County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Morton Hardware Clock Still Keeps Time


Don Morton happened to come into the Cleaver office to do some business and his paperwork was in a Morton Hardware envelope. The Morton’s have made several donations to the new history room at the library, so I asked him if he had any more of the envelopes. I collect ephemera and advertising items from local businesses. Well, you all know…I’ll collect anything local.

Don returned a short time later with more than just envelopes! Don brought in a custom clock, ashtray, envelopes, postcards, and a seat cushion. All the items will be available to view soon in the history and genealogy room at the Harrison District Library.

Morton Hardware was founded in 1948 by Howard Morton on Second Street in Harrison. Howard passed away a year after the 40th anniversary of the store and it was taken over by his son Don Morton. Previous to 1948, it was Harrison Hardware.

The clock is not only special because it marked the 40th anniversary of Morton Hardware but it was made by Thelma Hubbell as a gift to the Morton family. You may remember Hubbell created the original 20 Lakes in 20 Minutes sign I wrote about last week.

Thelma Hubbell was a local commercial artist who worked for Murton Gas and Oil and ran her own business. She was a volunteer at the Harrison Community Library for many years and made a puppet theatre, a historical village representing historic Harrison, and many children’s displays. She was a prolific and serious artist, a military veteran, and community staple in Harrison for decades.

Hubbell’s gift of the handmade clock included a custom storage box.

Don’s donation also included an ashtray. Probably from the 1950s or 60s. This seems quite funny today, but most businesses gave away free matches at their checkout counter and branded ashtrays were a common giveaway to advertise one’s business.

A seat cushion was also donated. It was sold by the Kiwanis as a fundraiser and features a who’s who of Harrison businesses in the 1960s. The cushion is most likely dated after 1965 as the Cleaver (in the left column) was incorporated in 1965.

The clock just needed the battery area cleaned and a new battery inserted, and it started keeping time.

© Clare County Cleaver


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here