Compiled by Daniel H. Weiskotten
Posted November 2, 2002
Last revised November 3, 2002
There are obviously many clues and sources from which more information
can be gathered. This is just a compiling of notes from various projects
I have worked on over the years. This is but a small bit of what
can be learned about the glorious days when Cazenovians made Tower Clocks!
If you have any additional information on these Clock Makers or their "works"
please contact me!
Short Biographies of Cazenovia Clock Makers
Location of known Cazenovia Clocks
Miscellaneous Notes on Cazenovia Clock Makers
Census Records of Cazenovia Clock Makers
Cazenovia Clock Makers on Historic Maps
Cemetery Records of Cazenovia Clock Makers
Article on Cazenovia Clock Makers by Jabez W. Abell
Christine Atwell Records the History of Cazenovia's Clock Makers
Notes on the Village Clock from the Cazenovia Village Minute Book
Links to Cazenovia Clocks and General Click Information on the Internet
Buell, Timothy F. = (born 1818, died 1884), machinist 1850, purchased the former John Williams factory in 1855 with Austin W. Van Riper as Van Riper & Buell, worked 1855 making Town Clocks + Job Works
Clark, Jehiel (Sr.) = (born c. 1781, died 1852) Clock Maker, grew up in Connecticut Clock country, sons were also clock makers with ties to Eli Terry (Heman had been an apprentice of Eli Terry and his shop was sold to Seth Thomas in 1813), settled in Cazenovia on northeast corner of Pompey Hollow in 1814, worked c. 1820 to 1847, made clock for Presbyterian Church in 1821, advertised as clock maker 1824, succeeded by son Jehiel Jr.
Clark, Jehiel Jr. = (born 1814) Tower Clock Maker, succeeded his father Jehiel Clark (Sr.), worked c. 1845 to c. 1849, stopped clock making but worked as a gold smith, succeeded by Austin Van Riper (2), in 1852 shop of J. Shapley had many old Clark clocks and parts.
Coin, Sylvester = (born c. 1809, died 1881) with Cyrus Kinne as Kinne & Coin, began clock making 1852, in foundry formerly occupied by "the Shapleys" (This was the old shop of M.W. & J. Shapley [Martin W & John Shapley] at Lake Mills, John Shapley was by then in another shop making clocks for Van Riper), machinist 1855.
Gillette, Joab = jeweler and watch repairing 1810-1831, watch maker 1827.
Hovey, Jesse R. = working 1806 as Watch & Clock Maker.
Kinne, Cyrus = (born c. 1821) with Cyrus Kinne as Kinne & Coin, began clock making 1852, in foundry formerly occupied by "the Shapleys"(This was the old shop of M.W. & J. Shapley [Martin W & John Shapley] at Lake Mills, John Shapley was by then in another shop making clocks for Van Riper), machinist 1855.
Marshall, Justice W. = (born 1827, died 1905) came to Cazenovia in 1844 and had worked in Shapley's machine shop, worked, succeeding Austin W. Van Riper, 1858 to c. 1875 with John Stone as Stone & Marshall, Town & City Clocks.
Shapley, John = (born 1814) working 1855, Town Clocks and Factory Machinery, had clocks of Jehiel Clark in his shop, probably cast clock parts for Austin Van Riper, employed Justice W. Marshall.
Stone, John = (born 1837, died 1882) worked 1858 to c. 1875, succeeding Austin Van Riper, with Justice W. Marshall as Stone & Marshall, Town & City Clocks.
Van Riper, Austin W. (2) = (born c. 1824, died 1859) (nephew
? of A.W. Van Riper born 1805, died 1907) succeeded Jehiel Clark Jr., worked
c. 1850 to 1858, purchased the former John Williams factory in 1855 with
Timothy F. Buell as Van Riper & Buell, succeeded by Stone & Marshall.
Clock making in Cazenovia ended c. 1875 when the firm of Stone &
Marshall was joined by Milton E. Card joined and they made locks and other
Besides a number of local installations of Cazenovia-made clocks, they were also sold far and wide.
Jabez Abell reported that Van Riper had sent out Jonah Moore as an agent to sell clocks: "He met with great success, so much so that Mr. Van Riper recalled him before be had traveled six months as he had received more orders for clocks than he could fill in five years."
Oechsle and Babel reported that Stone and Marshall clocks are to be
found in places in Alabama, California, Michigan and Tennessee.
Precise locations of Cazenovia Clocks
(some now lost, those in bold still extant)
Mostly from Richard Babel and Russ Oechsle's research
Cazenovia Presbyterian Church, 1820, Jehiel Clark (Sr.), moved to old stone Cazenovia Methodist Church and then replaced in 1862.
Morrisville Congregational Church, attributed to Jehiel Clark (Sr.), church burned 1930s, clock saved and is now restored and placed in the tower of the Morrisville Village School, plans were made in 1980s to move it to Morrisville Community Church.
Delphi Falls Baptist Church, 1847, by Jehiel Clark Jr.
New Woodstock Baptist Church, date unknown, attributed to Austin W. Van Riper, but may be Clark design.
Cazenovia Methodist Church, 1862, built by Stone & Marshall, originally installed in old stone church, moved to new brick church 1874.
The National Watch and Clock Museum, Tower Clocks Gallery, has a display of a c. 1864 Stone & Marshall clock, original site not known
Smithfield Presbyterian Church (now Smithfield Community Center) installed 1871, made by Stone & Marshall, replaced by another Stone and Marshall clock in 1935.
Smithfield Academy (now Smithfield Community Center), made by
Stone and Marshall in 1870s and found in their old shop and installed in
1935 to replace another Stone & Marshall clock.
Town of Cazenovia Early Industries (by DHW) in Madison County Revisited
Tower Clock Manufacturers, Tower clocks, 1830-1875
"Jehiel Clark, Sr. was descended from a famous Plymouth, Conn., clock making family & worked from 1830 to 1847. His son, Jehiel Clark Jr. made clocks from 1845 to 1850. Austin Van Riper, who may have succeeded the Clarks, was also a tower clock maker who worked in the village from 1850 to 1858. Stone & Marshall, whose clocks are found nationwide, continued in the tradition of VanRiper from 1858 to 1875."
Timothy F. Buell and Jehiel Clark Jr. among those who signed Petition Against the Use of Cazenovia Lake for Canal Purposes, November 1, 1847
Photo of Austin Van Riper (Uncle of the Clock Maker) on his 100th birthday, in Cazenovia Republican, July 6, 1905 (see photo index)
"The Clockmakers of Madison County," in Madison County Heritage
" Part III, Tower Clock Makers," by Russ Oeschle and Richard Babel, No. 11, January 1982, pages 18-36 (I have a copy of this and if you would like more information, please contact me)
Index of the Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
Babel, Richard B., "The Clockmakers of Cazenovia," Vol. 16, No. 168, page 155 (Jehiel Clark Jr., Austin Van Riper, Justice Marshall) (this was revised and republished in Madison County Heritage No. 11, January 1982)
"Tower Clock of Cazenovia, NY Repaired," Vol. 8, No. 1, page 632 (Orlando Blanchard, Justice Marshall)
"Tower Clock Makers, Two Unknown Cazenovia, NY, Makers Noted," Vol. 5, No. 44, page 205
Jehiel Clark lived on the east side of Pompey Hollow, south of Bethel Road (1816 Districts #23, #26; 1817 to 1821 #23, #28; 1822 #32, #38; 1823 #32, #40; 1824 to1832 #31, #39)
Jabez Abell on Orlando Blanchard (Professor of Mathematics At Cazenovia Seminary, born in Cazenovia in 1801), August 24, 1939:
"Among his gifts to posterity was a mathematical computation of corrected timing gears for clocks which was universally used by manufacturers."
DHW for exhibit of Cazenovia artisans and manufacturers at the Cazenovia Public Library:
"Joab Gillett's silver, gold, jewelry, watch and clock repair shop was in business between 1810 and 1831 and was located just east of the Madison County Hotel on the south side of the Public Square (the site is now between the Century House and the Litchfield House [aka Smith Funeral Home]). (sources for the following are newspaper advertisements). He started his watch business in April 1810, had a watch repair business on Albany Street in October 1814, in November 1811 he called it a goldsmith shop, in July 1817 he was selling his jeweler's shop, in December 1818 it seems to have been still opened and was referred to as a silversmith's shop, in June 1821 he was still doing clock and watch repair on the south side of the Public Square, in March 1823 he was still advertising as a jeweler, in February 1827 he was advertising as a watch maker and jeweler on the south side of the Public Square, in November 1830 he advertised that he had a large assortment of jewelry, etc., in December 1831 Edward Allen - an attorney- and then Elisha Farnham - a speculator - occupied Gillett's jewelry shop on the south side of the Public Square near the Madison County Hotel."
Searched 1800-1855 for Timothy F. Buell, Jehiel Clark, Justice Marshall,
John Stone, and Austin W. Van Riper.
1806, September, Cazenovia Village Census, by Holland Land Company
Jesse R. Hovey, 2 people, 1 house, 1 barn, occupied as a watch & clock maker
1820 Census, Town of Cazenovia
Jehiel Clark, 1 male 26-44, 1 female 26-44, 3 males 0-9, lived in Pompey Hollow
1830 Census, Town of Cazenovia
Jehiel Clark, 1 male 40-49, 1 female 40-49, 1 male 5-9, 2 males 10-14, 1 male 15-19, lived in Pompey Hollow John Stone, 1 male 50-59, 1 female 50-59, 3 males 20-29, lived near New Woodstock, (too old to be the clock maker)
1840 Census, Town of Cazenovia
Jehiel Clark (1), 1 male 50-59, 1 female 60-69, 1 male 15-19, 1 male 20-29, 1 female 10- 14, lived near end of lake or Pompey Hollow, not far from Isaac & Caleb Van Riper who were at North Lake and West Lake Jehiel Clark (2), 4 males 20-29, 1 female 20-29, lived near intersect. of Nelson & Fenner
1850 Census, Town of Cazenovia
Jehiel Clark, age 69, Clock Maker, lived in Pompey Hollow Austin W. Van Riper, age 28, Machinist, lived along Nelson Street (Oechsle and Babel note that a copy of this census has occupation as "Clock Maker" crossed out and "Machinist" inserted) House headed by Melissa Marshall next door to house headed by Sewell Stone (Traveling Trader), lived along Lincklaen Street? Timothy F. Buell, age 32, Machinist, lived on lower Lincklaen Street (also William B. Buell, age 46, Machinist, lived on Lincklaen Street) John W. Shapley, age 34, Machinist, lived on Chenango Street
1855 Census, Town of Cazenovia, Industry Schedule
Searched Cazenovia, Fenner, Nelson, Peripheral and Oran Cemeteries for
Timothy Buell, Jehiel Clark (Jr. & Sr.), Justice Marshall, John Stone,
and Austin W. Van Riper.
September 12, 1940
About the year 1840 Austin
Van Riper began the manufacture of town clocks in the building west of
Chittenango creek in Cazenovia village lately occupied by Jack O'Neil as
a wagon shop (see
DHW's research on this neighborhood). The machinery of this clock
appeared to operate smoothly but it did not keep accurate time.
A Mr. Blanchard who taught mathematics in the Seminary and who was the "author of the Blanchard Arithmetic" examined the mechanism of this clock and told Mr. Van Riper what he thought could be done to improve the time quality of this clock. Accordingly he made some accurate drawings and explained them to Mr. Van Riper, who built a clock on these specifications. The results more than justified the labor. The Blanchard clock was a success. For several years he continued to manufacture a few clocks until he became familiar with all parts of its mechanism.
In the meantime Jonah Moore, another Cazenovian, became interested and offered to go on the road selling town clocks. He met with great success , so much so that Mr. Van Riper recalled him before be had traveled six months as he had received more orders for clocks than he could fill in five years. He hired help and built a good many clocks, but always seemed to have orders ahead. This condition continued for some time until other manufacturers entered the field.
One of his helpers was a young and talented mechanic, Justice Marshall. He came to Cazenovia in 1844 and had been employed in the Shapley Machine Shop and foundry previous to coming to Mr. Van Riper.
After several years he made a deal and purchased of Mr. Van Riper his machine shop and business, which he carried on until about 1865 when he formed a partnership with John J. Stone (Stone and Marshall). They bought the Knowlton property, know as the Oil Mill, built by Knowlton in 1815 and remodeled it into a first class machine shop. (Now F.A. Ayer's gas station.)
Mr. Marshall continued to make a few town clocks, one of which was placed in the old "Methodist Stone Church". I have no definite knowledge when it was installed, but probably in the early 50's. When the old church was torn down in 1871-72 the clock was taken out and replaced in the new church. At first Mr. Marshall offered to sell the clock but the people thought he asked too much for it, so he offered to rent it at $75 a year. After paying this rental for several decades it was finally purchased.
The bearings of this clock are a very hard, mineral substance and no metal drill could be made sufficiently hard to drill them. Mr. Marshall was delayed for a time until Louis Hatch, a local jeweler, told him he would send to New York and get some diamond dust. Using this as an abrasive the holes for the fasteners were successfully made.
Evidently one of these clocks was not sold but was boxed and stored on one of the upper floors of the building. Former Mayor Harry Blodgett tells us that four or five years ago the Peterboro town clock gave out and they wanted to buy a new one. They came to Cazenovia and said that they understood we had a clock for sale. The village board knew nothing about it but the Peterboro folks insisted a new clock would be found stored on the top floor of what is now the Ayer gas station (then owned by the village) and, sure enough, there it was in two units-the striking mechanism one unit and the time mechanism the other. The village sold the clock to Peterboro for $100. Only one wheel was missing. An old man who lived in a shack near Peterboro and who in his day was a wizard at town clocks had a new wheel made, assembled the clock, installed it, and it is said to be working perfectly today.
Last, but not least, the town clock marks time with the historian. It is one of those things which is taken for granted, its origin never questioned. The clock in the Seminary tower and in the Presbyterian Church tower gave up the struggle long ago, but the town clock [in the Methodist Church] goes on forever.
The earliest record of the clock (see DHW Note below) is contained in an editorial of the Cazenovia Republican of November 5, 1862, which reads; "The old town clock, which for so many years has graced the spire of the Methodist church, is a wreck. It is so badly damaged that repairs are impossible and it is better to put up a new and reliable clock than to attempt to patch up an old and worthless one. The old clock is the first iron town clock (and the only one of that pattern) built by Mr. Jehiel Clark. It was never a very good one, but by the expenditure of a good deal of money and trouble it has been made to do useful service for about twenty years. The question of replacing it by another will be voted on at the coming charter election. Our people have too long enjoyed the benefits and conveniences <:37> of a town clock to consent to be without one now. It is certain that it will be voted to buy one, but the question is, what one? Mr. J.W. Marshall has one of the handsomest clocks ever made, built on a contract for a thousand dollar clock. It is jeweled throughout and well worth the thousand dollars originally asked for it. This splendid clock Mr. Marshall offers put up and keep in running order one year for $500. It is not likely that we shall ever have another opportunity to get such a clock for so little money. It was built by Mr. Marshall for the late Mr. A.W. Van Riper, who had so much confidence in its accuracy as a time- keeper that he offered to give it to the village if on trial it should vary fifteen minutes within a year. Mr. Marshall will do the same if it is preferred to his other offer[.] Town clocks can be bought more cheaply than this. Mr. Marshall has them for sale, but they are much dearer at the price charged for them than to the large clock. The cheap ones will not last so long and will not keep so good time while they do last. Mr. Marshall's clock can be seen by those interested at his shop, and we have a large engraving of it which we shall be happy to show. Voters within the corporate limits of Cazenovia ought to inform themselves on this subject, as it will come up for decision at the charter election to be held next month."
Two weeks later the paper carried this editorial: "Citizens of this corporation should be making up their minds as to how they will vote on the town clock question. Mr. Marshall's clock is up and noting the time accurately. It is a beautiful piece of workmanship, of brass, highly finished, the pivot-holes and verge pallets jeweled, and, in brief, the clock is provided with every improvement that experience and ingenuity can suggest. There is some opposition to the purchase of this clock, because an iron one can be bought for less money. Undoubtedly an iron clock might be bought that would keep time well for a few years, but it is unreasonable to suppose that an iron or steel surface will withstand friction as long as a jeweled one. The result with the iron clock would be that within a few years we should have just such an unreliable time-keeper as the old clock was, and after expending two or three hundred dollars for repairs and attendance, we should have to throw away the iron machine and pay a thousand dollars to replace it with just such a clock as we have now offered to us for $500. It is always bad policy to buy an inferior article because it is cheap!"
At the election on December 2, 1862, by a resolution, the trustees were authorized to hire the clock for a year and to call a special meeting to purchase it during the year if deemed by them proper. Records show that $50 rent for the clock was paid in 1866 and again in 1868. It is possible that $50 a year was paid from 1862 until 1870 when the clock was bought for $400. It had been placed in the tower of the First Methodist church. When the new church was built, a meeting of the electors was <:38> called to vote on the proposition that $1,000 be raised by tax to be paid for the permanent use of a tower in which to place the clock, and that $250 be raised to pay for necessary fixtures and the expense of placing the clock in the tower. Both of these propositions were defeated. Then at a meeting of the Trustees of the Methodist church, the following preamble and resolution were adopted, viz: "Whereas, All negotiations between this Board and the citizens and trustees of the village in relation to the town clock have failed to secure to us any aid in erecting a suitable tower for the clock, therefore, Resolved, That we do hereby grant permission to the trustees of the village to place the town clock in the tower of our new church without compensation." At a meeting two weeks later of the Board of Trustees of the village, on motion of G.H. Atwell, it was unanimously resolved that the offer made by the Trustees of the First M.E. Church tendering to the village the use of the tower of said Church in which to place the village clock, without compensation, be gratefully accepted. Two hundred and thirty dollars was to he raised by tax to pay the expenses incurred in placing the clock in the tower of the M.E. Church where it has been since 1874. The face of the clock, on the outside of the tower, is above the bell which in turn is above the clock machinery. The pendulum of the clock hangs 18 feet long; it is a wooden stick with a lead disc about 1 foot in diameter on the end. The striking weight weighs 2400 pounds and is hung by a cable; the weight that runs the clock weighs 1400 pounds and is hung by a rope. The hands are turned by a wooden stick about an inch square and about 30 feet long. The clock is wound once a week but would run two or three days longer. The bell which was in the first church, was put in the new church and has served as church bell and to strike the hours of the clock. "The town clock regulates the sun."
The clock purchased from Jehiel Clark was originally in the steeple of the Presbyterian Church, and was placed there by the village shortly after May 1820. By the time of the next Village meeting in May 1821, when the village voted to pay Clark $160.00, the clock was described as having been "put up + used for some time past." At an unknown date this first clock was transferred to the spire of the original Methodist Church and in 1862 was replaced by a new clock made by Justice W. Marshall. When the present Methodist Church was erected in 1872 the clock was placed back in the tower where it still can be found today. Sporadic attempts over the past few years to get it working again have met with limited success. The original hands of this clock were stolen during a recent tower renovation and new hands were crafted by village resident Robert Bennett.
Ringing the Village Bell in the Presbyterian Church to mark the time was a major expense of the early Village. Because of this they soon chose to find a clock that would mark time all day long.
May 1, 1810 (Organizational Meeting)
"Voted, that out of the fund to be raised [$100.00] for the contingent expenses the Trustees be authorized to appropriate a certain sum in their discretion to employ Some Suitable person to ring the bell of the Church at the hours of 12 O'Clock at noon, and 9 Oclock At night."
Thomas Mathews paid $20.00 for ringing the bell in the year previous
to May 1811 (page 14)
Thomas Mathews paid $16.56 for ringing the bell in the year previous to May 1812 (page 16)
Thomas Mathews paid $22.14 for ringing the bell in the year previous to May 1813 (page 25)
Thomas Mathews paid $22.37 for ringing the bell in the year previous to April 1814 (page 48)
Thomas Mathews paid $17.36 for ringing the bell in the year previous to May 1819 (page 77)
Orlando Blanchard paid $30.00 for ringing the bell in the year previous to May 1820 (page 80)
Orlando Blanchard paid $15.00 for ringing the bell in the year previous to May 1821 (page 84)
May 4, 1820
"Resolved that the Trustees be authorized to ascertain upon what terms a clock can be procured for the Presbyterian Church in this Village + to report."
May 1, 1821
The Trustees made their report regarding a clock but it is not recorded. They did make a decision regarding the clock:
"Mr. Jehiel Clark having agreed with the Corporation to put a Clock in the Meeting House for the sum of One Hundred + Sixty dollars to be paid in three annual payments in the month of May in each year with interest from this date - the first payment to be made this month and the said Clock having been put up + used for some time past - Resolved that the contract for the said Clock be + is hereby accepted + ratified + that the sum of Fifty four dollars be raised by tax to meet the first payment - It being understood that Mr. Clark warrants the clock + keeps it in repair + that the Trustees take a written contract to that effect."
May 7, 1822
"Voted that the sum of Fifty Dollars be raised by Tax the ensuing year to pay the installment due for the Village clock."
May 4, 1824
Voted that the interest due Jehiel Clark be paid.
January 23, 1832
"Order drawn on Treasurer to Jehiel Clark for $5.00 for repairing town Clock as per account."
My notes are filled with info on foundries and the people who were making
clocks, but are not included here unless clock making is specifically mentioned.
I also have many later notes that I have not yet searched.
The Pilot, January ___, 1816
J.D. Swift commences the watch and clock repair business next door east
of Mr. Ten Eyck's store.
Madison County Whig, April 28, 1852
Still further east stands
the large Machine shop of Messrs. Kinney & Coin, formerly owned by
the Shapleys. Once inside the walls and talking is at an end.
There is too deep a sound of rushing wheels, hammer strokes, planing and
shingle machines and circular saws. But turn to the left and ascend
to the second floor. That room to the left at the head of the stairs,
is filled with the woodwork of Horse Powers, Threshing and Shingle machine,
the latter sawing the shingles from the bolt. Mark the exquisite
polish of its iron work. Then turn to the right.
Workmen are on all sides. This is the wood work department, and several frames are going up. That one is the foundation of a Carding Machine, for South Carolina; this one is a Spinning Jenny for the home market. There is a pile of cylinders for Power Looms. --But one need not seek to conjecture the uses of all he sees here. Let him glance at the Stationary Labor saving machinery, watch its operation for a moment, take a hasty look at the Lumber room, and return to the ground floor. Lathes, work-benches, drills, gear-cutting machines, planing machines, forges, piles of iron work some ready to leave the shop, others just touched or not at all, incomplete parts of Town Clocks, a profusion of toothed cylinders and other iron work for Threshing Machines and Horse Powers, to which one judges they direct their chief attention.
One does not inquire the number of workmen, nor the kind of work done. He sees a shop full of men, and many descriptions of work in different states of forwardness. Yet this is only one of four Machine shops in this place, where a few years ago it was supposed one could no exist.
Turning east from Mill Street
along South Street to the slope of the hill, by two or three steps the
visitor descends on the creek ward side to a door, which leads to an ante-room
beyond which is the Machine Shop of Mr. J. Shapley. The roar of machinery
forbids one to speak, but he can look. Forges occupy one end of the
Shop, a magnificent machine for planing iron fills the other; along the
sides are ranged Lathes for wood and iron turning. High up the wall,
arranged are numerous Town Clocks of which Mr. Clarke knows the history.
Mr. Shapley has recently commenced business, and is already overwhelmed with orders, principally for Factory Machinery and Calendars for Paper Mills. But he also attends to the miscellaneous work which is constantly flowing into a village machine shop.
Cazenovia Republican, March 21, 1855
A.W. VanRiper and Timothy Buel have purchased the woolen factory of
the late John Williams and will convert it to a machine shop.
Cazenovia Specific web pages:
Other with Cazenovia connection:
Tower Clocks in general web pages:
History of Lycoming County, its courts and its court houses, from Historical Sketches of the Bench and Bar of Lycoming, County, Pennsylvania; 1795-1960 (pages 1-9, 13-15 and 18-20).
"In April 1854, the commissioners authorized the purchase of a clock for the tower for $200.00, after recommendation of Dr. Samuel Pollock, foreman of the grand jury. The sum was found to be insufficient, the deficiency was made up by private subscription. The clock was made in Cazenovia, New York and cost $440.00. The original dials were made of wood, but they were soon replaced with glass, and the belfry lighted at night by gas."
END of Notes on the Clock Makers of Cazenovia, NY