Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Visionary...Dr. Charles Dougherty

John C. Dueber had been in the watch manufacturing business since 1863, when he was in partnership with Francis Doll. Around 1886, Dueber's difficulties began with the watch case cartel. In was during the mid-1880s that 19 watch case manufacturers formed a cartel. The cartel members agreed to only make so many cases, and to charge a specific price for those cases. Any case manufacturer who refused to join the cartel, or who made more cases, or lowered the price below the floor price would be punished. The cartel refused to sell cases to any watch distributor who also did business with the cheaters, or the non-members. History isn't clear on whether John Dueber refused to join the cartel, or if he defected, but the cartel agreed on November 16, 1887, in New York City, that the members of the cartel would not sell, or do business with any distributor who would buy or sell goods from the Dueber Watch Case Company (Troesken, pg. 285-286).

Because Dueber was having a hard time selling his cases and he needed watch works, Dueber decided to buy the Hampden Watch Works of Springfield, Massachusetts. Because Dueber couldn't expand his factories in Newport, Kentucky, nor in Springfield, he made it known that any city willing to put up $100, 000, would get his Dueber Case Company of Newport, and the newly purchased Hampden Watch Works of Springfield along with 2,000 employees, and their families.

According to the Stark County Story, when the bidding for the Dueber-Hampden Watch Factory came about, Dr . Charles Dougherty a local dentist, and head of the Board of Trade ( a predecessor to the Chamber of Commerce), sprung into action to raise the $100,000 dollars needed to bring the company to Canton. Dr. Dougherty who had closed his dental practice due to ill health and was then pursuing a career in real estate and insurance, was able to raise the money in three months with individual pledges of $5,000 from twenty of Canton's most prominent citizens. William McKinley, United States Representative (later president) is said to have been among those pledging to help bring Dueber-Hampden to Canton (Haldi).

Some have called Dr. Dougherty the spark plug who was instrumental in bringing the Dueber-Hampden Watch and Case Factory to Canton. He was also responsible for bringing other major manufacturing companies to Canton, including the Berger Manufacturing Company, and The Timken Roller Bearing Company. Dougherty is from a long line of Greentown, Ohio doctors. Dougherty's own father carried his dental tools in his saddlebag while riding horseback to practice dentistry. Dougherty's brothers were also dentists and doctors in the Canton area. Dougherty originally came to Canton with $2.00 in his pocket at the age of 19, and worked his way through dental school finishing when he was 32 years old (Stark County Bicentennial Story, pg. 195).

Because of his efforts, Dr. Dougherty helped double Canton's population in a decade. The population of Canton in 1880 was 12,250, and rose to 26, 189 by 1890 (Stark County Bicentennial Story).

* Hands of Times shows the history of watch hands and companies that produced them

HEALD, EDWARD THORTON. "Greentown's Famous Doctors."The Stark County Story. The Stark County Historical Society. I. Columbus, Ohio: The Stoneman Press, 1949. Print.

HALDI, RICHARD. "Dueber-Hampden Watchworks ." Massillon Genealogical Society. Massillon. 3 Feb. 2010. Lecture.

The Stark County Bicentennial Story Volume 2, pg. 194-196

TROESKEN, WERNER. "The Letters of John Sherman and the Origins of Antitrust." Review of Austrian Economics. 15.4 (2002): 275-295. Print.

(images --used by permission from Edward Thouvenin Collection, Canton, Ohio)

* Trademark Card advertisement for the Dueber Watch Case Manufacturing Company, and was used as 1884 Christmas Greetings, printed by Krebs Lithographing Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.

* Hands of Times shows the history of watch hands and companies that produced them


  1. I like learning about the history of my home town. Keep the information coming. Marge

  2. Thanks, glad you enjoy it.

  3. My grand father, father and brother, mother and brother and 2 sisters all worked and are in a picture taken in 1913 in front of the watch works. tom e.

  4. My mother also worked at Dueber-Hampden as a "time setter"? I think that was her postion.
    Her name was Clara M. Roth she was about 18 yrs old. She was born on Ausust 8, 1895 in Canton,Ohio Died June 6, 1989.
    Does any one have any employees work records?
    Thank you
    Jim Vogley

  5. As I recall the old gray castle on the bank. The watch and case works remain as a wonderful boyhood mystery that will forever keep time In my memory.

  6. Tom, I would be interested in seeing the photograph of your family by the Watch Works.

    Jim, I have heard many of the records from Dueber-Hampden were destroyed. A good place to start to look would be the McKinley Library & Museum.

    Thanks Randy for sharing that memory...especially that the Works would keep time in your memory.

    Thanks gentlemen for sharing your comments.

  7. I have a watch from George Deuble Jewelry Company 130 S.Market St Canton Ohio in the original box. I was wondering where or who would provide appraisals on this item