Presentation Watch and Tintype, ca. 1898

Value (2004) | $4,700 Retail$5,200 Retail

The watch was given to my great-grandfather in 1898 for taking part in breaking up a railroad train robbery in Coleman, Texas. He went to work for the Wells Fargo Company in 1880 and was transferred from Nebraska to Texas and was a messenger on the express cars.

Well, the watch you brought in was presented to him in 1898. The jewelry store is Shreve and Company of San Francisco. Wells Fargo presented him with this award thanking him for risking his life and the service that he... that he rendered. And here's the beautiful hand-engraving work on it. The presentation says "Presented to Mr. L.L. White for devotion to duty under great danger. June 9, 1898. Wells Fargo and Company." Shreve and Company, the jewelry house, was a premier store in San Francisco. They made very fine jewelry and very fine watches. And this particular watch, in solid gold, is beautifully engraved on the cover. And the movement was made by Elgin Watch Company for Shreve, and it's signed on the movement "Shreve and Company" and "Elgin" also. It's a very high quality, very beautifully finished movement. You also have a picture of your great-grandfather when he was about four years old in 1862, and this is on a tintype.

He was born in Memphis and then, I guess, ended up in a wagon train to Nebraska.

You also said that three generations in your family were working in the transportation Wells Fargo business.

Yeah. It started with my great-grandfather and then my grandfather and then my father.

And you broke the chain.

I broke the chain, yes.

You also brought in a really nice photograph of your great-grandfather sitting at the bench in his leisurely years, but also what's interesting is this reprint of a newspaper article. Could you share what that is, please?

That was done in 1986 by the Historical Society of Brownwood, Texas. It's a story of the train robbery.

Oh, that's great. The value is certainly enhanced by the great inscription, family history, the photograph. I would say this watch is probably worth $4,500 to $5,000.


And a couple hundred dollars extra for the tin type of your great-grandfather.

Appraisal Details

Second Time Around
Hollywood, CA
Appraised value (2004)
$4,700 Retail$5,200 Retail
Memphis, TN (July 31, 2004)

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