worked with the HBC in Fort Smith and Aklavik.

    He met Mrs. Watson, the former Elsie Skirten of Calgary, in Aklavik. The couple worked at the Old Sun School at Gleichen, Alberta and St. Michaels School at Alert Bay before coming to the Yukon.

    After graduating in 1957 from Emmanuel College, Stanley Watson was ordained a deacon on May 30.

    While on the highway as a student, he started building St. Christopher's church at Haines Junction. At this church, he was ordained a priest on November 1, 1957 by Bishop Greenwood. Since then, the Rev. Watson was rector in charge.

    Besides his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Lynn, 14, Jeanette, 2½, and Mary, one year.


    James Watson was born at Uthall, Scotland in August of 1900. When he was 17, he joined the Armed Services and was posted to India. Later he returned to Scotland to work in the coal mines for several years.

    He married for the second time in 1956.

    In March 1958. Mr. and Mrs. Watson flew to the Yukon to work at the Experimental Farm.

    A life member of the Torrie lodge in Scotland, Mr. Watson was also affiliated with the Whitehorse Masonic lodge. Besides his wife, he is survived by three sons, Ronald James, 35; Ernest Allen, 31, both of Oakley, Fife, Scotland, and Geoffrey, 26, of Sarnia, Ontario.

    At the funeral today Pallbearers were Const. Robert Scott, Const. Graham George, John Backe, Corp. R.H. Martin, Glenn Harris and Al Prince.