Chiming like clockwork

Cole County Eastern District Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher and Amos Zimmerman, a clock repairman from Versailles, look over the inner workings of the Cole County Courthouse clock, which was fixed by Norris Siebert, a clock maker and clock repairman from Russellville.

Cole County Eastern District Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher and Amos Zimmerman, a clock repairman from Versailles, look over the inner workings of the Cole County Courthouse clock, which was fixed by Norris Siebert, a clock maker and clock repairman from Russellville.

For the first time in four years, the Cole County Courthouse clock chimed for all to hear.

At 11 a.m. Monday, the clock came to life thanks to the work of volunteers.

Earlier this month, Wardsville area resident Chuck Lahmeyer told the County Commission he and Norris Siebert of Russellville, who has experience with clock repair, checked over the clock tower and determined that the pendulum was broken.

Commissioners said they were open to the two men looking at the clock, but wanted county maintenance personnel to be there with them.

Lahmeyer said he and Siebert made two visits after that meeting, the first two weeks ago.

“We went up and found the pendulum shaft was broken,” Lahmeyer said. “It couldn’t just be repaired, so Norris had to fabricate it.”

The 135-pound pendulum had been sitting on the floor of the clock.

Lahmeyer said Siebert stressed there are no guarantees that this will make the clock work forever.

The Seth Thomas clock was made in the 1920s and Lahmeyer said the clock works are valuable and in good order.

“The clock wanted to run,” he said. “It was wound, it just needed the free moving pendulum.”

Lahmeyer said Siebert wanted no money. He said the volunteers put in about five to six hours of work and Siebert has agreed to come back periodically to try and keep the clock working.

“It won’t be perfectly timed for a while,” Lahmeyer said. “There’s still some adjustments that need to be made to get it correct over the next few days.”

The clock last worked in early 2009 after a man from out-of-state, who worked on clocks and heard it wasn’t working, stopped by the courthouse and made temporary repairs.

Eastern District Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher was there Monday to observe the work.

“Well, I’m holding my breath hoping that it is fixed,” he said. “We had it running before, but it quit a couple days later again. It is running now and regardless of if it is or isn’t fixed, this didn’t cost us anything except a little time, pun intended!”

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