Zurcher Timeline

  • Circa 1902 – A 2-story brick building is built on the SW corner of Kansas and Ritchie. It initially housed a local bank on the first floor and the KOP hall on the second floor. (1)
  • Mar 24, 1905 – W.S. Payne sells his jewelry business to Percy Wilkins. Mr. Payne had been in the jewelry business in Marceline since “the town had been platted”. (2)
  • April 7, 1905 – Cashier Walter C. Hume, for the Marceline State Bank, purchases the “Payne business building” on the corner of Kansas and Ritchie. It is referred to as “one of the handsomest corner buildings in the city”. (3)
  • Apr 7, 1905 – Percy Wilkins has a grand opening of his jewelry store in this building. (3)
  • Feb 26, 1909 – The firm of Percy Wilkins takes on Albert Zurcher as a partner. (4)

Albert Zurcher

  • Oct 8, 1882 – Albert Zurcher born in Biel-Bienne, Switzerland. He becomes a student of the watchmaking trade in this most famous of watchmaking cities. (5)
  • 1903 – Mr. Zurcher arrives in the United States, bringing with him his precision watchmaking tools and lathe. He takes courses at the watchmaking firms in Waltham, MA and Elgin, IL. (5)
  • 1908 – Arrives in Marceline after seeing a advertisement in a jeweler trade magazine for a jeweler business for sale in Marceline (5). He is appointed the Santa Fe watch inspector for this location a few days after his arrival. (6)
  • Mid-1909 – Percy Wilkins sells the business to Mr. Zurcher (7)
  • Aug 13, 1909 – First advertisement for the Albert Zurcher business appears in the Marceline Mirror. (8)

The Zurcher Business – The Final Analysis

  • Dec 22, 1973 – Mr. Zurcher closes his door of the business for the last time after 63 years. (9)
  • His records indicated that he repaired 45,000 timepieces. Estimates show that he fitted 8,000-10,000 pairs of glasses. (9)
  • As if he wasn’t busy enough, he helped found the Marceline Home Savings and Loan Association (and served as a director over 54 years). Along the way, he served as councilman, mayor, Linn County Road Commissioner, and many other helpful community positions. (9)
  • Feb 16, 1981 – Albert Zucher passes away at the age of 98. (9)

Zurcher Building Significant Events

  • 1919 – Annex to the store to house Mr. Zurcher’s family. The second floor are apartments/Zurcher family rooms; the first floor of the annex is leased to the Post Office (9).
  • April 8, 2002 – The apartments burn (10). The debris is cleared and the original “Coke Wall” is revealed.
  • Other building tenants come and go over the years.
  • 2019 – Analysis shows that the Zurcher building foundation is becoming unstable and at risk of collapse.
  • 2020 – Front wall is taken down and rebuilt with a strong foundation to keep the building going for many more years


1. Sanborn Map, 1902
2. Marceline Mirror, Mar 24, 1905.
3. Marceline Mirror, Apr 7, 1905
4. Marceline Mirror, Feb 26, 1909.
5. Centennial Edition Marceline Missouri, Copyright 1988 City of Marceline. Page 324 commentary by Frances (Zurcher) Washam
6. Marceline Mirror, Feb 16 1934
7. Marceline Mirror, Feb 26, 1909
8. Marceline Mirror, Apr 13, 1909.
9. Centennial Edition Marceline Missouri, Copyright 1988 City of Marceline. Page 324 commentary by Frances (Zurcher) Washam
10. Marceline Press, Apr 11, 2002