|Founder Thos. Craig Watson with his son, Thomas Craig Watson, Jr.|
In the 1930’s when the Depression Era legislation prevented banks from engag-ing in non-banking activities, Thos. Craig Watson and Mr. R.O. Crawford who both previously worked in a bank’s insurance agency office left and set off on their own. In late 1933, Mr. Watson purchased Mr. Crawford’s share of the agency and in February 1934 incorporated it as Watson Insurance Agency, Inc.
Mr. Watson’s son, Thomas Craig Watson, Jr., joined the agency in 1965 upon completing his education. Thos. Craig never suggested that Tom follow in his footsteps, wanting it to be Tom’s decision if he did so but Tom nonetheless made the decision to carry on the business with his father. At the time Tom joined the agency, there were only 12 to 15 employees. The agency continued to grow over the years and occupied several offices before moving to its present location at 245 E. Second Avenue in 1968. Mr. Watson’s wife, Kitty Watson, had the foresight and so encouraged Thos. Craig to reinforce the ceiling so a second floor could be added later if needed.
By 1987, Kitty Watson’s foresight materialized. The second floor was built. Watson Insurance by this time had four branches and over 50 employees. Tom’s two sons, Thomas Craig Watson, III and Robert P. Watson had also joined the ranks. Tom and his two sons were dedicated to carry on Thos. Craig’s vision by setting a standard of value, service and quality leadership that is still carried on to the present day. It has been their privilege to attract and employ very gifted and dedicated employees since the company’s inception, many who have had careers ranging from 20 to 60 years. More recently, Tom’s stepson, Brian Bazemore, son of Nova his wife, joined the agency. Today, the Watson family looks forward to the 4th generation and beyond to carry this vision forward.
The legacy of Watson Insurance Agency is one of corporate and community leadership. Since Watson Insurance Agency opened its doors in 1934, it has been a home for community and in-dustry leadership that comes with experience, professional skills, and superior services. You will find Watson Insurance Agency’s presence in many of the programs that enrich our lives, from the United Way to community enrichment and arts programs.