Webb C. Ball was born in Fredericktown in 1847 and later
settled in Cleveland to work for a jeweler before opening up
his own shop. He was the first jeweler to use time signals from
the U.S. Naval Observatory, bringing accurate time to Cleveland.
In 1891 he was hired to be the chief time inspector for the railroad,
overseeing 125,000 miles of rail tracks in the United States,
Canada and Mexico. He was in charge of synchronizing the watches
for the railroad engineers, enabling them to avoid any major
The clock, which was created by Fredericktown native Webb
C. Ball in 1886, had been in disrepair on a Cleveland street
until April 2007, when it was brought to Fredericktown by several
men with the help of Jim Wagner, Gordon Flash Huff
and members of the bicentennial committee and Fredericktown Historical
Society. Now fully restored and operational, the clock, which
is 17 feet tall, stands in front of our Village Municipal Building.