Dr. Beecher Watson, Sr. founded Amelia Bovine Clinic in 1978, providing care and treatment of farm animals throughout the county, specializing in bovines.
As an integral part of the Amelia community for more than 40 years, Dr. Watson, Sr. was known for his strong work ethic, involvement in the community, and cared for his clients like family.
DR. BEECHER WATSON, SR.
Founder, Amelia Bovine Clinic
Beecher Hartley Watson, Sr., better known as Doc, was a Pennsylvania native. Born in Greenville and raised in Pittsburgh, he later married Nancy Jean Geltz, his childhood sweetheart and daughter of Pennsylvania Senator James A. Geltz.
From his younger years, Beecher, Sr. was an entrepreneur. In grade school, he would gather mums from his mother’s garden, wrap them in newspaper, and sell them to housewives on the street in front of his home. While in high school, he sold Singer sewing machines. He demonstrated the many benefits of the state-of-the-art machines by sewing bonnets. After graduating from high school and in between advanced degrees, he supervised a paving company in downtown Philadelphia. He enjoyed socializing, playing practical jokes, and golfing.
He graduated from Penn State University in June 1952 with a B.S. Degree in Agriculture and went to work as a herdsman for Heckmere’s Highlands, a purebred Angus farm. He always recounted that working as a herdsman was long hours and hard work, but a very good learning experience for him. While working this job, Beecher, Sr. met Dr. Thompson, Heckmere's veterinarian. Beecher, Sr. stated that Thompson was truly a fine man and a good veterinarian. Dr. Thompson, seeing potential in Beecher, Sr., encouraged him to go back to school and study to become a veterinarian. Beecher, Sr. finally applied and felt very lucky when he was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
Doc stated that school was truly a struggle for him, but he finally graduated. He and his wife decided they wanted to move to a state that had four seasons and milder climates. They took a map of Virginia and placed pins on the towns where there were no veterinarians, then wrote letters to those municipalities. The town of Blackstone responded, stating it would love to have Doc Watson as a veterinarian.
He started practice in Blackstone, Virginia on July 18, 1952 and stayed there for three years. Seeking a larger practice, he moved his family to Petersburg, Virginia and worked with Dr. James Shannon for a year.
Shortly thereafter, Doc Watson built an innovative bovine surgery clinic in Amelia County and worked mostly on cattle. As the farms slowly disappeared, Doc started to treat many companion animals and therefore traveled much less, staying closer to home. He had a fondness for Trinity United Methodist Church in Church Road and visited it quite frequently during those years.
During his professional career, he was appointed to the Board of Health Professions (1989 – 1993) and the Board of Veterinary Medicine (1988 – 1993). Needless to say, he was very proud of that recognition.
While raising his family, he enjoyed Second Presbyterian Church, boating, Cotillion, socializing with his gourmet group, neighbors, and his many loyal clients and their extended families. His biggest passion was helping others, whether it was treating animals, visiting, or dropping off sausage, peanuts, or flowers to his many friends and clients.
In his final year and a half, Doc had several bouts with illness, from which he sought courageously to recover. His can-do spirit and strict work ethic may still be observed at the clinic, which boasts a clientele of four generations.