McCOOK, Nebraska -- An Indianola and McCook, Nebraska, attorney donated an historic business clock to the Museum of the High Plains in downtown McCook on Valentine's Day.
The museum board of directors unanimously accepted the H.P. Sutton Co. jewelry store's key-wound "Waterbury" clock offered by John F. Hanson of Indianola.
The glass door of the clock's case indicates that the Sutton jewelry store in downtown McCook was an official "watch examiner" for Burlington Route personnel who were required to maintain highly-accurate timepieces to ensure that no two trains were on the same stretch of tracks at the same time.
John Hubert, president of the museum board and a former railroad employee, said that engineers, conductors and switchmen on trains and in the yards had to register their watches every day, and have them inspected (cleaned and/or repaired, if needed) every 30 days by an official authorized watch examiner/inspector, a service in McCook provided by H.P. Sutton's jewelry store.
From 1889 until the late 1960's, Sutton's store stood in the 200 block of what is now Norris Avenue, in a building that now makes up part of McCook National Bank.
In front of the store stood a large, doubled-sided sidewalk clock that, after the jewelry store closed, also became a treasure at the Museum of the High Plains.
Hanson presented the clock to the museum on behalf of himself and Mary Lou Hanson; and co-sponsored by Mousel, Brooks, Garner & Schneider, P.C., L.L.O.; Title Services of the Plains L.L.C., doing business as McCook Abstract Company.
The new clock will hang in the museum's Railroad Room.
The museum is open from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free of charge.