July 31, 2014

Courthouse clock coming back to life in Cass County

Ceremony in Harrisonville marks the start of restoring the courthouse clock, which dates to 1909. It hasn’t functioned properly in at least 10 years.

The Cass County Courthouse clock should be keeping time again within the year.

The Cass County Commission, in partnership with the county historical society, conducted a ceremony Thursday inaugurating the restoration of the 1909 Seth Thomas tower clock, which has been atop the Harrisonville courthouse more than 100 years.

Lifelong Harrisonville resident Katrine Cummins, 83, was among about 80 people who attended the event.

Her grandmother, Elizabeth “Fanny” Schweizer, was a member of the Harrisonville Tower Clock Club, a group of women who raised money in the early 1900s to put a clock on Cass County’s new courthouse.

Schweizer died when Cummins was 3 or 4 years old, but the girl heard stories about the club from her aunt. And she grew to love the clock.

“It always made me sad when a storm would come along and knock it out,” she said. “I always looked toward the clock to make sure I was getting to school on time.”

But records indicate the clock hasn’t been in proper working condition for about 10 years.

Larry Boucher, a clock enthusiast, had urged the county to consider fixing the timepiece.

The restoration is expected to be finished by the end of July next year.

A state grant is funding 70 percent of the $106,450 cost. The county is picking up the rest.

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