FREDONIA WATCH CO.
Fredonia, New York
The company sold the finished movements acquired from the Independent Watch Co. Those movements had been made by other companies. The Fredonia Watch Company was sold to the Peoria Watch Co. in 1885, after having produced approximately 20,000 watches. Fredonia makes a official announcement that read as follows:
“Born at 2 o’clock p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1st (1882). The “Mark Twain” gilt key winding movement. The child is vigorous and healthy, and there seems to be a large and increasing number of him. His parents are proud of him, and he already promises to become as universal a favorite as his illustrious namesake.
18 Size, Full plate gilt, 7j, key wind and key set, "Mark Twain/Fredonia, N.Y.", serial No. 202,152.
In 1875, Samuel Clemens's niece Annie Moffett, the daughter of his only sister Pamela, married Charles Webster. Webster was a native of Fredonia, New York and would later became Clemens's business manager for Webster Company publishers.
In March 1881 Clemens, who was prone to invest in business schemes that failed, was persuaded by Charles Webster to buy stock in the Independent Watch Company, later known as the Fredonia Watch Company. The company was owned by Edward D. Howard who was born about 1842 and his brother Clarence M. Howard who was born about 1851. Another brother Frank Howard, born about 1845, may have also been involved in the company. The Howard brothers were residents of Fredonia, and in the 1880 census the occupations of Edward and Clarence were listed as manufacturers of proprietary medicines -- patent medicine salesmen. Brother Frank Howard held the occupation of a jeweler. The Howard brothers convinced numerous citizens in Fredonia, including Clemens's sister Pamela, to invest in their watch company. The Howards soon recruited Charles Webster to approach his famous uncle to also invest in the company and ask his consent to name a watch movement after him -- the Mark Twain watch which was later produced in 1882. Webster succeeded in his endeavor and Clemens bought about $5,000 worth of stock in the company.
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