Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1529: Inscribed Elgin Pocket Watch and Portrait of Police Chief Knorr

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Historic Inscribed Elgin Pocket Watch with Fob and Portrait of Police Chief Wesley Knorr of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Estimated Price: $1,500 - $2,500

Historic Inscribed Elgin Pocket Watch with Fob and Portrait of Police Chief Wesley Knorr of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 391
Item Interest: Average
Catalog Page: 275
Class: Other

The watch case has an attractively engraved police chief badge on the rear cover with "Knorr" inscribed on the star at the center and scroll accents around the exterior. The watch face is white and marked "Elgin Natl, Watch Co." The numbers are black, and the hands are niter blue. The inside of the rear of the case is marked "X8-38P." The rear of the case could not be opened with a thumbnail and thus has remained closed. The plated brass fob has contrasting plastic inserts with floral designs with golden fill. The portrait shows a man in a police chief uniform and is mounted on a 6 5/8 by 4 3/8 backing with "Wesley Knorr/43 East 6th st/Bloomsburg/Pa" along with some numbers marked on the backside. The items come in a Riker case. Wesley Knorr (1846-1907) lived in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, starting in 1874 and originally worked as a carpenter before becoming a policeman. He was elected as chief of police for most of the twenty years that preceded his death. Bloomsburg has the distinction of being the only true town in Pennsylvania with all other localities being cities, boroughs, or townships. The town was generally a peaceful and relatively uneventful, and Knorr's position must have been fairly easy work. Even today, the town's population is less than 15,000. However, on September 11, 1896, an explosion boomed in the town. Knorr's nephew Clifton C. Knorr bombed the home a local attorney Levi Waller on September 11, 1896, using dynamite in an attempted murder. Waller had represented his step-mother following his father's death. Knorr must have served little time, if any, as he died at Fort Apache in the Arizona Territory in 1904 while serving as a sergeant in the 5th U.S. Cavalry. Provenance: The Doug Ellison Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine overall. The hook for the fob is detached but included. The watch appears to be mechanically fine and kept proper time during the writing of this description. The portrait has a clear image, some creasing in the upper right corner, and mild corner wear on the backing.

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