After 64 years in the jewelry business in Marceline, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Zurcher are retiring.
Zurcher settled in Marceline in February, 1909, after an advertisement in a trade paper attracted him to the town. His business still occupies the store he purchased at that time from Percy Wilkins.
His record books indicate that he has repaired 45,000 timepieces since he established his practice. Although no total count is available on the number of eyeglasses he has made, Zurcher estimates he has fitted 8,000 to 10,000 pairs, spanning four generations.
Zurcher has been an optometrist for 52 years. His wife, Helen, has operated the jewelry store for over 50 years.
Zurcher was born in Biel, Switzerland, on October 8, 1882. He learned the watch making trade from his father, following family tradition — his mother was also involved in the watch business.
In 1904, at the age of 22, he moved to the United States and worked as a watchmaker for the Waltham Watch Company, Waltham, Mass. From there, he traveled to South Bend, Indiana, where he helped the Stydebaker Company found a watch Factory.
Later, Zurcher worked for the Elgin Watch Company, Elgin, Illinois. Answering the advertisement in a trade paper, he moved to Marceline. He has been a watch inspector for the Santa Fe Railroad for 64 years, and is the oldest inspector for the system.