- "They [Marty and Doc] both stared at the next photograph, open-mouthed. There couldn't be any doubt anymore. / The caption read: / 'THE NEW CLOCK, SEPTEMBER 5, 1885.' / And in the photo stood the white-haired 'Doc' Emmett L. Brown, dressed in a long coat and tie, western boots and a stetson hat, right next to a six-foot-high clock face resting on top of a Conestoga wagon."
- —From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 29)
- "There was a piece of paper stuck to the back of the twisted capacitor. Marty peeled it free, and saw it was the photograph of Doc in front of the clock in 1885 — or what was left of it. The photograph was burned through the middle, leaving Doc posing with only half a clock. Marty looked at it sadly. This was all that was left of Doc Brown."
- —From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, pages 211 and 212)
Emmett Brown's photograph of the clock that would later sit in the clock tower of the Hill County Courthouse was taken on September 5, 1885 by the photographer at the Hill Valley Festival. This version was created before Marty McFly intervened after finding out about his death, which occurred later that night when Doc was shot in the back by Buford Tannen.
The photograph remained in the City Archives for seventy years where it was found by Marty and Doc's younger self in 1955. Marty took the photograph with him to 1885 and left it in the DeLorean time machine all the way to returning to 1985. When the DeLorean was destroyed by a train on the tracks, the photograph was discovered in the wreckage by Marty, but it had been burnt down the middle by the exposed wiring of the smashed flux capacitor – leaving Doc posing with only half a clock. However, when Doc returned in the Jules Verne Train with Clara, their sons, and Einstein, he handed Marty a replacement with both of them together at the clock on the same night.