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 museum shop featuring gifts from the Czech Republic, books and CD's of Antonin Dvorak and Spillville items. The online gift shop.

Frank BiIly at work

Frank was born in 1880. The brother's serious wood carving began in 1913.

Joseph BiIly

Joseph BiIly