A National Leader
Claude A. Watson was a national leader of the prohibition movement. He was Prohibition Party candidate for vice-president of the US in 1936. Next, he was the Party’s presidential candidate in both 1944 and 1948
During the 1944 election he asked why the president denied him approval for wartime air flight. After reporters asked Roosevelt about it, Watson received the necessary permission. Claude A. Watson was the first U.S. presidential candidate to fly his own airplane. He flew over 16,000 miles campaigning.
During the 1948 presidential campaign, Watson sent his wife to the White House. She was to measure for window curtains and other interior furnishings. In case he won the election? More likely a publicity stunt.
Claude Watson was born in Wexford County, Michigan on June 26, 1885. He was the son of Joseph A. Watson and Emma Jane (Dove) Watson. On December 27, 1911, he married Maude L. Hagar. He graduated from Alma College. For a time he was a minor league baseball player.
Watson moved to Los Angeles, where he established a highly successful law practice. He was licensed to practice before the Federal and US Supreme courts.
Also learn about these other Prohibition Party candidates.
Robert P. Shuler (Highest vote-getter).
Gideon T. Stewart (Also a founder).
Dr. Watson became an ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church. He was also a church conference head. The origin of his title of “Dr.” is unclear. It may have been an honorary one granted by a religious college, bible college or seminary.
Claude A. Watson’s publications reflected his commitment to both politics and religion.
- Repeal has Succeeded. Winona Lake, IN: Light and Life, 1945.
- A Digest of Free Methodist Law.1935.
- Traitors to America. Los Angeles: Bedrock,1943.
- The Fifth Column in America. Los Angeles: Bedrock, 1943.
Prohibition Party candidate Claude A. Watson died in Los Angeles on January 3, 1978. He was 92. He left his wife, Maude L. Watson, three children, ten grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Resources: Claude A. Watson
- (One of a seven part series.) Beginnings of Temperance in US
- (One of a six part series.) Temperance Timelines
- Temperance Magazines
- Songs of Temperance
- Temperance Places (History)
- Events in Temperance History
- Temperance Groups (world): Timelines
- No Meat, No Drink. Time, Aug 11, 1947.
- Claude Watson 1944/1948 Presidential Candidate 1936 VP Candidate [obituary]. Nat Statesman, March, 1978.