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Postal Inspector John Clum’s retirement watch fob

Description:

The ribbon and seal watch fob attaches to a pocket watch by the clasp at the top of the black ribbon. The gold locket features a diamond inset on the Post Office Department’s horse and rider seal rendered in blue enamel. The locket’s interior is inscribed with the names of fourteen postal inspectors from the New York division and contains a piece of red, white, and blue fabric. The reverse of the locket is engraved “JPC” for John P. Clum (1851-1932), to whom the New York postal inspectors presented this locket when he left the Inspection Service on May 15, 1906, to become postmaster of Fairbanks, Alaska. The inspectors also presented Clum with a letter that stated, “We have ever found you genial, courteous and high-minded, faithful in the discharge of every duty assigned to you in the many years of your service, loyal in every respect to that which loyalty is due, marked with a calmness, serenity and certitude in action and urbanity in speech, that has made your name proverbial.” In 1909 Clum left Alaska and rejoined the Inspection Service, working in New York until his final retirement from the Post Office Department in 1911.

In addition to his years with the Post Office Department in New York and Alaska, Clum served as the postmaster of Tombstone, Arizona, from 1881 to 1882 and 1885 to 1886. Born in New York state, Clum moved to New Mexico as a young man and immediately fell in love with the West. He worked as an agent for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at San Carlos, Arizona, from 1874 to 1877 and the mayor of Tombstone from 1881 to 1882. While in Tombstone, he began a life-long friendship with Wyatt Earp. Clum established the Tombstone Epitaph newspaper, worked as a travel promoter for the Southern Pacific Railroad, and wrote several articles for the New Mexico Historical Society. After Clum’s death, his son Woodward Clum compiled some of his father’s writings into the book titled "Apache Agent," which was published in 1936 and made into the film “Walk the Proud Land” in 1956.

Date:
May 15, 1906
Markings:
POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT / UNITED STATES OF AMER ICA [recto]; FROM P.O. INSPECTORS / N.Y. DIV. / JPC [verso]
Medium:
metal (gold); enamel; fabric; gemstone (diamond)
Dimensions:
Height x Width (ribbon): 10.2 x 4.8cm (4 x 1 7/8in.) Diameter (locket): 3.2cm (1 1/4in.)
Museum ID:
1988.0338.1
Place:
New York

  • Postal Inspector John Clum’s retirement watch fob
  • Postal Inspector John Clum’s retirement watch fob
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