Marshall Historical Society

The Town Clock
by Arthur Sanders

The E. Howard Clock Company was founded in 1842, and began making tower clocks in 1870. The clock in the Methodist Church was purchased in 1884, and has serial number 1043. Once the design was perfected, they produced the same clock for many years. An almost identical clock was in the Waterville Baptist Church, and was number 1071.

The clock is huge, about four feet long, and the photos show various sides when we had it in the shop for extended repairs in 1976. It is wound with a large crank, which winds steel cables on drums to raise two weights -- about a thousand pounds for the striking mechanism, and the other one hundred pounds for the time mechanism. The striking weight falls through a kind of shaft, built from the belfry all the way to the floor of the basement. In 1976, cables were repaired and replaced. new numbers made for the dials, and new aluminum hands provided to replace the badly worn wooden ones.

There is a lever which raises a four pound iron hammer, to be released to strike the bell for the hours. The clock pendulum is eight feet long, which gives a one-second beat, and with a minor adjustment for winter or summer, will keep time accurately within a few seconds.

The bell has an embossed message on it, and it would be interesting to mention that along with this short story, if someone would crawl up there


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