Progressive Era to New Era Walter Lee Watson

Walter Lee Watson

Walter Lee Watson was the son of John Russell Watson (1842-1901) and Sarah Grigsby of Stafford. He operated a store near the Brooke railroad underpass and did a wholesale-retail business there. A railroad side track ran next to his building, which provided easy unloading of feed, fertilizer, and other commodities. Mr. Watson butchered his own beef and sold it in his store. He owned one of the first automobiles in Brooke and had gas pumps outside of his store. Walter married Mabel Jones (1885-1969) of Stafford and he and his family resided in the upstairs of their store building.

In 1903, Walter partnered with fellow Brooke merchant Charles Duff Green (1873-1957), and William W. Heuer (1868-1926) and incorporated the Brooke Packing Company. The firm’s primary office was in Brooke. Watson was president; Green was vice-president; and Heuer, who was from Maryland, was secretary and treasurer. The company’s mission was the “packing, canning, purchasing and selling, cultivating, producing, raising, shipping and marketing vegetables, meats sea-foods, and all kinds of food and to do all things necessary in connection with the production, conservation, marketing and selling of the same.” The facility was still operating at the outset of World War I.

Walter and Mabel are buried at Andrew Chapel Methodist Church. (Our thanks to William Shelton for the photograph of Walter Watson.)