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Family donates watch case

An engraved silver watch case that once belonged to Book of Mormon witness Martin Harris has been donated to the Museum of Church History and Art.

Dick H. Jardine, in whose family the watch case has been for generations, presented it to Elder Sheldon F. Child of the Seventy at the museum on Aug. 16.

Martin Harris Watch, donated to Church Museum in Aug. 07
Martin Harris Watch, donated to Church Museum in Aug. 07

"The silver watch case is engraved with "MH" and is dated to the early 1870s," said Clint Christensen, collections development specialist in the Family and Church History Department. "Clint Christensen, who helped acquire the case for the Church, believes that the case and a watch were given to Martin Harris after his arrival in Utah in 1870. The watch has since vanished from history, but the watch case was passed from Martin Harris Jr. to Alma Jensen, and then to John Jardine and his descendants."

Dick H. Jardine is the great-great-grandson of John Jardine, who was bishop in Clarkston, Utah, from 1876 to 1902 and a friend of Martin Harris.

"Martin Harris's silver watch case symbolizes Harris's major contributions to the Church 40 years later when he became the only one of the Three Witnesses to travel to Utah," Brother Christensen said.

"The Saints welcomed Harris to Salt Lake City on Aug. 30, 1870, and paid for his trip by railroad. He spoke in the October 1870 general conference and bore his testimony to many communities in Utah. Because of his poverty in this period of his life, it is likely that the watch with the engraved silver case was a gift from the Utah saints."

Martin Harris
Martin Harris