prestige which attaches to Carl W. Watson of Farmland is that which comes
of a line of succession in business. Mr. Watson is the leading baker and
grocer of Farmland, and the enterprise with which he is associated extends back
to the days of the Civil war. He is one of those men who come into the
possession of an established business with genius sufficient to sustain and
develop its reputation. In this way many of the largest enterprises of the
nation have been built up. The Watson bakery was started in an
unpretentious way in 1868, and by close attention to detail and grasp of
conditions the business has been brought up through three generations to its
present ample proportions. Mr. Watson is one of the leading and
influential citizens of Randolph county and his bakery and grocery trade are of
the largest and most flourishing in the state. It is to such thoughtful and
energetic men as he that Farmland and Randolph county owe their reputation for
wealth and progress.
Farmland is Mr. Watson's native town. He was born there April 11,
1887, and is the son of George B. and Abigail (Miller) Watson. He
had one brother and three sisters. One of the latter, Dolly, lives in
Hartford City and is the wife of J. P. Cronin, cashier of the Citizens
Bank. The father of Carl W. Watson was born near Piqua, O.,
January 25, 1838. His grandfather moved to Indiana, near Ft. Wayne when his
father was an infant, and a few years later went to Randolph City. From there he
moved to Farmland and was postmaster of that town thirteen years. At the
expiration of that time he went into the bakery business, and the name of Watson
has been over the door ever since.
July 12, 1901, the subject of this review, Carl W. Watson, was
married to Bertha Smithson, a daughter of Michael Smithson, a
prominent and prosperous farmer near Ridgeville. They have one child, Marjorie,
who was born October 26, 1907, and is being educated in the local schools. At
the age of fifteen Mr. Watson entered upon the business career that he
has since pursued so successfully. For two years he did work in a restaurant
preliminary to taking partnership with his father, and in 1893 they bought the
place where the bakery and grocery is now established. The entrance of the son
into the firm infused new life into it, and from that time the trade has grown
with astonishing rapidity. The firm has all modern appliances and its trade
extends throughout the surrounding country. Few bakeries in the state, and none
in the county, carry a larger and fresher stock. Mr. Watson is a member
of the Friends Church and is a hearty participant in all its undertakings.
A notable fact in the commercial history of Farmland is that Peter S. Miller, the father of Mr. Watson's mother, was the first dry goods merchant of the town. He conducted the store he started for thirty years and was later in the drug business ten years. So both branches of the family have been closely identified with the mercantile interests of the town from their incipiency. Mr. Miller lived to be sixty-eight years of age and was one of ten children. The father of Mr. Watson, it may be noticed, was the first city marshal of Farmland and was for a number of years a member of the town council. He served through the Civil war in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He has been a Mason since 1866.
Farmland is one of the enterprising and socially distinguished towns of
the state, and among its leaders in social, religious and business circles is Carl
W. Watson. Farmland is the better by his residence there, and will ever bear
the marks of his enterprise, energy and devotion. Its interests are his
interests, and in the unfolding of his powers the town has been the greatest
beneficiary. In the fullest sense Mr. Watson is a public-spirited
citizen, and his influence is felt wherever he is known.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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