The original cast iron bell from the 1906 City Hall bell tower has been recovered by the city of Elizabethtown.
“It will make a great historical addition to downtown once cleaned up and restored,” a post made Monday on the City of Elizabethtown Government Facebook page said.
Mayor Jeff Gregory said Kenny Tabb, former Hardin County clerk, mentioned to him during a conversation last fall that he knew the location of the bell.
Tabb, who retired in 2014 after 17 years as county clerk, learned the location of the bell during his tenure.
Talking with his deputy clerks one day, Tabb said he wished out loud that the city had never taken the bell tower off the former city hall, which now is the home of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce at 111 W. Dixie Ave. He called the bell “a big part of the street scape for downtown E’town.”
“One of my deputies spoke up and said I know where the bell is,” Tabb said.
According to Tabb, Diane Nall said her family has had the bell for probably 20 years. Her late husband, Eddie Nall, received the bell for work he had performed for Roy Harrison. Tabb said she believes Harrison was involved with the demolition of the bell tower, which the city commissioned Mose Polk to take down around 1969.
Tabb said the bell was manufactured between 1882 and 1905 by C.S. Bell Co. in Hillsboro, Ohio. The City Hall building has a date of 1906 on it, So, he said this bell could have been one of the last bells the company manufactured.
The bell measures 30 inches in diameter at the bottom, Tabb said.
Tabb said Diane Nall recently felt compelled to make sure the bell would go back to the city.
“From Elizabethtown’s standpoint it is like our liberty bell, because it is a bell that was once here over 100 years ago,” he said. “We’re real excited and pleased that we were able to get the bell back.”
Gregory said the plan is to clean the bell, construct a stand built for it and find a place, most likely downtown, to install it.