Quality products and excellent customer service —two things that owner Mike Blagg credits for the continued success of Weakley-Watson Hardware and Sporting Goods, which will celebrate 137 years in business on July 4.

“It’s a heritage I’m very proud of,” Blagg said. “It’s been operated by the same family this whole time and started with my great-great grandfather.”

J.C. Weakley, a native of Indiana, started the store in 1876 after he moved to Texas at the end of the Civil War and later opened a metal shop. While on a job in Brownwood, Weakley liked the town so much he decided to stay and opened a tin shop that later became a hardware store.

In 1893, Weakley’s son-in-law, Lee Watson, joined the business and Weakley-Watson has been a fixture in Brownwood ever since and is the oldest operating hardware store in Texas. 

“We have had five generations working this store,” Blagg said. “Each generation worked hard and did their part in helping make this business a success.” 

Over the years, Blagg and his family have played an active role in the community, serving on many boards for several organizations and non-profits.