The realty interests of any progressive, wide-awake community are very valuable, and those engaged in the development and upbuilding of various sections are not only advancing their own affairs, but are proving public benefactors. One of the leading business men of Murphysboro who has for some years interested himself in the real estate, insurance and loan business is Andrew Watson, who during his residence here, a period of nearly forty years, has built up a reputation for business integrity and moral probity that has had a beneficial influence upon the community at large. Mr. Watson was born in Lennoxshire, Scotland, July 8, 1857, and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth Watson, the former of whom was engaged in coal mining.
Andrew Watson was something over fourteen years of age when he came to the United States, and in 1872 he settled in Murphysboro, Illinois, where for the next ten years he worked in the coal mines. Possessing the thrifty Scotch spirit, he was saving with his earnings, and after leaving the mines was for four years engaged in farming, at the end of which time, under the firm name of Watson Brothers, he and his brother Arch engaged in the grocery business, which they continued for eleven years. Mr. Watson's next venture was in the life insurance field, in which he was uniformly successful and continued therein for nine years. In 1908 he established a real estate, insurance and loan business, and in this line has become known as an industrious and enterprising addition to Murphysboro's progressive commercial element. He is now a director in the Southern Illinois Building & Loan Association.
Mr. Watson has taken not a little interest in public matters in Murphysboro, serving as alderman for one term and as township assessor for a year. He is a member of the English Lutheran church, financial secretary thereof, a member of the church council and teacher of the men's Bible class in the Sunday-school. He was a president of the County Sunday School Association for two years, and of the adult department for a like period, and has been superintendent of the county missionary department of the Sunday-school for one year and still holds that position. His fraternal connections are with the Odd Fellows, in which he is a past noble grand.
Mr. Watson was united in marriage with Miss Carrie Everts, a native of Ohio, and she died in 1899. He is thoroughly convinced of the truth of the teachings of the Bible, and earnestly and efficiently has set forth the faith of that Book. He has the courage of his convictions, and not only does he declare them in vigorous language that does not fail to impress, but lives up to his beliefs and carries them out in every-day life. He is an excellent business man and possessed of much civic pride, and any movements having for their object the betterment of Murphysboro in any way will find in him an earnest supporter and liberal contributor.