Silverton residents have been robbed of two priceless pieces of history.
Sometime between Feb. 1 and March 17, a thief took watches that once belonged to two men who played important roles in Silverton’s history – Homer Davenport and Bill McGinnis – from the Silverton Country Historical Society Museum, 428 S. Main St.
Davenport was a world-renown political cartoonist who traveled to Arabia to return with 27 pure desert-bred Arabian horses in 1906. He was born in 1867 outside of Silverton and is the author of the Country Boy. McGinnis was the manager of Silver Falls Timber Co. and the Silverton Red Sox baseball team.
Carolyn Hutton, former curator, was giving a tour on March 17 when she noticed the watches were missing. Both watches were given to the museum in 2010. The Silverton Police Department is investigating the theft. The total value of both watches is estimated at $200 to $300.
McGinnis’ watch was described as a Hamilton watch with bold numbers and a second hand dial at the bottom.
“It’s gold and has a deer’s head on the back with the initials WLMcG between the antlers of the deer,” Hutton said.
Before being given to the museum in 2010, Homer Davenport’s watch was kept for 75 years in a safe deposit box in Spain. His watch is described as an Elgin National Watch with Roman numerals and a Arabian horse head engraved on the back.
“The value of the watches to the historical society is immeasurable,” Hutton said.
Hutton said there was little evidence of the building being broken into, adding someone may have a key to the building and know the alarm code. There are more than a dozen people who have keys
“The case where Homer’s watch was in was locked,” Hutton said.
“McGinnis’ watch was in a glass doom in a glass case that was pushed against a wall. Someone had to move the heavy case from against the wall to get the watch.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 503-873-7070.