H. H. Herkens May, 1963


 In one of the quaintest little houses imaginable on State street, just off Seventh is a watch repair shop. A one-story yellow frame of that dignified and beautiful period of Colonial building, with wide portico and long square-paned French windows, it is a most attractive little place. The entire front yard is filled with flowers. From the street one’s eyes are captured by the shelves of clocks behind the long windows, and the sign above the door which announces the business of the owner.

Inside are old fashioned show cases and shelves filled with watches and clocks, with a collection of jewelry and cigarette lighters on the side.

The proprietor is a pleasant faced German who came to this country in 1892. He had just finished repairing an antique cuckoo clock of hand carved wood.

“It’s about 95 years old,” he said. “The wood is stone beech, which only grows in the Black Forest.” With a tender finger he traced the intricate leaf carvings of the aged wood.

Although I did not come to buy, he made me welcome with grave courtesy and gave me the answer to all my prying questions. And a fair-haired, gentle-faced German woman who entered from the rear also spoke to me as a hostess who makes any stranger entering her door feel at home.

On the porch outside, a gray bearded old man held a baby on his knee. The clocks ticked loudly in the little room, in different keys. It is a house where there is plenty of time.

Peoria Journal Star, 1930, submitted by Herk

H. H. Herkens and his wife, Nancy: 1958



Copyright © Janine Crandell & all contributors
All rights reserved