City clock back where it should be

By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
   On Oct. 2 the Conrad Centennial Celebration will get under way with the dedication of the old town clock.  The dedication will bring over 30 months of time and 1,200 man hours to fruition.
   Standing over 11 and a half feet tall, over 42 inches wide and weighing nearly 800 pounds, the clock is quite the spectacle.  Inside are four different clock faces with individually cut glass for each.  The face itself contains over 600 pieces of leaded glass.  
   The clock used to be lit with incandescent light bulbs, but now is powered with state of the art fluorescent lighting.
   The clock also contains a speaker system with a music chip that can play up to 300 different tunes depending on the occasion.
   The town clock was originally built in 1927 at a cost of $1,400 and built by McClintock Clock Company.  It sat at the First National Bank for 30 years.
   The McClintock Clock Company was founded 1908 and in business until 1950.  Based out of Minneapolis they specialized in clocks for banks and other financial institutions usually with an outside mounted fancy clock for public viewing, often displaying the institution name along with dials made up of fancy leaded glass.
   The clock sat at the bank until 1956 when a storm of golf-ball sized hail badly damaged it.  The original clock was replaced in 1958 with another clock, be it not as detailed.
   After its removal the clock sat at Dick Preputin’s farm for nearly 50 years.  In the late nineties a few community minded citizens, led by Francis Erickson and Harold Olson got the idea to restore the clock back to its natural beauty and rightful place of prominence.
   After many fund-raising efforts like the “Save the Clock” initiative and generous donations from numerous community members and former community members, the $9,000 it would cost for the restoration was collected.
   15 community members have donated their time to help with the project.  Harold Olson commented, “Whenever we really needed some help, there were always people willing to donate their time and give us a hand.”
   While almost all of the restoration has been done in the community, a few pieces had to be completed elsewhere.  For example, Robert Butts in Minnesota, a tinsmith who restores McClintock clocks as a hobby made the arm covers.
   When the clock is put in place atop the Production Credit Services at the corner of 4th and Main, it will be shielded by Plexi-glass to protect it from nature, and general wear and tear.
   Olson talks about what the clock will mean to Conrad, “Every town has something to be proud of, be it a moniker or a landmark.     Well now Conrad has the Clock.  Hopefully people will come off the interstate to see it and while they’re here they will stay to see the rest of the city.”