The family oral history is that this clock sat on the fireplace mantle in the household of Samuel Lenton Lee (1849-1932) and later his son, Samuel J. Lee (1879-1964), and then grandson, Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee (1907-1991). It is known positively that it belonged to Samuel J. Lee and Gene Lee, but not verified that it was owned by the elder Samuel Lee. The two younger Lees lived on Alamo in St. Louis, Missouri.
Inside it has printing on how to use and regulate the clock, and states “Made and sold by Seth Thomas, Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut. Warranted Good.”
The clock is a wood veneer, possibly rosewood, with ebonized pillars and gold at the cap and base of the pillars. It appears that the clock face has been replaced as it has little wear. Note the “S” and “T” on the hands of the clock.
Further research is needed to date the clock. My very brief research suggests it may be from 1870-1875 or so.
The clock has not worked for more than a day or two since it has been in our possession, despite numerous rides to the clock repair shop.
Samuel Lenton Lee immigrated to Bunker Hill, Illinois in 1870, per censuses, at age 21, from his birthplace in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, England. (Family oral history stated the year as 1856, but he would only have been 7 at the time.) He arrived in New Orleans and took passage on a boat up the Mississippi to Macoupin County, Illinois. On 7 Oct 1878, he married Louisa Marie Brandenberger- perhaps the clock was a wedding gift? Samuel died in Bunker Hill, and his son Samuel J. moved to St. Louis, Missouri, sometime between 1906, when he married Dorothy Adele Aiken (1884-1953) in Bunker Hill, and 1910, when he is found in the US Federal Census in St. Louis, Missouri.
So okay, I really cannot do a Wordless Wednesday post, and this will be my last. But what good is seeing an artifact if one does not know the history to make it a family treasure?
Notes, Sources, and References:
1) Family treasure.
2) Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Bunker Hill, Macoupin, Illinois; Roll: 324; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0051; FHL microfilm: 1240324. Ancestry.com. Accessed 7/2/14.
3) Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: St Louis Ward 23, Saint Louis City, Missouri; Roll: T624_821; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0355; FHL microfilm: 1374834.
4) Dating clock: https://www.antiqueclockspriceguide.com/labelstrademarks.php?lm=Seth%20Thomas
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