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Watson, Albert Durrant
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8 Jan. 1859-3 May 1926
Albert Durrant Watson was a physician, astronomer, author, and psychical researcher; b. 8 Jan. 1859 in Dixie (Mississauga), Upper Canada, son of William Youle Watson and Mary Ann Aldred; m. 23 Sept. 1885 Sarah Anne Grimshaw Clare (d. 13 March 1937) in Toronto, and they had two daughters and five sons.
Watson studied at the Toronto Normal School and taught for a short period at Malton (Mississauga) and Oakville before turning to the study of medicine. He obtained an md from Victoria College, Cobourg, in 1883. In 1890 he would receive another, ad eundem, from the University of Toronto in recognition of his graduation as a licentiate from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1883. He successfully practised medicine for more than four decades, serving on staff at three hospitals, including Toronto Western.
In the early 1900s, Watson was a member of the Euclid Avenue Church in Toronto, the Toronto Conference, the General Conference, the Board of Missions, and the executive of the Methodist Social Union of Toronto, and he served as treasurer of the church’s department of temperance and moral reform. Watson became a well-known psychic researcher, holding regular seances and writing of his work, and served as president of the Association for Psychical Research of Canada. In 1920, he converted to the Baha'i faith.
Watson died in Toronto on 3 May 1926.
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Revised 28 Feb. 2018
Biographical sketch based on Debra Barr and Walter Meyer zu Erpen, “WATSON, ALBERT DURRANT,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 15, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed February 28, 2018, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/watson_albert_durrant_15E.html.