John Goodman "Gravity" Watson was born in 1858. He and his wife came west in 1899 and arrived in Calgary in 1905. A stonemason by trade, Watson started a quarry on the south side of the Bow River where he manufactured sandstone and terra cotta bricks. He employed several Scottish masons and legend has it that on warm summer evenings the locals listened to them singing to the sound of bagpipes as they worked. Stone from the quarry was used in the construction of Calgary buildings including old city hall and Central Collegiate (Dr. Carl Safron Centre).
Watson was an enthusiastic booster of Calgary and in 1906 was elected to City Council. He served as alderman 1906-1909 and 1910 to 1912. He became known as "Gravity" for his role in promoting and developing Calgary’s first gravity water system. Watson was an enthusiastic supporter of gas development in Turner Valley. According to city files, "he was a firm believer in the City owning and controlling its supply of natural gas and promoted without success the idea that the city drill its own wells."
John Watson retired to Vancouver and died there in 1927.