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More About The Bily Clocks

Bily Brothers
  Adie Kuhn   Clocks  

The Bily Brothers with the American Pioneer History Clock in 1927

   

Docent, Adie Kuhn, giving an historical tour to museum visitors

   

Inside view of the museum

 
 
small product photo   small product photo   Museum  
Director Carol Riehle in the Museum gift shop
 
1854 Bouska School House
 
The Bily Clocks Museum
 
 

 

The Bily Brothers

The history of the Bily Brothers, Frank and Joseph, began on the farm where they were born and raised. Located between Ridgeway and Spillville,Iowa, the farm is where the two brothers started their carvings. These uniquely designed clocks have attracted people from all areas of the United States, Canada and from many foreign countries as well.

Beginning in 1913, the brothers employed the idle hours of long winter days and evenings with their skills of woodcarving. Being farmers and carpenters, they carved only as a hobby while still doing their regular chores and maintaining a well kept farm. In 1915 and 1916, they built the Apostle Clock from which the Twelve Apostles appear on the hour. During the period of 1923-1927, the Bily Brothers added their masterpiece to the collection, The American Pioneer History Clock. A memorial clock to Charles Lindbergh was carved in 1928 commemorating his historic flight. In these beautiful artistically carved clocks the brothers have used woods from a number of foreign countries as well as numerous pieces of walnut, butternut, maple and oaks from North America.

The Bily Brothers moved their collection to Spillville in 1946. They bequeathed the clocks to the town of Spillville with an agreement that  they  would never be sold or moved from their present location.The second floor of the building was the home of the famous Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, and his family during the summer of 1893.

There is a small muesum shop featuring gifts from the Czech Republic, books and CD's of Antonin Dvorak and Spillville items.

1854 Bouska Schoolhouse-Log Cabin

In1993, James and Richard Riehle gave the cabin to the town of Spillville in memory of their late brother, Michael. In July of 1993 the cabin was set onto its new location behind the Bily Clocks Museum. The schoolhouse features living quarters for the schoolmaster and his family in one room and the other room was used as the classroom.