ELDRIDGE: Duncan CHALLEN, son of Micajah LIPPINCOTT and Maggie BERRY, becomes the clock man
Duncan CHALLEN was born 21 May 1868 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa and was named for his father and the pastor who married his parents.
After attending Davenport schools, "Chal" as he was called, began at age 17, blueing guns at the Rock Island Arsenal where he worked through three wars.
He left for other employment but returned to the Arsenal in 1898 at the time of the Spanish American War. During WWI, he was in charge of all the clocks on the Island, and each day synchronized and wound by hand, more than 200 time pieces.
In 1925 he left the Arsenal to become the "Clock Man" for the Rock Island Lines, keeping all the self-setting and self-winding clocks in repair. Chal became known as one of the most expert clock repairmen in America, maintaining railroad clocks from all over the country, including the large clock in the tower at the La Salle Street Station in Chicago.
During WWII, he returned to the Arsenal, not to work on clocks but as an inspector of springs for machine guns. At his retirement, he had served the United States for more than 30 years.
Duncan married Annette HUTCHINSON on 4 Apr 1901 in Davenport by the Minister of the Christian Church. She was the dtr of Joseph and Elizabeth WALKER HUTCHINSON. She was born 29 Mar 1869 in Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio where she attended school. She died 21 Jul 1949 in Davenport. She and Duncan are buried in Davenport's Oakdale Memorial Gardens.
Duncan was an active member of the Masons, the Presbyterian Church and the National Council of Presbterian Men. He died 6 Feb 1951 in Davenport.
Duncan and Annette had a daughter.
Ethel born 27 Nov 1904 in Davenport, attended Davenport schools and graduated from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. In 1924, with an A.B. degree, she taught English, Latin, drama and literature in the high school at Armstrong, Iowa, until 1935 Ethel married Leroy Melvin VANDENBURGH who was born 11 Sept 1907 in Armstrong, Iowa, son of George B. and Anna STOKER VANDENBURGH. Leroy attended Armstrong schools, Estherville Junior College and was trained as a mortician at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
They lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Leroy worked in the mortuary where the body of President Franklin D. ROOSEVELT was prepared for burial.
On 12 Jan 1954, while working as a chemical salesman, Leroy was killed in an automobile accident at rural Wallace, Franklin, Arkansas. The cause of his death was unusual. Bottles of embalming fluid which Mr. VANDENBURGH carried inhis car, broke and the fumes from the fluid caused his death. Ethel died 18 Mar 1981 in Oklahoma City, Payne, Oklahome. They are buried in Grove Cemetery in Armstrong, Emmet, Iowa. They had one son, Leroy Melvin VANDENBURGH, JR.born 8 Dec 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was killed in an automobile accident near Stillwter, Payne, Oklahoma, on 22 Apr 1966 and was buried with is parents in Armstrong, Iowa.