Glendale, California Biographies

Thomas W. Watson

Thomas W. Watson, who was identified with the city administration for fifteen consecutive years, was born at Houston, Texas, June 2, 1878, a son of W.G. and Alice Watson. When he was only a few months old his parents came to Pasadena, California, where his father conducted a meat market until 1895. During the greater part of these years, his was the only market in that city. He came to Glendale and engaged in the same business, later conducting a seed store and a nursery in connection with the market, in which the subject of this sketch was a partner, the firm being known as W. G. Watson & Son. In 1906 they began developing real estate and erected the two-story frame building at the southwest corner of Glendale Avenue and Broadway. W.G. Watson was a member of the First Methodist church of Glendale. Several years prior to his death, which occurred in 1914, he took a trip to England,, being absent from Glendale for two years.

Thomas Watson was educated in the public schools of Glendale. He was ever greatly interested in local affairs and upon the incorporation of the city, in 1906, was elected a city trustee. He was a member of the board of trustees continuously until he resigned from that body and was appointed city manager in September 1914. During the interim from 1906 to 1914, he served two non-consecutive terms as mayor. During the seven years that he was city manager, many improvements were made and much of the foundation was laid which has made possible the greater Glendale of today. Being a man of high moral character and loving the clean things in life, it was but natural that his prayer should be to keep the city free from vice in all its forms and for this condition he always stood steadfast. Glendale is a clean moral city, and as such has attracted the best people as new citizens, which fact is in no small measure attributable to the never tiring efforts of Mr. Watson. He is now devoting his time to the real estate business. While city manager he was active in the National Association of City Managers, and the League of California Municipalities. In these organizations he still holds his membership. He is a trustee of the First Methodist church of Glendale, and for eleven years was superintendent of its Sunday School.

At Los Angeles, in 1900, Mr. Watson married Anna Helm. From this union was born a son, William, who is a sophomore in Glendale Union High School. Mrs. Watson died in 1909. In 1914 Mr. Watson married Belle Helm, a sister of his first wife. They have become the parents of four children: Anna Belle, Dorothy Mae, Thomas W. and Wayne G. The family home is at 614 South Brand Boulevard.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 354-355.