Treasure Chest Thursday – The Watch

Hello, I am back from my “vacation!” While I as gone, I had a chance to visit with my father. During the visit, my dad told me again about the watch [1] that once belong to his grandfather, William E. McCormack. This time, I got pictures! The story that he told me was that the watch was a wedding present from his grandmother, Lavina Jane Hemingway.

Watch #1

Watch #2

Watch #3

Watch #4

Watch #5

Watch #6

Notice the engraving at the top  and bottom of the watch! It says “Vina” and “1893.” Well, I have several questions after I heard the story and saw the engraving. First, my great grandparents were not married until 1897. That is FOUR years after the date engraved on the watch. In 1893, William was still married to his first wife who was still very much alive at the time. I also told by my dad that he had the watch examined by a watchmaker who said that it was a man’s watch. Second, if Lavina got the watch in 1893, what was she doing with a man’s watch when she was only 19 and single? Third, if indeed the watch was a wedding present from Lavina to William, why isn’t there any engraving indicating that? Fourth, again, if the watch was a wedding present from Lavina to William, why is the date “wrong?” FYI, they were married on 7 Jul 1897 in Otter Lake, Michigan. I also wonder if there had been at one time, a picture or two on the insides of the “clamshells?”

Still, whatever the story on how it got from Lavina to William is, we know that the watch once belonged to my great grandfather, William E. McCormack. It is one of the few things that we have of his.

Thanks!

Footnote

1. William E. McCormack’s watch, ca. 1893; privately held by Mr. William Ford, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Farmington, Michigan, 1990.

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