b.11 Jun 1831 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States
d.10 Feb 1914 Stockton, San Joaquin, California, United States
Facts and Events
"Residing in Stockton since 1870, and in California since 1850. He received a common-school education and helped on his father's farm until he set out for California in 1850. He left New York April 30, by the steamer Georgia to Havana, thence by the steamer Falcon to Chagres, then by boat to Gorgona, and from that point overland to Panama, whence he came by a sailing vessel to San Francisco, arriving on the 6th of August, 1850. He went to mining in Tuolumne County and continued in that line of work seven years. Among other adventures he embarked with fifteen others in quartz mining at Carson Hill, Calaveras County, and lost money in the enterprise. He then engaged in raising hay, below Chinese Camp, about seventeen miles from Sonora, and sold some of his product at good prices. He once saw some hay sold there at $150 a ton. About 1860 he engaged in hog-raising, which he continued for several years, together with other stock, in the later years. Meanwhile, he went East by the Nicaragua route in 1863 to be married. Mr. and Mrs. Watrous set out for California a few weeks after their marriage, leaving New York in October, and arriving by way of Panama and San Francisco in Chinese Camp, Tuolumne County, November 13, 1863. Here Mr. Watrous resumed his stock-raising pursuits, and in November, 1870, took up his residence in Stockton, still continuing to trade in hogs and sheep for a few years. He also bought and sold lands in this county as well as in Stanislaus, Merced, Fresno, Tulare, and Kern counties, being still the owner of 640 acres, mostly in Merced County, which are farmed by renters, and 6,000 acres in Kern County, not under cultivation. He is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Society of California Pioneers." S1
From a biography of Abel H. Calkins (his brother-in-law):
In “1850, when in company with his brother-in law, BenJamin Watrous, he <Abel H. Calkins> started for the mines in California by the way of the Isthmus. They had secured tickets at three hundred dollars each, which insured them a passage by the second trip of a certain steamship from Panama to San Francisco; but upon their arrival at the former place it was learned that their ship would not take the passage for some months, and, as he held a written agreement with the company issuing their tickets that they should not be delayed more than two weeks,. necessary steps were taken and the agents at Panama compelled to refund three hundred dollars of the passage money. They then proceeded to their destination on board a French bark, arriving at San Francisco in the month of August.”
On 15 May 1869, Benjamin received a land grant of 160 acres in Merced County, California.
In Stockton he conducted a livery stable. He lived at 432 South Union in Stockton. Later his son took over, who also conducted a fuel and feed business.
He engaged in the wood and coal business in Stockton. Childhood friend was Horace G. Kibbe, in Massachusetts. S0191 - In Stockton, he founded a livery stable at what is now Aurora Street between Main and Market Streets.