Photo by:  Sandy Onchuck
Back Row: Ron Neilson, Rudy Suchy, and Mike Johnson
Front Row: Judy Hayton, Davette Hrabak, Lynne Bohn, Dennis Onchuck, and Gary Freeman


As of Thursday, November 4, 2021, the well-known, highly-cherished historic "bank clock" is once again hanging high above Phillips.

The 1916 McClintock-Loomis Company clock first made its appearance in Phillips in 1918. After the Phillips fire of 1894, the State Bank of Phillips was the first bank to rebuild. They commissioned to have a brownstone building built to house the bank at 126 North Lake Avenue. A McClintock-Loomis Company clock, typically displayed on financial institutions across the United States, was installed on that building in 1918 and would remain there for twenty-seven years. The scars of the clock brackets can still be seen on that original location. In February 1945, the bank moved to a corner brick building located at 198 North Lake Avenue, and the clock moved with it. Up until 1970, the clock had chimes that sounded every quarter hour and pealed hourly, though some townspeople remember this not being a welcome sound for residents who lived downtown and heard the sound often throughout the day. This antique timepiece became a treasured staple of Phillips' history. In January 1980 and October 1982, vandals damaged the clock but it was restored each time.

If you look about halfway down the block on each of these photos, you will see the clock at 126 North Lake Avenue, where it hung from 1918 to 1945 in Phillips, Wisconsin.

[i]Looking between the windows, you can see the holes where the lower bracket of the clock once was at 126 North Lake Avenue. The upper brackets can mostly be seen at the top of the current sign.[/i]

The "bank clock" at 198 North Lake Avenue, where it hung from 1945 to 2016. This building was bought from the bank and is currently owned by Fred Mueller Ford,

This is how the clock looked after the bank took it down in 2016. This is what came back to The Power of 3 Community Development Group, Inc.

In June of 2016, it was almost entirely destroyed. The current bank chose to remove the clock from the building, which they were painting at that time. Driving through town after teaching summer school on June 14, 2016, Lynne Bohn noticed a sign going up in its place, and she was certain the clock would not be back. She called her mom, Judy Hayton, and mentioned she and Lynne's sister, Davette Hrabak, might want to call the bank to inquire. The three ladies currently own the original brownstone bank building through their business, Bumble Bee Rentals, so the clock has been of interest to them for that reason and due to its historic presence in town. Wanting to learn the fate of the clock, Judy and Davette got on their phones to try to find it. Judy called the bank but did not get any answers. Davette also called the bank twice, and the second teller said the city clerk, Barb Revak, should know as the sign company that took it down needed a permit to take down the clock and put up the new bank sign. Davette called and explained to Barb they wanted to find the clock to hopefully restore it. Barb said that Lakeland Sign and Graphics took it down, so Davette told Barb she would call that business, which she did. The owner said he planned to fully scrap the clock the next day and could send photos of what remained, which he did. He warned that, since the clock was to be scrapped, it was already in pieces and the working clock face was demolished. Since the clock face was no longer original due to the vandalism in the 1980s, the frame, decorative pieces, and chimes had been the only original parts for over 30-some years, so this did not deter the ladies. Davette explained about the importance of the clock to the residents of Phillips, and the owner said he realized it must be important as many people were asking what was going to happen with the clock when it was being taken down. He said that since it was so important to the community, he would give it to Davette, Judy, and Lynne to restore if they sent someone to get it, which they said they would do, so he agreed to hold the clock for them. While arranging for someone to pick up the clock, the sign company e-mailed Davette stating the City of Phillips came to pick it up and the ladies would have to get it from them. "We then attended two city meetings, and it was determined that it was our clock," Davette explained. "We let the city know the purpose of us owning it was to get it restored and then have it back in Phillips for all the residents to enjoy once again."

"We formed The Power of 3 Community Development Group, Inc., and we thought we could get this restoration done rather quickly, but we were a little naive about the complexity of it and had no idea what we were in for," Judy admitted. "Hindsight is 20/20, but we are glad we saw the project through." The group started by searching for places to restore the clock. Davette and Lynne called a local person who worked on timepieces and e-mailed and called a number of clock places they found on the Internet, but none of them were interested or able to take on such a large project, and the search area was beginning to extend far away from Phillips. "Seeing the sad-looking photos, one place told me the clock was too damaged to be repaired," Davette remembered, "and a number of people remarked they would have given up, but we were determined and don't like to give up." Clock hands and the clock mechanism were also difficult to find in that size for outdoor purposes, and the hands needed to be weighted appropriately. Out of a number of places, only one had the clock parts that met the requirements.

In the meantime, the ladies started fund-raising while they brainstormed a possible solution to the restoration problem. Judy explained, "We wanted to have most or all of the work done by people in our community, but it's difficult to know everyone's talents. However, I know Rudy Suchy does well with car restorations, and luckily Davette and I saw him at Phillips Lumber and Hardware, so I asked if he would restore the clock. He agreed to donate part of his services, and John Kucaba hauled the frame to Rudy's garage sometime in 2018." Rudy, with a very busy schedule, worked on the clock when he had time, and then COVID-19 hit in 2020, which allowed him more time to finish the clock. He sandblasted the pieces, cleaned the metal, and put all the pieces back together. Some of the decorative corner pieces were missing, so BW Papersystems, who also donated funds, made new pieces identical to the original ones. "Those pieces look like a geometric design but actually contain the logo of the manufacturer of the clock," Lynne explained. "MCL," representing McClintock-Loomis, plus "C" and "O" on each side, standing for "Company," are fashioned in the metal. With a little bit of replacement metal here and there, the clock was finally back to its original luster. "It was so exciting to see the battered frame fixed and painted and the clock face restored to its original numbering style," Lynne remarked about when they first saw the restored clock in June of 2020. She said Rudy made sure to find the exact font that had been used on McClintock-Loomis clocks as the group wanted to restore the look back to the original as best they could. Since the chimes were in disrepair and had not sounded since 1970, those were donated to the Price County Antique Association. The chimes were displayed at their expo and at the 2021 Price County Fair as the item to guess, though no one correctly guessed what they were at either event. The group was unable to find the proper type of chimes to replace them, plus they realized they may not have been a welcome sound. The thermometer, which was added in the recent past and only hung on the bottom of the clock for a short time, was too badly damaged, would have made the clock hang too low on the pole, and was not part of the original look of the timepiece, so it did not get added to the antique clock. "We wanted it to look as original as possible," Judy noted.

The decorative pieces on the clock, like this original one, are the logo for the McClintock-Loomis Company.  BW Papersystems re-created some of the decorative pieces and also donated funds to the clock project,

Rudy Suchy restored the clock, which needed extensive work.

Price Electric Cooperative made a substantial monetary donation.

Once the clock face was restored, Tony Budaj donated his services and parts to wire the clock and install the lighting. The project went into full speed in 2020 and 2021. The ladies worked on a design for the upper sign, more fund-raising, and finding more skilled people that could get the clock back up in Phillips. "Davette worked diligently on raising funds for the project," Lynne said. "Price Electric Cooperative made a huge impact on the project almost immediately by donating $5,000, which made us feel like we were going to be able to get this accomplished. We also had articles published in our two local news sources, and some of our first donations came from people reading those, such as our former teachers, Sue Weddle and Dave Peterson. Therese and Maureen Trojak were also early contributors and contributed again throughout the process. Since Therese worked at the bank for so many years, the clock also had special meaning to her," Lynne continued. "Davette reached out to some other businesses and local residents that always seem willing to pitch in when the community has a need. Forward Bank, Price County Antique Association, the Precour Family, Chuck & Sherrie Kandutsch, and Frank & Carol Dusek all made contributions. Norvado, Compumold, the Phillips Moose Lodge, Brent Mindock, Slaby, Deda, Marshall, Reinhard & Writz LLP, Carole Zellinger, and Tina Andersen also gave monetary donations. Plus, we cannot forget the coin donations in the jars we had around town at the start of the project. Truly, every penny was appreciated and kept getting us closer to our goal."

The group also needed to select a location for the clock, which proved to be a puzzle. "All the signs that overhang the sidewalks in Phillips have been grandfathered in, but once they are officially removed from a building, as the bank did with the clock, the state no longer allows anything to overhang the sidewalk without a lengthy approval process," Davette explained the legalities. "We also did not want to put it back on a building," Judy added, "because if the current owner of either of those buildings decided to sell the building where it was hung, the clock could be in jeopardy once again." During the restoration process, many people remarked they liked seeing the clock on main street, and the group agreed that is where it should be, but there is not a lot of city-owned property in that small area. Finally, a spot was found, they had it approved at a city meeting, and then learned that there were too many water and sewer pipes underground in that location. The next spot, which they have now decided is the best spot after seeing it there, was the corner of the city parking lot. This spot puts the clock only four buildings away from the brownstone building where it was originally located as opposed to nine buildings away at the brick building where it last resided. Their only fear there was what types of rocks and building materials may be found there given the building that once stood there had been torn down after it was destroyed by fire. Deciding to cover their bases, Davette called the former owner, Tim Werner, and he noted that some of the building materials were bulldozed in, though more to the south side, but he mentioned it did have a basement, so they might hit rock. Given it was the only spot that seemed to be an option and it had been approved by the Common Council, the group decided they would have to give it a try, regardless. "Plus," Davette said, "We liked the idea that the clock would be directly across the street from where the welcome arch once stood in Phillips. Initially it welcomed home the World War I soldiers. Standing for many years, it then welcomed all the people into town from the train drop-off. Now the clock welcomes everyone at that spot."

While the possible digging difficulty was being learned of, finding an electrician to hook up the pre-wired clock to the electrical pad on-site was also proving to be tricky. One electrician quoted $4,100 for the project which seemed too high and was not in the budget, and the other two that volunteered their time backed out of the project because one of them wanted the electrical pad next to the pole and the other wanted the clock on the other side of the street even though there were too many pipes in the way. Not letting those hurdles stop them, Lynne found phone numbers of more electricians and Davette started calling. She reached Tom Miller, a native of Park Falls, who played sports in high school. He joked with Davette that even though his business was in the rival town, he would be glad to donate his services as he enjoys giving back to the local communities when he can.

During the electrician debacle, more obstacles needed to be overcome. "We were stumped on where we could get a large enough pole in the area for an approximately 600 pound, 8 foot tall clock," Davette admitted. The search was leading them to a company in Nebraska, and the cost to bring it to Phillips was almost as daunting as the cost of a 20 foot pole, plus the pole was not ideally designed for this project as a larger area was needed inside the pole to house the clock setting components. The components were necessary so the City of Phillips crew will not need a bucket truck when the time needs to be changed. Luckily, Davette sent an e-mail to her high school classmate and friend, Mick Theis, mentioning the clock project and the difficulty in finding a pole. He wrote her back that IAP, Inc. could design and fabricate the pole and would be glad to help with the project. He later remarked this was a project in which his dad, Bob Theis, would have been proud to help, so he and his sisters, Laurie Woldt and Kris Ernst, along with their mother, Claire Theis, were glad to assist.

Once the group had the pole squared away, they were surprised to learn they needed architectural plans, which were completed at a reduced rate by Ayres and Associates, and a 14 foot hole needed to be dug. The hole needed to have an elaborate rebar cage placed inside, as well. Again, the owners of IAP offered their services for the manufacture of the rebar cage with some materials provided by Phillips Lumber and Hardware. However, there was no one in the area with a rig large enough to create that size hole without tearing up most of the parking lot. The search had extended hours away and the cost would have been in the thousands of dollars. Dennis Onchuck suggested that Davette call their neighbor and friend, Greg Denzine, and Greg gave a lead that panned out immediately. The crew was warned they might hit a basement, so they brought extra heavy augers, including a rock auger, in case it was needed. On September 23, 2021, Dennis brought the rebar cage to the site, and the hole was dug by an awesome crew from Xcel Energy. Of course, the rock basement proved to be a challenge, though the rock auger wasn't utilized, but Jim Heizler of the City of Phillips came over with a backhoe to help get the job done. Jeff Williams from the Department of Public Works also approved providing sand that was needed. Northern Lakes Concrete donated the concrete, and Gary Gabrielsen was happy to offer his services pouring the concrete. He said he remembered the clock from when he was a young boy riding his bike checking the clock to make sure he got home on time. Everyone who had a hand in this project seems to have a special attachment to the clock.

The 2,000 pound pole was made in early October, so the ladies met with Mick Theis and Gary Freeman at IAP to see a sample of the hammered black paint suggested by IAP. All five of them figured the paint could be easily bought at Phillips Lumber and Hardware. However, all five of them were wrong. "Due to supply chain shortages, neither Kris Ernst nor I could find it locally or online," Lynne said. "Finally, an online hardware store that I had never heard of showed they had it in stock, I took a chance ordering it, and we got it. We were never so happy to get a box of paint in the mail!"

IAP designed and fabricated the clock tower for the clock,

November 2nd was going to be the day for the clock to go back up in town, but one last glitch occurred. The clear gloss paint, which was also difficult to find, reacted with the paint on the pole's top dome, so it needed to be repainted and dried, which meant November 4th would be the earliest date for installation. Rudy Suchy brought the clock, Gary Freeman brought the pole, Dennis Onchuck brought a crane, and Mike Johnson and Ron Neilson arrived with Mike's bucket truck. All five men worked together to raise the pole and attach the clock to it. All the hardware was provided by Fastenal and Phillips Lumber and Hardware at no cost to the project. Xcel Energy, who had directional drilled the line weeks prior, arrived as the clock was getting placed and installed the meter, which meant Tom Miller Electric was able to hook up the electricity late that afternoon. The clock, once again, was keeping time over Phillips.

While keeping time, it also gives important information about our town. There is a frame in the pole that will soon house a plaque with information about the clock. Inside the pole is a time capsule that will be opened in 2050. The upper portion of the clock always housed a sign advertising the current bank that owned the building where the clock was affixed. As of 2021, the clock's sign now welcomes everyone to Phillips, Wisconsin, which was platted on September 23, 1876 and incorporated on April 10, 1891. Lynne explained the two dates, stating, "It seems that the platted date was the most significant one mentioned in city documents and is when most people feel the town was formed, but being incorporated is also significant, so, after consulting with Bruce Marshall, the city attorney, we included both dates." Bruce and Davette also donated their time to create a document that will protect the clock from destruction well into the future. To commemorate the event, Judy Hayton wrote a poem. (The poem can be found below this article.)

All three ladies remarked they could not have seen the project through without all the great help they had from everyone involved with donating services, materials, or money. "This clock has a special place in many people's hearts," Judy remarked. "One person told me it moved her to tears to see it back in Phillips. We have enjoyed seeing other people stopping to take photos the last few days when we traveled through town. We are glad so many people are happy." Davette added, "The clock seems to be the one constant in Phillips that people feel attached to. Like an old friend, it has always been there." Lynne agreed and mentioned, "I commend everyone who takes on a community project. There have been so many great projects over the last few years, such as the splash pad and stage in Elk Lake Park and the softball/baseball fields, just to name a few. We all may wonder why something is done a certain way on any of these projects, but the truth is the people organizing those projects probably had a lot of difficulties they had to overcome that most others weren't aware of, and I really think it is great how our community comes together on these projects. We are all fortunate to call Phillips home and live amongst such great people."

The Power of 3 Community Development Group, Inc. wanted to get the clock up as soon as it was ready for everyone to enjoy, but funds are still needed to cover the costs. In spring or summer, an approximate 15 x 16 foot area by the clock will be landscaped as a micro park for public enjoyment. Gary Gabrielsen has volunteered to donate his masonry services, and an anonymous donor will donate funds for two benches, but various other materials will be needed to make the corner look as classy as the clock. If anyone would like to donate to the project, funds can be deposited at Forward Bank in the Power of 3 Community Development Group, Inc. account or by clicking the "Donate" button at Davette stated, "We are a non-profit group, so your donation is tax-deductible, depending on your tax situation. All the money goes to the non-profit, as well. We are not taking any monetary compensation as we have also donated to the clock project and want all funds to go to the non-profit to enhance the community. If there are any leftover funds, though likely all will need to be used for the clock, those funds will be used for future maintenance of the clock and/or other community development projects." Additional donors will be recognized via My Price County once the landscaping project is complete next year.

Poem written by Judith Ann Hayton:

This clock was an icon in our town close to a hundred years or so
Until the Wells Fargo Bank execs said, “This thing has got to go!”

Trashing the clock in a garbage truck to a salvage yard somewhere
Thrown away, like a piece of trash, and they didn’t seem to care

Driving through Phillips, Lynne Bohn saw the iconic clock was down
This iconic clock had been loved by all who lived in our small town

Lynne told her sister, Davette Hrabak, and so she got started, too
Davette did quite a bit of sleuthing as this was something new

To us there wasn’t an option; there was not one single doubt
The three of us together, for sure, could figure this thing out

Davette decided to call the City of Phillips to find out what they knew
They did not know much of anything, but they did have one small clue

She also called the bank to ask a teller; finding that clock might be hard
The city told us the clock was in Minocqua, soon to be in a salvage yard

Davette called Lakeland Sign and Graphics; the clock, to us, they gave
And that is when we knew for sure that old clock was ours to save

Then later on we were told, and to us it was a mighty shock,
The city had, without us knowing, went to get that grand old clock

They had done some sleuthing, too, and sent a crew right out
They didn’t know the clock was ours, but it was without a doubt

We went to city meetings and, for the clock, fought tooth and nail
In restoring that grand old historic clock, we did not want to fail

We proved our case, we owned the clock; now to get on track
The city brought the clock home to us, and now we had it back

Now for some fund-raising; we needed some money to come in
None of us had one small clue of where we should begin

Our first task was huge as the clock was badly torn apart
The only way to get this done was pull up our sleeves and start

Who did we know with the talent to tackle this huge task?
We felt that Rudy Suchy might be the person we should ask

He told us he would gladly donate some of his labor time
If parts were needed, we should know, it had to be our dime

Transporting the frame to get repaired, John Kucaba used his truck
We knew he felt for us to get this done would take a lot of luck

BW Papersystems donated money and some custom parts
Which we accepted gladly with full and grateful hearts

When all was done, the clock repaired, it gave us quite a shock
Five thousand five hundred dollars to get back the treasured clock

Funds came in just in time; Price Electric helped to save the day
Five thousand dollars helped things out; we had a lot to pay

Tony Budaj did the clock’s lighting and the wiring, as well
He knew what he was doing; he made that clock look swell

A state plan was needed; we had Ayres & Associates draw up one
It was four hundred dollars, and we were glad when that was done

A twenty foot pole was needed, and it seemed a daunting task
Where do you find that size pole, and who would you even ask?

Mick Theis at IAP was contacted, and it sure seemed like it was fate
He and his sisters were awesome; what their company did was great

They asked us what was needed, and we mentioned about the pole
They said, we can do that for you; we can help you reach your goal

To Laurie Woldt, Kris Ernst, and Mick Theis, we really need to say
Your donation of the great clock pole really made our day

IAP engineers, Scott - Woldt and Swan - gave of their very best
Designers Lyle Slack, Tim Makovsky, on their laurels did not rest

Fabrication and design was great, we could not leave them out
Gary Freeman did his job for sure; of that there is no doubt

A special spot was needed to place the clock back in our town
We searched around the city streets, looked both up and down

Everywhere we looked, huge pipes were buried underground
We then had another thought, and the perfect spot was found

The Phillips city parking lot, it sure would have the greatest view
For all the people living here, and the folks just passing through

Finding electricians also proved to be quite a daunting chore
We had lost a couple of them, so we just had to call one more

Tom Miller of Miller Electric said he for sure would help us out
His time he gave, we furnished parts; that’s what this was all about

He briefly mentioned to us, even though he lived in a rival town,
He would do the neighborly thing and would never let us down

A trench was needed for the electric wiring going to the pole
Jeff Williams and Jim Heizler helped us to get closer to our goal

They went to work; a trench was dug for the clock’s electric line
We appreciated the help they gave, and everything went fine

State-required plans called for drilling a fourteen foot deep hole
Cement was something we sure needed to hold up this mighty pole

Northern Lakes Concrete donated cement; that really made our day
So many people helping out, each in their unique and special way

A rebar cage was needed; where to get one, not the faintest clue
Mick Theis at IAP said, not a problem, that is something we can do

So, John Aldinger got real busy, and when the rebar cage was done
It was such a beauty that, for sure, first prize it would have won

A hurdle yet we needed crossed was who could dig that mighty hole
A great big one was needed to support that awesome pole

Asking around we got a lead, and it turned out to be quite good
The help we needed came to us from our very own neighborhood

Greg Denzine, a neighbor, was the person we were told to ask
Greg said he knew a guy who would likely help us with this task

George Jacobson we then called; we then planned a time and date
Thank you, Xcel Energy, all of your workers sure did great

The clock restored, the hole was drilled, the cement work yet to do
Gary Gabrielsen was for sure the one; his work was tried and true

Dennis Onchuck worked on site; both freely gave their time
So much done it would be hard for all to be mentioned in this rhyme

COVID-19 virus had hit us hard; the supply chain was a great big mess
When things would get back to normal, we did not even have a guess

Lo and behold, supplies were low; hammered black paint was needed
We went Internet searching, high and low, and finally succeeded

Lynne’s work paid off, the paint was found that fervently was sought
The search ended happily, and six quarts of paint were bought

The electric line was going in; things for sure were right on track
The day would soon be here for us to put that grand clock back

A pole designed by IAP was made to match the iconic clock
John Aldinger did the welding, and he built that pole as solid as a rock

Stewart Calkins painted the pole, and he really gave his very best
The pole looks awesome, and we sure know it beats out all the rest

The clear coat paint, we did not use, it clearly was giving us trouble
When applied to the metal sample piece, all it did was bubble

It was now up to us to say if three coats of paint would be enough
The paint should last for many years; we all know Rust-Oleum is tough

Bruce Marshall, the city attorney, donated all of his legal time
Davette and Bruce collaborated, and neither charged a dime

Paperwork was created so the clock would stay in our town forever
So this could never happen again, and we seriously do mean never

A crane was needed to raise the pole, and we did not know who to get
Dennis Onchuck said he would use his crane, and so then we were all set

The original paint had to dry a few days more, so we just had to wait
Rudy Suchy brought the clock; November 4th was for sure the date

Gary Freeman volunteered to haul the pole from IAP to the parking lot
It was great to see the iconic clock placed in that awesome spot

Ron Neilson volunteered to help; he was most certainly needed
We were happy that, so far, this clock project had succeeded

One more thing was needed and it was certainly our good luck
Mike Johnson volunteered the use of him and his trusty bucket truck

To hoist Ron Neilson up to secure the clock so the town would have it back
Everything so far was going well, and everything was right on track

On November 4, 2021, the clock was hung and there it shall ever be
A symbol of Phillips’ past, a reminder of its people and their history

A time capsule is now tucked safely eighteen feet below the pole’s top dome
In 2050 to be opened by those that now call the City of Phillips home

In closing, the short version of this poem:

To put it short and put it sweet
We put the clock back on the street

To watch a video of the clock going back up in Phillips, view

For further information about the historic McClintock-Loomis clocks, view

To read an update about The Clock Tower Pocket Park, click here.

With much appreciation for their donations of money, materials, and services in part or in full, donors included:

Judy Hayton; Davette Hrabak; Lynne Bohn
Claire Theis, Laurie Woldt, Kris Ernst, & Mick Theis, IAP, Inc. -
Xcel Energy -
Price Electric Cooperative -
Dennis Onchuck, Northern Equipment Service Ltd.
Mike Johnson, MAS Trucking
Ron Neilson
Tony Budaj
Tom Miller, Miller Electric -
Gary Gabrielsen, Masonry
Therese & Maureen Trojak
BW Papersystems -
Rudy Suchy
Precour Family
Leslie & Barb Alm
Phillips Moose Lodge in memory of John Vlach
Norvado -
John Kucaba
Lakeland Sign & Graphics -
Forward Bank -
Fastenal -
Northern Lakes Concrete -
Phillips Lumber & Hardware -
Jeff Williams & Jim Heizler of the City of Phillips -
Price County Historical Society
Phillips Lions Club
David Martinet
Marshfield Monument -
Bruce Marshall
Slaby, Deda, Marshall, Reinhard & Writz LLP -
Brent Mindock, BC Auto Repair LLC -
Price County Antique Association
Susan Weddle
Dave Peterson
Tom & Jane Hommerding
Shirley Smith
Chuck & Sherrie Kandutsch
Frank & Carol Dusek
Carole Zellinger
Grace Kielsmeier
Etola Foytek
Mic Peterson
Tina Andersen
Greg Denzine -
Gary Hall

The group also wants to thank Mayor Chuck Peterson and the Common Council for their assistance with this project.

(This post was last modified: 11-06-2022, 03:26 PM by My Northern Wisconsin.)