Ardmore, Carter County, Oklahoma

The Daily Ardmoreite
Tuesday, May 22, 1928

Courthouse of Carter County to Have Clock

Timepiece, Weighing Around Ton,
Has Arrived and Will Be Installed

Carter county’s courthouse is to have a clock.

According to E. Berry, who was given the contract by the commissioners, the new time-piece has arrived and will be installed this week in the tower of the county capitol. A representative of the Seth Thomas Clock Company will arrive today to supervise installation of the chronometer which will weigh around a ton, exclusive of the bell, already in the tower. The clock will cost $2210. It will have four illuminated faces and its bell will be heard for a great distance.

The clock, Berry says, will be one of the best in the state. He is to keep it in repair and regulate it for a year’s time. The device is guaranteed to vary less than one minute each 30 days and after final regulation is reached, the clock will vary even less than that in 60 days, Barry declared.

The bell was installed many years ago and through an arrangement made by Berry was acquired for use with the present works. It is said by Berry to be an exceptionally good bell, worth several hundred dollars. The timepiece and bell ordinarily would cost more than $4,000, he added.

Additional comments:
An authority on Seth Thomas Tower Clocks has told us the bell (like we have) would cost at least $10,000 today to replace by a foundry. Installation of the heavy bell would be additional costs. The clock itself, if a used one could be found, would probably cost anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000. But even one at that price “would have broken parts and in deplorable condition and need much work”.

In April 1988, Phil Phillips owner Clock World in Ardmore, and the members of the Ardmore Fire Department, did some repair work to the clock and it worked fine for awhile. This is a picture of the Ardmore Fire Department using their ladder equipment to assist Mr. Phillips in repairing the clock. Articles published in The Daily Ardmoreite and the Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) newspapers. (Takes 1½ minutes to load.)

Picture of Butch Bridges standing beside the clock that appeared in The Daily Ardmoreite newspaper on Tuesday, October 8, 1996. The photo was taken October 5, 1996, the morning the bell was re-attached and the chimes started after ten years of silence. (Takes 1½ minutes to load.) Certificate of Recognition from the Ardmore Main Street Authority.

Photos of the Clock

Photo of the brass plaque on the front of the clock’s base. Gives date and serial number of the clock. Front view of the Seth Thomas Clock in the dome of the Carter County Courthouse.

The clock was installed in 1928. There is a dial on each side of the dome– north, south, east and west. The metal plate on the front says the clock is #2677 and dated May 5, 1928. The clock as been stopped since 1988 or 1989.A nice detailed and colorful view of the clock from the “back side” .Closeup view of the motor and gears.

Another, yet closer view, of the motor and gears. There are two electric motors, one for the clock itself and one for the larger weight that drives the bell ringing, which has been replaced in the past few years. But the other motor is the original motor. It is a General Electric, frame 1137, form DA which is 110v, 1/8 HP, 3.2 amps and 1725 RPM.

View looking down at the weights and chain mechanism. Another view at the weights and chain mechanism. A nice colorful view of one of the “limit switches” and the 200 lb weight.

This 200 pound weight provides the force needed to ring the bell when called upon by the clock. This a color view of both “limit switches” with both weights in the raised position.

This is a front view look down at the 75 pound pendulum .This is a an overhead shot of the gearbox which drives all four clock faces. The gearbox is just above the stairwell, and to the south of the “little house” inside the dome. Three of the gears are connected to the pipe shafts running outwards to each clock face with a “U-Joint” type coupling. Looking up toward the hole and the Belfry. The bell weighs 1,500 pounds.

View of the top of the spiraling stairs that opens up in the 6th floor where the clock and “little house” are located. The stairway were manufactured by J.B. Klein and Company of Oklahoma City. Here is the “little house” that is located on the 6th floor of the Dome. The “house” is approximately 8 ft by 8 ft by 8 ft in size. Inside the “house” is the clock. View of the Carter County Courthouse with clock face visible at dome.

Photo of the dome illuminated at night with clock face visible. Photo is from The Daily Ardmoreite with caption below. Takes over 1½ minutes to load. In May of 1997 the courthouse maintenance crews did a lot of fixing up around the clock and dome. They painted the little house and also the bell along with the inside of the dome. Here’s a photo of the bell and the hammer that chimes the bell. The bell was installed sometime prior to 1928 when the Seth Thomas clock was installed. There was some other brand of clock (non-electric) in the dome prior to 1928.

Last modified January 17, 2005

Photos taken in Novemer 2022

Below is Stephen Nelson who lived in Edmond, Oklahoma and helped me from time to time when I first got the clock running again in 1997 (it hadn’t ran in 10 years). Stephen was the president of the National Tower Clock Association when he lived in Edmond. He now lives in Oregon.

On November 5, 2022 Brian Schmidt and Tom Hefner came to Ardmore from Ft Worth area when the clock broke and wouldn’t run. Brian is the current president of Lone Star Chapter 124 of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. They did get the broken clock working again, and are in the process of making adjustments and fine tunning it.

Back in Oct 1944 the courthouse clock stopped running. Ardmore mail carrier and local clock repairman, Jimmy Colbert, came to the rescue.