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Clock & Watch Makers in North Carolina

   There were a limited number of clock and watch makers in North Carolina in the era before mass manufacturing. Most of these artisans also served as jewelers, silver and/or goldsmiths. Their marketing areas were generally limited.




    

   There were some jewelers and silversmiths who offered watches and clocks for sale, but the following list contains only those individuals where there is evidence of their fabrication of clocks and/or watches. We have included those jewelers who only repaired watches and clocks, but tried to indicate this fact.
   Among the North Carolina makers of clocks & watches (by location) prior to 1865 were:
  
Charles Frederick Huguenin, (1798) — this Swiss-born watchmaker worked in Philadelphia between 1797 and 1802 as a watchmaker. In 1798, he traveled to North Carolina (Halifax - May 1798; Wilmington - October; Fayetteville - November) selling his watches and repairing existing watches and clocks.

Asheville
  
John B. Whiteside, Asheville/Buncombe Co. (-1850- ) — He is listed in the 1850 census as a watchmaker.

Bethabara
   Adam Koffler
, Bethabara (1762 - ) — A clockmaker.

Charlotte

  
Barzillai Gardner & Andrew McBride, Charlotte (April 1807 - 1814?) — On April 21, 1807, the Raleigh Minerva carried an announcement that the pair had started a clock and watch making business, as well as silver and gold smithing, in Charlotte.
   Jonas Cohen, Charlotte ( - Sept. 3, 1826) — watchmaker; native of London.
  
Gideon Olmstead, Charlotte ( June 1832 - ) — He advertised as a clockmaker and watchmaker, as well as a jeweler, beginning in the June 18, 1832. (Miners and Farmers Journal, Sept. 24, 1832)
  
Samuel Lawing, Charlotte (June 1841 - 1865) — He worked as a clock and watch maker both independently and as part of a firm, Lawing & Brewer (1842 - 1843).
  
Thomas Trotter, Charlotte (1828 - 1865) — He had long been a repairer or clocks and watches, as well as a jeweler and silversmith.
In 1828, he formed Trotter & Huntington, styled as watch and clockmakers and jewellers. Around 1850, he apparently worked also worked as a watchmaker, setting up Thomas Trotter & Son in 1856. In 1858, he joined J. G. Wilkinson & Co. He was the prominent jeweler and silversmith in Charlotte for nearly four decades.

Concord
  
Samuel Scott, Concord (Dec. 6, 1825 - ) — Advertised as a clock and watch maker in the Western Carolinian

Edenton
  
Robert Eagan, Edenton (1779) — watchmaker
  
Uriah Saint Clair, Edenton (1779) — clockmaker
  
Thomas Seaman, Edenton (Dec. 23, 1790 - ) — Advertised in the The State Gazette of North Carolina as a clock and watch maker. In March 1797, he added workers as silversmith and jewelers.
  
Isaac Marquand, Edenton (November 1791 - February 1796) — He advertised as a gold & silversmith, as well as a clock and watch maker with a shop on Broad Street. He returned to New York and conducted a merchant and jewelry business there for years.
  
Thomas F. Adams, Edenton (December 5, 1809 - 1810?) — Originally a Baltimore clock and watch maker (1804), Adams migrated South (Petersburg, VA - 1807) before arriving in Edenton. Apparently, he left the state after brief operation of his business (Edenton Gazette notice, June 15, 1809).
  
Martin Noxon, Edenton (1810 - 1814) — He advertised in the June 8, 1810 edition of the Edenton Gazette that he was a clock and watch maker (apparently with a shop on King St. He also worked as a silversmith and employed a gunsmith. He died in 1814.

Elizabeth City
  
George C. Daniel, Elizabeth City (March 1829 - ) — He announced on March 11, 1829, in the Elizabeth City Star that his shop would provide watch and clock making services. By 1831, he had moved to Halifax and employed a watchmaker (Roanoke Advocate, February 24, 1831).

Fayetteville
  
Peter Strong, Fayetteville (1789 - 1797) — He ran a clock and watch making business, apparently expanded by 1792 to jewelry. He died on June 27, 1797.
  
Lord & Gale, Fayetteville (1792 - 1798) — Formed by Joseph Gale and --- Lord, the firm conducted clock and watch making, as well as a general jewelry business, at their shop opposite Mrs. Emett's. (Fayetteville Gazette, Nov. 6, 1792)
  
J. Barrington, Fayetteville ( - 1806 - ) — clock and instrument maker.
  
William Hilliard, Fayetteville (December 1805 - 1810s?) — He began advertising on Dec. 29, 1805 (Raleigh Minerva, Jan. 6, 1806) as a watch maker and jeweler in a shop opposite of the post office.
  
Alvan Wilcox, Fayetteville (March 1819 - May 1823) — Original from Connecticut, Wilcox (occasionally spelled as Willcox) worked in that state and New Jersey before moved to Fayetteville in March 1819 and opening a watchmaking and silversmith shop. He sold out his stock in mid-1823 and returned to New Haven where he continued as a silversmith.
  
William Widdefield, Fayetteville (1823 - 1827, 1832 - late 1830s) — A watch maker from Philadelphia, Widdefield first came to Fayetteville in 1820 to run the store of Charles Clark. He may have made watches during this time. In 1823, he bought the Clark store and worked as a watch maker and jeweler until selling his stock on Dec. 5, 1827, to Selph & Campbell. On May 8, 1832, he advertised his return to the city and his business as both a clock and watch maker.
  
George W. Hilliard, Fayetteville (April 1823 - ) — He advertised on April 24, 1823 in the Carolina Observer his shop opposite the Mansion House hotel where he was a clock and watch maker.
  
John Peabody, Fayetteville (July 17, 1823) — He advertised in the Carolina Observer as a clock and watch maker, as well as a jeweler and silversmith.
  
John M. Beasley, Fayetteville (October 1838 - 1886) He advertised opening a store performing clock and watch repairs and other work in the Fayetteville Observer, Oct. 17, 1838. He may have conducted only repairs.
  
Benjamin Pyle (Jr.?), Fayettevile (Nov. 8, 1841 - ) Pyle was a member of the Selph & Pyle firm in 1837 in Fayetteville. He apparently left the town and moved back in 1841 and set up his clock and watch repairing business. Not sure if he built clocks and watches.

Goldsboro(ugh)
  
L. D. Giddens, Goldsboro (1859 - 1907+) — He bought a jewelry business in 1859 and supposedly began watchmaking at some early point. 

Greensboro(ugh)
  
Scott & Anderson, Greensboro (June 19, 1829 - ) — David Scott and ? Anderson advertised on June 19, 1829, in the Greensboro Patriot issue of June 13th that would do watch and clock work and had employed a first-rate workman. Apparently, the partnership only lasted a few months.

Halifax
  
John Short, Halifax, NC (Oct. 17, 1792 - 1819) — Advertised in the North Carolina Journal  that he had opened a clock and watch making shop. He said he had been an apprentice in London and had conducted clock and watch making in America for several years.
  
William Greenawalt, Halifax, NC (November 1826 - 1827) — He advertised in the Tarborough Free Press in November 14, 1826, that he was a watch and clock maker. Apparently, he was in business for a limited period.

Lexington
  
George Riley, Lexington ( - 1851 - ) — watchmaker

Lincolnton
  
Charles Schmidt, Lincolnton, NC (1845 - March 1848) — watchmaker
  
David Welsh, Lincolnton, NC (March 23 , 1848 - 1851+) — He settled in Lincolnton in 1848 and advertised as a watch and clock maker.

Newbern
  
De St. Leger, Newbern, NC (<1790 - ) — On April 15, 1790, he announced in the North Carolina Gazette that he had moved his business to a house on Pollock Street where he would continue his watchmaking services.
  
Robert Carson, Newbern, NC (<1810 - ) — Open for business prior to May 1810, Carson advertised in the Carolina Federal Republican, May 26, 1810, thanking his customers and announcing that he had moved his clock and watch making shop to a house on Middle Street..
  
Allen Fitch, Newbern (January 1817 - ) — He opened his silversmith and watch making business in January 1817 (Carolina Federal Republican, Jan. 25, 1817) at a shop om Middle Street near the courthouse. He previously had conducted a similar business in Connecticut. Silver smithing apparently was the primary line of work. He apparently continued to work into the late 1820s.
  
William Tisdale II, Newbern (1821 - 1850s & Washington, NC (Sept. 6, 1816 - 1821)  — He opened his clock and watch making shop in Washington, NC, on Sept. 6, 1816, and worked there until 1821, when he relocated to Newbern. In Newbern he carried on a jewelry and clock/watch making and repairing business. He died on July 9, 1861.
  
Riley A. Davis, Newbern (January 1850 - ) — He advertised on January 15, 1850, in The Newbernian that he had opened a shop opposite the Washington Hotel as a clock and watch maker, as well as a jeweler.

Raleigh
  
Thomas Emond, Raleigh (Sept. 13, 1806 - ) — clockmaker and jeweler.
   John C. Stedman (1785 est. - 1833), Raleigh (March 26, 1819 - 1833) — After several ventures as an auctioneer and commission merchant, Stedman took up the watchmaking and silversmith business craft in Raleigh. Stedman joined with John Y. Savage in the firm of Savage & Stedman in 1919. By August 14, 1822, Stedman was conducting business on his own. He was killed in a railroad accident on Nov. 11, 1833.
  
William Thomson, Wilmington (Dec. 24, 1834 - 1836; 1840 - 1850), Raleigh (1836 - 1840) — He advertised as a clock and watch maker, as well as a jeweler. He  moved to Raleigh in 1836 and worked there until 1840 as a member of Thomson & Beckwith.

Rutherfordton
  
Christopher Bechtler Sr., Rutherfordton (June/July 1830 - 1842) — He advertised in the North Carolina Spectator and Western Advertiser (July 30, 1830) as a jeweler and clockmaker. Christopher, his son August, and a cousin Christopher also ran the Bechtler Mint (under gold), which was started in July 1831.

Salisbury
  
Joseph Barrington, Salisbury (August 1792 - ) — He advertised in the North Carolina Journal (Halifax) on August 22, 1792 that he "makes clocks of various descriptions ...Watches such as wind up be being carried on a fob ... at his shop in Salisbury, NC." He may have relocated to Tarborough by 1826.
  
Jacob Sassamon, Salisbury (1809 - ) — goldsmith and clock maker
  
Wilkinson & Horah, Salisbury (July 1820 - Feb. 3, 1821) — Curtis Wilkinson & Hugh Horah opened a silversmithing and jewelry shop, including watch & clock repair business on Main Street in salisbury, directly opposite the branch of the State Bank. A fire on Jan. 31, 1821, destroyed the shop of Wilkinson & Horah, although most of the valuable contents were saved. The fire led to the dissolution of the partnership on Feb. 5, 1821, although the partners continued separately in business.
  
Hugh Horah, Salisbury (Feb. 6, 1821 - ) — Horah carried on the clok and watch making activities, as well as silversmithing at his house, which was adjacent to the shop, but was saved in the Jan. 31st fire.
  
Curtis Wilkinson, Salisbury (Spring 1821 - Nov. 1823) — Wilkinson had to build a shop for his watch and clock making, as well as siversmithing. He had resumed business by July 1821.
  
E. B. Burnham & Zebulon Elliott, Salisbury (January 1821 - ) — The firm of Elliott & Burnham began business on Main Street, just down from the courthouse, in January 1821 as clock and watch makers formerly from New York (Western Carolinian, Jan. 2, 1821).
   James B. Hampton, Salisbury (Aug. 13, 1822 - March 1830) — listed himself as a watch and clock repairer, as well as a jeweller. The shop was located on Main Street, a few doors south of the courthouse. He later formed a partnership under the name of Hampton & Palmer.
  
Savage & Kunsman, Salisbury (Nov. 1823 - Sept. 1, 1824) — Previously a watchmaker in Richmond, VA, Henry Kunsman joined with John Y. Savage, a silversmith, to create this firm in Salisbury. The firm advertised watch and clock repairs (Western Carolinian Dec. 2, 1823 & The Star and North Carolina Gazette, Jan. 2, 1824). Savage & Kunsman took over the shop of Curtis Wilkinson. The business was dissolved in Sept. 1824, with Savage continuing the clock and watch making, as well as silversmithing in Salisbury.
  
John Y. Savage, Salisbury (Sept. 1, 1824 - ) — Savage worked in Raleigh before relocating to Salisbury and working in Savage & Kunsman in 1823. In January 1819, John C. Stedman had joined Savage in the firm of Savage & Stedman in Raleigh, working as gold and silversmiths, as well as clock and watch makers. Savage advertised his silversmith shop as a solo firm in Salisbury on Sept. 1, 1824).
  
Aaron Woolworth, Salisbury & Greensboro (Feb. 16, 1825 - Sept. 14, 1856)  — Woolworth started in Salisbury as a clock and watch repairer, as well as a gold and silversmith on Feb. 16, 1825, before moving to Greensboro in 1827 when he purchased David Scott's store. He later moved across the street in 1828 and continued his silver and gold smith and jewelry business. He returned to Salisbury prior to the 1830 census and continued to work until his death on Sept. 14, 1856.
   Huntington & Wynne, Salisbury (Fall 1826 - Jan. 21, 1828) — Primarily a store selling watches and clocks made in Philadelphia, the firm did manufacture some silverware. The firm also repaired watches and clocks. John Huntington was the senior partner, who apparently decided to leave Salisbury by early 1828.
   Robert Wynne, Salisbury (Jan. 24, 1828 - Jan. 1830) — advertised as a clock and watch repairer. Wynne possessed both watch and clockmaker tools, as well as silversmithing tools, which were sold in February 1830. Wynne relocated to Halifax and resumed silversmithing business by 1832.
   Hampton & Palmer, Salisbury (April 1830 - ) — The previous firm of James B. Hampton evolved into this partnership with John C. Palmer. The firm advertised its services as watch and clockmakers, silversmiths and jewellery. The firm occupied the shop built by Hampton, adjacent to his dwelling — on Maine Street, 6 or 7 doors south of the courthouse.
   David L. Pool, Salisbury (November 1832 - 1861) — Born in Salisbury and trained in Philadelphia, Pool advertised as a clock and watch maker, jeweler and silversmith. His first office was in the building previously occupied by Tailor Benjamin Fraley. In 1839, he moved into the former post office building. He died in 1861.
  
James Horah, Salisbury (May 1849 - 1864) — From a silversmith family, James advertised as a clock and watch maker in the May 17, 1849, Carolina Watchman. He also worked as a silversmith.
  
Boger & Wilson, Salisbury (March 20, 1846 - 1853) — watchmakers; John E. Boger and William Rowan Wilson operated the partnership until April 14, 1853, when Wilson announced that he had purchased Boger's share of the business. Wilson worked until 1866, but primarily as a silversmith.

Salem
  
Johann Jacob Loesch (1760 - 1821), Salem & Bethania ( ) — A man of many trades, Loesch worked as a locksmith, gunsmith, clockmaker, silversmith, pipe organ designer, and waterworks engineer. His watch and clockmaking efforts are known to range from 1784 to 1809.

Washington
  
Benjamin Pyle, Washington, NC ( - 1812) — A watchmaker and silversmith, he died in 1812.
  
William Tisdale II, Washington, NC (Sept. 6, 1816 - 1821, then relocated to New Bern and worked into probably the 1850s),  — He opened his clock and watch making shop in Washington, NC, on Sept. 6, 1816, and worked there until 1821, when he relocated to Newbern. In Newbern he carried on a jewelry and clock/watch making and repairing business. He died on July 9, 1861.
  
Edward Hoell, Washington, NC (Nov. 11, 1822 -) — watchmaker and silversmith.

Williamston
  
J. H. Bell, Williamston (  ) — clockmaker and watchmaker.

Wilmington
  
Charles La Place, Wilmington (July 9, 1795 - March 1797) — From Paris, La Place advertised as a watchmaker in the July 10, 1797, Wilmington Gazette. He occupied a store in Jone's house.  
  
Henry Miller, Wilmington (May 1798 - ) — Advertised as a clock and watchmaker in a Dock Street shop. (Wilmington Gazette, May 31, 1798)
  
Joseph Bishop, Wilmington (1817 - 1821?) — He advertised his services as a watchmaker and jeweler in the Cape Fear Recorder, April 5, 1817.
  
John Sargent, Wilmington (Nov. 17, 1821 - ) — Advertised in the Cape Fear Recorder as a watchmaker.
  
Asa Peabody, Wilmington (Dec. 15, 1821 - ) — Advertised in the Care Fear Recorder (including Feb. 22, 1822) as a clock and watch maker, as well as a silver and gold smith. His shop was a house next to Casaux's '76 Hotel.
  
William Thomson, Wilmington (Dec. 24, 1834 - 1850) — He advertised as a clock and watch maker, as well as a jeweler. He  moved to Raleigh in 1836 and worked there until 1840 as a member of Thomson & Beckwith. Thomson returned to Wilmington and continued his business until his death in 1850.
  
Thomas William Brown, Wilmington (1823 - October 1872) — a jeweler and watchmaker. Around 1850, he entered into a partnership of Brown and Anderson, which lasted until 1871.
  
Bowers & Brother, Wilmington ( - 1851 - ) — watchmaker


 


 

 

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