Randolph  County,  Indiana

Carl  W. Watson

The 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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