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a clock from aabenraa Across Oceans, Across Time, Across Generations . . . literally

A cherished family heirloom links the story of a family, migration and turmoil on the Danish-German border.

Article by John Mark Nielsen

Today, the old clock stands tall in the living room of a home in Harlan, Iowa. Apenrade, the German spelling of the Danish city, Aabenraa, appears on the clock’s face; painted on the glass cover is the date – 1772. 242 years and almost 4,500 miles separate the clock from when and where the swing of its pendulum and distinctive, rhythmic “tock, tock, tock” began marking time.

The clock is the prized possession of the Muller family, a family who has its roots in the Duchy of Schleswig (Slesvig in Danish). Following the disastrous defeat of the Danish army in the DanoPrussian War of 1864, Schleswig became a part of the German Empire. In 1885, largely due to treatment of the Danish minority, the Muller family immigrated to the United States, bringing the clock with them. The family

Parlor Interior of the T. G. Muller home showing the clock at left with Muller, Mette Overgaard Muller, daughters Dagny & Gudrun and niece Thyra Rasmussen, about 1914 in Kimballton, Iowa. Collection of the Museum of Danish America, gift of Muriel Muller Bacon. Across Oceans, Across Time, Across Generations

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SPRING 2014 | america letter + annual report  

The America Letter is a benefit of membership to the Museum of Danish America, published three times annually. If you find yourself wanting...

SPRING 2014 | america letter + annual report  

The America Letter is a benefit of membership to the Museum of Danish America, published three times annually. If you find yourself wanting...

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