History of the Chicago Coin Club

Carl F. Wolf and Jennie Sochon
(c) copyright 1986 by Chicago Coin Club

Chicago Numismatic Society

The Chicago Coin Club was born in 1919, although its ancestry traces back much further. Late in 1903, six men met over dinner at the Union League Club of Chicago and decided that it was time to form a local numismatic group. They discussed the scope and purpose of their infant society and each pledged to bring one new member when they met again.

The report from that January 16, 1904 meeting does not indicate how many were present, but enough were there to give this group the courage to call themselves the Chicago Numismatic Society. Five of the six men present at the earlier dinner meeting were elected as officers: President William G. Jerrems, Jr., Vice-President William F. Dunham, Secretary and Librarian Ben G. Green, Treasurer Enos C. Verkler and Censor Michael P. Carey. The sixth member, Walter McDonald, remained without office. Mr. Jerrems exhibited a number of silver and bronze Greek coins and Mr. Dunham exhibited hard times tokens with a discussion of our national, political and financial development. Thus, they began a legacy of numismatic education that we enjoy and still practice eighty-one years later.

The Chicago Numismatic Society prospered for twelve years and in that time, attracted many numismatic notables, Virgil M. Brand, Frank Duffield, Dr. George F. Heath and well-known coin dealers B. Max Mehl of Fort Worth, Texas, Lyman Low of New York, S. Hudson Chapman of Philadelphia and Jacob Hirsh of Munich, Germany honored the Society's rolls.

Anniversary Medal

The Society issued a number of medals but perhaps its most important was the series of twelve Anniversary or Membership medals. These 2" medals were struck in bronze and the first six were issued in 1909 to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Society. The obverse shows the reverse of the Athenian tetradrachm, the Society's seal which was adopted at the April 7, 1905 meeting. Six different but similar reverse designs were employed. The legend on the one commonly called the Founders Medal reads "TO ORIGINAL MEMBERS THE HONORED FOUNDERS OF THE SOCIETY," while the legend on the remaining five read identically "TO MEMBERS WHO HONORED THE SOCIETY BY JOINING ITS RANKS IN...". At this point they differ. In the exergue appears "1904 FIRST YEAR," "1905 SECOND YEAR," through "1908 FIFTH YEAR." In this series, the legends are surrounded by a band of stars, each symbolizing a member who joined in the respective year. In the words of then-Secretary Ben Green, "Each member has finally become a star."

The practice of issuing this medal continued each year until the last of the series was issued in 1914. The number of stars which appears on each year's medal is not an exact indication as to how many were struck because several are known which have stamped on their edges "NOT ISSUED TO A MEMBER." The number of stars on each year's medal is as follows:
1904 4 1908 40 1912 19
1905 26 1909 25 1913 13
1906 38 1910 23 1914 4
1907 22 1911 43

Octagonal Medal

In addition to honoring the members of the Society, medals were also issued to honor events. The first recorded medal was struck to commemorate the new rooms to be occupied by the Society in the Masonic Temple. President Dunham issued the 1-3/8" octagonal brass medal on May 3, 1907. Only two were issued in silver and were presented to Chester Dunham and Ben Green for reading papers before the membership that evening. The obverse-reverse axis varies from medal to medal which indicates they were hand struck.

Collectors Club Medal

The Society issued one medal whose origin shall perhaps remain an enigma. It is believed that it also was issued by William Dunham at or about the same time as the octagonal piece. Every available specimen of this 1-1/4" brass medal shows weakly struck legends with three stars at the top and three stars in the exergue on both sides. The obverse reads "CHICAGO NUMISMATIC SOCIETY," and the reverse "CHICAGO COLLECTORS CLUB."

50th Meeting Medal

During Virgil M. Brand's tenure as president, the Society held its 50th meeting. To commemorate the event, copper medals of 1-3/8" were struck and distributed to members. J. Henri Ripstra engraved the dies but his initials do not appear. He was, however, presented with one of the silver pieces in appreciation of his work.

100th Meeting Medal

The 100th meeting of the Society was celebrated with a dinner at the Palmer House. Each member present received a 30 mm bronze medal inscribed with "ONE HUNDRETH MEETING, MAY 3, 1912."

Nashville Medal

The Chicago Numismatic Society also created two art medals. The first of these was the Nashville medal, commissioned to commemorate the gunboat's visit to Chicago Harbor. The obverse (scanned from the medal - then altered) obverse (scanned from a photo of the same medal) of the 1-1/4" x 3" rectangular medal shows the Nashville at anchor. Struck in bronze and silver, this medal was distributed to the members in a velvet lined presentation box at the January 7, 1910 meeting. Extra copies of the bronze were sold for 75 cents each and $2.50 each was charged for the silver. In addition, one of the silver medals was presented to the Commander of the Nashville. Although rarely seen or offered for sale seventy-six years later, it was reported that 500 of these were struck in bronze and 100 frosted pieces were struck in silver. At the April 1, 1910 meeting, Virgil Brand proposed that, if the dies were cancelled, he would purchase 50 silver and 100 bronze pieces. Many were then sold by him; however, a number of the silver medals remained a part of his collection, to be sold at auction in June, 1984. The reverse (scanned from the medal - then altered). The reverse (scanned from a photo of the same medal).

Aviation Medal

The second art medal was in tribute to the achievement of the ancient dream - aviation. In the early part of this century, Chicago was fast becoming a notable center of aviation. So, it was not surprising, at the September, 1910, meeting of the Chicago Numismatic Society, when it was decided to issue a medal dedicated to the progress of aviation in that year. It was requested that designs be submitted for approval; the winning design was by Carl Schreiber. The obverse of Mr. Schreiber's winning design depicted a youth with wings affixed to his outstretched arms and in the background, four different methods of manned flight: a hot air balloon, a dirigible, and two early-model airplanes. The reverse.

Whitehead, Hoag and Co. struck the bronze medals and their name appears on the lower edge. These were sold for $2 each and the number was limited to 200 pieces. The silver medals were struck shortly thereafter and sold for $3.50 on prior subscription. No issuing mark appears on these medals but the possibility exists that they were struck at the U.S. Mint. The original motion in September, 1910 called for this and in October, 1911, the Society received correspondence from George E. Roberts, Director of the Mint, stating that an Aviation Medal had been presented to the Wright brothers by an Act of Congress.

A.N.A. Branch No. 1

Until 1912 the Chicago Numismatic Society was the only forum for coin collectors in the city, the state and perhaps even the Midwest. A second group was added with the formation of the American Numismatic Association Branch No. 1. This was the result of a change in the A.N.A. constitution brought forth at the 1912 Rochester, New York convention, which allowed for the formation of branch clubs. Ben Green, secretary of the Society and ever alert to promote the Chicago numismatic community, was the first at that convention to file an application for a charter, thereby entitling the Chicago group the honor of receiving number 1.

Branch No. 1's first meeting was held November 12, 1913 in the rooms of the Chicago Numismatic Society. The two groups were never officially affiliated though their membership overlapped considerably. Ben Green was elected first president of the Branch which met the first Tuesday of every month. It was to hold only fourteen meetings according to its reports in The Numismatist.

Medallic Membership Card

The only medallic creations issued by Branch No. 1 were its membership cards. These 2" x 3/4" bronze medals were donated by Theophile Leon in 1913 and by Judson Brenner the following year. The three line legend on the obverse reads "CHICAGO BRANCH NO. 1, AMERICAN NUMISMATIC ASSOCIATION, MEMBERSHIP CARD." A beaded border surrounds the edge. The reverse inscription appears in two lines and reads "RECEIPT FOR DUES 1913 (or 1914) / ISSUED TO MEMBER NO.________". The edge is surrounded by a decorative border.

The Decline

On January 17, 1914 Ben G. Green died. His untimely death at age 53 from typhoid pneumonia was a shock to both groups and to the national numismatic community. The deep personal loss can be sensed in the tributes and resolutions that flowed in from across the nation. The light of Mr. Green's candle was snuffed out, and so too the flames began to flicker at both numismatic groups.

Branch No. 1 faded quickly. Mr. Green had been the group's only president to that point. The last meeting report received by The Numismatist was of its March 17 meeting, three months after Green's death. Shortly thereafter, Branch No. 1 ceased to function, but would return in 1917.

The decline of the Chicago Numismatic Society was not as rapid, but proved to be permanent. Mr. Green had faithfully served as the Society's secretary from its birth until the time of his death. With his passing the reports began to reflect a lack of spirit within the group. The July 3 meeting of that year shows that it was called to order and immediately adjourned to meet August 7. The results of the August meeting, and for that matter, the September and October meetings, are lost to us. The Society became negligent after many years of sending its meeting reports to The Numismatist. Several more meetings were held and the last published report was its 136th meeting, May 7, 1915. With that the Chicago Numismatic Society ended a brilliant twelve year era of Chicago numismatics.

Chicago Numismatic Society Officers

William G. Jerrems, Jr. 1904 Harry F. Williams 1910-11
William F. Dunham 1905 F. Elmo Simpson 1912-13
George W. Tracy 1906 John R. Kelly 1914
William F. Dunham 1907 Joseph B. Holmes 1915
Virgil M. Brand 1908-09
Ben G. Green 1904-14 Michael P. Carey 1914-15

Branch No. 1 Revives

For nearly two years there was no organized numismatic group in Chicago. Then on February 7, 1917 A.N.A. Branch No. 1 was revived by some of its previous members. Its first meeting was held at 143 North Dearborn, and within a short time it had secured regular meeting quarters at Parlor M in the Sherman House. Soon, meetings were held the first Friday of every month and the group began to grow and prosper.

The experience with the predecessor clubs, no doubt, strengthened their resolve to build a solid working numismatic organization. William Dunham at the November 1918 meeting, outlined a policy that he believed the group should follow. Two months later the members convened as a committee of the whole and discussed its future policies. It was decided to reorganize and not limit membership to A.N.A. members, as stated in the charter. A committee of six, Charles N. Hinckley, Alden Scott Boyer, R. Edward Davis, Michael P. Carey, Theophile E. Leon and John T. Kelly were appointed to draw up a new constitution and by-laws for what would thereafter be called the Chicago Coin Club.

A.N.A. Branch No. 1 Officers 1917-1919

Presidents Secretaries
Ben G. Green 1913-14 Marie A Naerup 1913-14
R. Edward Davis 1914 R. Edward Davis 1917-19
Theophile E. Leon 1917
John T. Kelly 1918
Charles N. Hinckley 1919

Chicago Coin Club

On Friday, February 14, 1919 the first official meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order. The elected officers from Branch No. 1, President Hinckley, Vice-President Boyer and Secretary Davis were reelected as the officers of the new club. There were eight exhibits that evening and Mr. Leon read a paper titled "The Early History of Castorland." Surely, the fifteen people in attendance that evening could not have imagined that sixty-four years later, the minutes of that meeting would be viewed as such a milestone.

Charter members were those who joined at one of the first two meetings. At the March 5 meeting, their membership numbers were assigned by drawing lots.
Charter Members
1. R. Edward Davis 18. Ernest Jones
2. Fred W. Becker 19. Sigmund Krausz
3. Fred Michael 20. John T. Kelly
4. Louis DeCou 21. William Bartholemay, Jr.
5. George H. Blake 22. Arthur Miller
6. A. Atlas Leve 23. Albert F. Madlener
7. Alden Scott Boyer 24. Lawrence P. Josephson
8. Swan Nelson 25. Michael P. Carey
9. J. Henri Ripstra 26. Judson Brenner
10. Albert W. Morris 27. Harry T. Wilson
11. Marie A. Naerup 28. Anna M. Ripstra
12. Harry F. Williams 29. J.G.M. Luttenberger
13. Theophile E. Leon 30. Bert Baumann
14. S. Archie Hamilton 31. George F. Brown
15. Charles N. Hinckley 32. B. Max Mehl
16. Dr. Alexander M. Rachus 33. Elmer J. Lawless
17. William F. Dunham

J. Henri Ripstra designed the Club emblem, used until 1939. It showed an open-faced "Y" symbolizing the Chicago River with it's North and South Branches with the letter "C" appearing to the left, right and above, all within a circle. Around the upper edge appeared "CHICAGO COIN," and in the exergue "CLUB," with the number "19" on each side.

Enthusiasm ran very high that first year. An anonymous donor gave a 1908 gold proof set as Reward of Merit prizes, to be based on attendance, original contributions, exhibits and recruitment of new members. Mr. Dunham also coined a one-mill piece and distributed one to each member who joined that year. A 2-1/4" x4" multi-colored membership card complete with vignettes and elaborate borders was issued. So impressive was the card, that The Numismatist could only describe it as "nifty."

In those early years, the A.N.A. membership cast votes for the site of the national convention. During its first year, the Chicago Coin Club courted the 1920 convention through an open letter to all A.N.A. members and full page ad in The Numismatist. Coming from a city not known for political naivete, its campaign was successful.

The decade was coming to a close. With the signing of the Armistice ending the Great War and the turbulent teens behind them, the members of the Chicago Coin Club must have looked to the coming decade with renewed hope.

The 1920's

By 1920 most of the members previously with the Chicago Numismatic Society and the original Branch No. 1 had joined the newly-formed Chicago Coin Club. Throughout this decade the Club met primarily at three locations: 940 N. Clark Street, at the office of member Lawrence P. Josephson, in room 1406 of the Hartford Building and at the Boyer Laboratory, 2700 South Wabash, in the perfume works of member and then-President Alden Scott Boyer.

The Club experienced strong growth during these years. The first year average attendance was approximately 16 per meeting. Five years later the figure had climbed to 22, but by 1929, it had shot up to 47 per meeting.

Club Bulletin

At the February 4, 1920 meeting, there appears the first mention of a Club Bulletin. It was issued monthly throughout most of that year and a permanent committee was appointed to take responsibility for its publication. No copies of these early Bulletins are in the Club archives, but some of the featured articles included: "Medals and Tokens Issued by the Coin Clubs of Chicago," and lists of $2.50, $3.00 and $10.00 gold piece varieties and their auction records.

1920 A.N.A. Convention

In the spring and summer of 1920, the Club was busy preparing to host the national convention. General Chairman Leon was overseeing the entertainment and supervising the plans for exhibits and programs at the Art Institute. The headquarters for the convention was the Hotel Sherman, with single occupancy room rates $2.50 - $3.00 per night without bath and $3.50 - $6.00 with private bath.

Attendance that year was 79. The minutes of the convention show that little time was spent on education, except for the 22 exhibits, many of which were laid out by Chicago Coin Club members. Most of the time was spent discussing A.N.A. business or enjoying the entertainment the city had to offer. The social side of the convention was very important and much numismatic information was probably exchanged during the motor car tour of the parks and lakefront, plus the tour of the Union Stockyards. A trip to the Municipal Pier (now called Navy Pier) was cancelled due to unexpected cool weather. In its place, the ladies chose to visit a theater and the men were escorted by Mr. Leon to pay a visit on Virgil Brand at his home above the Brand Brewery at 2530 North Clyborn. Mr. Brand happily received this unexpected group of 25 and showed them his latest acquisitions.

Special Programs

In 1922 the members of the Chicago Coin Club got a special treat in the form of a series of talks by member William Dunham, who had returned from a coin collecting trip around the world. Many were fascinated at the January, February and March meetings as he gave an account of his collecting experiences in New York, Paris, Rome, Palestine, Egypt, Turkey, India, Indo-China and China. At the end of the January program, he presented each member with a piece of rare Chinese Knife Money from the Ming Dynasty and 100-cash coin.

Another program the members enjoyed was in 1926 when a large collection of medals and historical documents from the Chicago Historical Society were on exhibit at a meeting. No details were given, but the record shows that much discussion ensued.

Virgil M. Brand Passes Away

On June 20, 1926 the members of the Chicago Coin Club were saddened to hear of the death of Virgil M. Brand. Mr. Brand had been quite active in the Chicago Numismatic Society and had joined the Chicago Coin Club in its first year, becoming member number 55. An avid collector for fifty-one years, Mr. Brand had amassed the world's largest privately owned collection, a record which still stands today. It was because of Mr. Brand's international reputation that so many prominent American and European coin dealers often journeyed to Chicago and would appear in his company at a number of Club meetings. Many became members and attended meetings throughout the next decade as they acted as advisors to his estate.

100th Meeting Medal

The 100th meeting of the Club was celebrated in the summer of 1927. A group of fifty had dinner at the Cafe Marie and proceeded to 2700 South Wabash for the meeting. To mark the occasion, a 30 mm bronze medal was issued. The obverse shows the Club seal that was adopted in 1919. The reverse has the four line legend "ONE HUNDRETH MEETING, JUNE 1, 1927."

1929 A.N.A. Convention

On August 24-29, 1929, the Chicago Coin Club again hosted the national convention. The Congress Hotel at Michigan Avenue and Congress Street was the convention site. The Numismatist tells of "exceedingly commodious" guest rooms with single occupancy at $3 per day without bath and $4 and up with bath. The official attendance of 134 broke all convention records as did the number of exhibits. The attendance of the public also broke records and was described as "an almost constant stream of people passing before the cases," with many expressing genuine interest and asking pertinent questions. The eminent numismatist, Club member and dealer M.H. Bolender of Orangeville, Illinois conducted an auction of nearly 700 lots. Interest was very keen, competition heavy on every lot and the bidders were described as a "hungry bunch."

J. Henri Ripstra, General Chairman, lined up a number of entertainment features. A bus ride to Fort Sheridan and a return trip via Ravinia and the Armour, Swift and Cutten estates was enjoyed by many out-of-towners. A special trip was also made to the studio of Laredo Taft at 6016 Ellis Avenue. Noted sculptor Mr. Taft spoke to the group during a tour of the rooms of his studio.

The 1930's

The Club's meeting site in 1930 was the Sherman Hotel, but within a few months, the site was moved to the Atlantic Hotel. There the Club remained for eight years until 1938, when the site was changed to the Great Northern Hotel. After one year, the members moved again, this time to the Skyline Athletic Club.

The 1930's - the era of the Great Depression - must surely have effected collector's pocketbooks, but did little to dampen their enthusiasm for the hobby. Indeed, meeting attendance climbed steadily during those years and soared as the end of the decade neared. In 1930, average attendance was 47. Five years later it had climbed to 68 and peaked in 1938 with an average attendance of 79 per meeting.

Hobby-Collectors Show

Perhaps one of the primary reasons behind the Club's explosive growth was its participation in the Hobby-Collectors Show in 1933 and '34. The four day show at the Sherman Hotel had 150 exhibitors, of which the Chicago Coin Club was one. The Club booth was huge by today's standards. Past President Boyer reported he sent over eleven department store sized display cases as well as his window decorator to set up the display. Members loaned their coins for the exhibit and in 1934 the Club conducted its regular meeting at the show. As a result of the show, attendance at the Club meetings boomed and in late 1934 the Club purchased identification badges.

The second year of the hobby show was even more popular and a separate section of the show was set aside for young people. Before the show was over, Club member Rollo E. Gilmore organized the Chicago junior Coin Club No. 1. There is no evidence to suggest that this club was ever officially connected with the Chicago Coin Club. It was, however, supported by several Club members and conducted meetings for approximately four months, after which no further reports were published.

Ladies Night

A novel idea was instituted by the Chicago Coin Club in May 1934. With attendance rapidly growing, a large number of wives had become Associate Members and were attending the meetings regularly. To make them feel welcome, the Club began a once-a-year event know as Ladies Night. On this evening, the spouses took over the meeting and provided entertainment, oftentimes humorous. Ladies Night would be held for many years to come and would incorporate itself into the Chicago Coin Club. The position of second vice-president was created in 1936 as a post to be filled by one of the ladies whose main responsibilities were to organize this event.

Annual Banquets

During this decade the Club began to hold Annual Banquets. Most were held separate from the business meetings and were not counted as official meetings. The records are not complete, therefore it is not certain if one was held every year. The first was held in conjunction with Ladies Night and an afternoon of exhibiting in May, 1934. The next year a dinner was held to celebrate the 200th meeting and, in May, 1937, the Club held a banquet at the Atlantic Hotel which was also attended by approximately forty members of the Milwaukee Numismatic Society. The Atlantic Hotel served again as the site of the May, 1938 banquet which was enjoyed by seventy-one members.

Century of Progress / 1933 A.N.A. Convention

Chicago played host to the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition which was planned and directed by Club member Major Lenox R. Lohr. Not only could members see futuristic marvels, but the Exposition was an exonumia bonanza. Once again the Congress Hotel served as the site for the national A.N.A. convention. Even with the Exposition, attendance was below pre-depression years.

Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine

In 1935 Club member Lee F. Hewitt began publishing the monthly Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine in response to the demand for greater numismatic information. With encouragement from Club members, Mr. Hewitt built this journal into a premier publication, which it remained until its sale in 1968 to Amos Press. Always aware of the latest numismatic trends, Mr. Hewitt attended nearly every meeting and often shared much valuable information.

Trip to Milwaukee

Thirty-four members of the Chicago Coin Club and their guests took an excursion on January 29, 1937, to attend a meeting of the Milwaukee Numismatic Society, a new group barely two years old. The March 1937 Bulletin reports that the jolly group set out in a chartered car of the North Shore Railroad. Upon arrival they were met by members of the Milwaukee group and taken to their new meeting hall. Twelve of the Chicago members gave short talks on the coins they brought with them for the evening's exhibits. The return trip to Chicago on the midnight train was uneventful, except for a popcorn fight instigated by Secretary M. Vernon Sheldon. The next Bulletin, in June 1937 reports that the return trip was not as uneventful as previously reported. Under a heading titled "Gossip," it was reported that two couples became engaged on the road home. Although the report proved to be a joke directed at two young men who had taken their girlfriends on the trip, it illustrates the sociable nature of the Club in those days.

C.S.N.S. is Founded

As the end of the decade drew near, the Club began to reach out beyond Chicago. Perhaps the members' experiences with numismatic fellowship at the 1920, '29 and '33 national conventions whetted their appetites for more experiences of this nature. The appeal of having an annual regional show in the Midwest was very strong and a number of Club members played integral roles in bringing about the formation of the Central States Numismatic Society (C.S.N.S.) and its first conference. It was hosted by the Chicago Coin Club at the Congress Hotel, April 22 - 23, 1939, with J. Henri Ripstra serving as Honorary Chairman. Since then a number of Chicago Coin Club members have served as its presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries and governors. The 1969 Bulletin gives the title "Father of Central States Numismatic Society," to three Club members: Lee F. Hewitt, Ignatius T. Kopicki and M. Vernon Sheldon.

Incorporation and New Club Seal

The Chicago Coin Club incorporated as a non-profit organization on January 19, 1938 and adopted a new seal to reflect this change. This is the seal in use today. It was designed by member William G. Rayson and was accepted at the February 1, 1939 meeting. It shows the vertically interlocking initials of the Club, "CCC;" appearing above is "ORGANIZED 1919" and below "INCORPORATED 1938." Beneath are two laurel branches. Surrounding this and around the top edge is "CHICAGO COIN CLUB." In the exergue is the Latin motto "DOCENDO DISCIMUS" (We Learn By Teaching).

The 1940's

During the 1940's, the Chicago Coin Club meetings were at nine different sites. In 1940 and '41, they were at the Skyline Athletic Club. After a brief stay in the Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan Avenue, they were moved to the La Salle Hotel for four years. From June 1946 until December 1948, the meeting site changed four times. Finally, in January 1949, a meeting room was secured on the seventh floor at the Western Society of Engineers Building, 86 East Randolph.

Peak attendance was in 1940 and '41 with an average of 80 per meeting. There was a dramatic decrease during the first year of World War II, with the average dropping to 57 per meeting. This did not affect the remainder of the decade as 1943 through '49 showed the usual attendance varying between 66 and 73.

Ladies Night

Ladies Night remained a popular event throughout the 1940's. The minutes show that the ladies entertained the Club by singing songs, conducting numismatic quizzes or spelling bees, exhibiting coins from their own collections and, in one instance, showing baby pictures of their husbands and asking members to identify them. The November, 1946 evening took a different twist and required much more planning. The ladies conducted a fashion show. The theme was how fashions were not to be worn and their husbands were the models. The Club archives is in possession of and 8" x 10" photo of the event showing fifteen of the "models" in various ensembles, most notable being the headgear.

Annual Banquet

During the 1940's the Club held a number of banquets. In 1947, the guest speaker was Reverend E. Heithaus of Marquette University whose talk was on the history and development of ancient coinage. The 1949 banquet was an all-day affair at the LaSalle Hotel. There were exhibits in display cases and the proceedings were open to the public. The banquet entertainment that evening was produced, as it was the previous year, by radio commentator and member Halloween Martin Kurtzeborn. In each case she had written and arranged a number of amusing skits in which the cast was composed of various Club members. The audience enjoyed a number of these acts, including take-offs on popular radio shows of the time, songs lip-synched and two members dressed in a horse costume.

Club Bulletin

The Club revived the idea of a Bulletin in March, 1936, this time as a quarterly. Issues of this first year covered business aspects of the organization, but it was expanded in 1937 to carry numismatic articles written by members. It remained a quarterly publication until March, 1942. At that point, the switch was made to annual issues which were published in 1943, '44, '47 and '49. The Bulletins of these years featured numismatic articles, such as: "Civil War Cards of Illinois," "The Quest is the Thing," by R.S. Yeoman, and "Once in a Lifetime: Hermit's Gold Coins Sold for $30,000." Occasionally the Club's constitution and by-laws, a list of books in the Club library and obituaries were also published. Another common feature in the Bulletins of these years was a list of all dues-paying members with their home addresses and collecting specialty. Forty years later we look back upon this innocent era and are astonished at the practice.

The Chatter

The first issue of the Chatter appeared in February, 1949 as a single sided mimeographed sheet. There were no Club minutes presented in those early issues. It was primarily a means of keeping in touch with personal developments among the members. The upcoming meeting program was also listed with good-natured chiding for a healthy turnout.

Life Membership in the A.N.A.

A change in the A.N.A. constitution was made at the 1940 Detroit convention which allowed clubs to become life members. M. Vernon Sheldon, Club member and A.N.A. General Secretary, generously offered the Club a life membership with his compliments. At the March 1942 meeting, J. Henri Ripstra, acting in his capacity as an A.N.A. governor and past A.N.A. president, presented the members with their life membership certificate No. 60. On the same evening, Mr. Sheldon announced that the Chicago Coin Club was the first corporate life membership granted. This certificate is in the archives along with a second certificate received in 1973, when the membership number was changed to No. 7.

The 1969 Bulletin reported that the Chicago Coin Club also has the distinction of being the oldest A.N.A. member club, with an uninterrupted record of annual dues payments back to 1912. A.N.A. Historian Jack W. Ogilvie reported that Branch No. 1 dues were paid continuously, even during the inactive period of 1914-16.

The War Years

The City of Chicago joined the nation in a concerted war effort following the attack on Pearl Harbor. So too, the Chicago Coin Club did its part. The members unanimously voted to purchase their first $ 100 defense bond on March 4, 1942, and before the war's end, it would purchase at least two more. It also made generous donations to the Red Cross. In a gesture to keep up the spirits of those members in the armed services, their Club dues were suspended. As a further tribute, C. Lou Synder offered to decorate his recently donated bulletin board with a cast of the names of "our members who will be in service." The 42" x42" bulletin board donated at the January meeting was adorned by a 4" circular insignia of the Club in solid bronze and plated in 24 karat gold. Throughout these years announcements were made at the Club meetings as to which members were being inducted and in some cases, where they expected to be stationed. Occasionally, men home on furlough would attend a meeting.

Correspondence in the archives from those years reveal many letters written to the Club from its "fighting boys." Nearly every one has a numismatic reference. One member wrote from California saying he can get as many "S" mint mark coins as he wants and asks for a list of the member's needs. Another wrote that he was guarding a German prisoner of war camp made up of Rommel's North African troops. He reported with disappointment that the only coins the prisoners brought in with them from Africa were nothing more than "common stuff." The excitement in the letter picked up, however, when he told that within a few days the prisoners would be issued scrip and he was expecting their pockets to be bulging with it. Never stating that he intended to add some to his collection, he wrote that it was strictly forbidden to trade with the prisoners. This he did either to keep the army censors off his trail or to ward off an avalanche of orders from members.

1942 Loving Cup

At the Cincinnati A.N.A. convention of 1942, the Club was awarded a silver plated loving cup in recognition of having the highest convention attendance of any club. The cup with its decorative wooden stand is in the Club's archives. It stands 6" tall and the seven line inscription reads "A.N.A. CONVENTION, CINCINNATI, OHIO, AUGUST 22 - 27,1942, ATTENDANCE FIRST PRIZE."

1943 A.N.A. Convention

In 1943, the A.N.A. convention was in Chicago. Due to wartime conditions, it was streamlined to business only. The Chicago Coin Club planned the only social event of the convention by moving its regular meeting to Saturday evening, September 13, and sponsoring a dinner at the La Salle Hotel. The 124 in attendance were later joined by an additional 34 for the Club's business meeting and auction. Twenty-one Club members presented exhibits and C. Lou Synder generously donated ten door prizes consisting of a war bond, proof sets, gold dollars and silver bars.

25th Anniversary Medal / 1944 A.N.A. Convention

The 25th anniversary year of the Chicago Coin Club coincided with the 1944 A.N.A. convention which was again held in Chicago. Although it was not as streamlined as the preceding year, the war was still on and the report shows an absence of festivities which were usually associated with Chicago conventions. Once again, the Club sponsored the banquet at the La Salle Hotel for 271 convention goers in honor of its 25th anniversary.

Although fearful in 1943 that wartime restrictions would not allow it, the Club was able to strike a silver anniversary medal to commemorate the occasion. Seven designs were displayed at the May 1944 meeting and the committee chose the one submitted by A. Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio. The 1-1/2" silver medals show a bust of Abraham Lincoln. The medals were struck by the Osborn Register Company of Cincinnati and were made available at the 1944 convention. They proved to be quite popular and sales to non-members had to be curtailed so as not to short the Club members. The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine of January 14, 1945 reported that the original issue was 267 pieces. The Club ordered an additional 50 struck, but the treasurer's report shows that only 48 arrived, placing the total number of medals issued at 315 pieces.

Special Programs

The members of the Club had a unique educational experience by accepting an invitation from Major Lenox Lohr, Club member and president of the Museum of Science and Industry to hold a meeting at the museum. Ninety-six members and guests assembled at the museum on the evening of September 3, 1947 to hear Major Lohr's talk on hobbies and man's instinct for collecting. The Major had thirty collecting hobbies, among them pattern coins. He spoke at length of his search for new specimens, research work and the pleasure and satisfaction derived from accomplishment. At the conclusion of this talk, he showed four cases of pattern coins, which was only part of his collection.

That same evening, H. A. Seaby of London, England was a guest. In a brief address to the membership, he stated he could not help but comment on the large attendence. In addition to answering a number of questions, Mr. Seaby told how English collectors collect by type rather than by date and mint mark. After watching a motion picture titled "The Story of Money" the members viewed Major Lohr's antique car collection in the exhibition hall.

Three months later, member J. V. McDermott brought to a meeting a group of extremely rare coins. His exhibit consisted of a 1913 Liberty Head nickel (only five in existence), an 1877-CC 20 cent piece (only twelve known), an 1836 pattern Liberty Cap gold dollar with rays, a 1915 Lincoln cent struck on a gold planchet, an uncirculated 1892 micro "O" half dollar and a 1652 Pine Tree shilling. To make this exhibit even more amazing to today's readers, the Club minutes show that when his exhibit was called, Mr. McDermott was absent from the room and another member described the items.

Members were fascinated and more than one dreamed of 1001 Arabian Nights after the March 1949 meeting. Member F. K. Saab had just returned after spending several months in his native Egypt and he gave a talk of his experiences and his meeting with His Majesty, King Farouk I.

The 1950's

In June 1950 the Chicago Coin Club began to meet in the Lincoln Room of the La Salle Hotel on the second Wednesday of the month. This changed the long-standing practice of meeting on the first Tuesday. The Club moved in January 1957 to the Congress Hotel. For a brief time in late 1951, the Club investigated the possibility of obtaining permanent quarters to conduct meetings, and to house its library and collection. The idea was not considered feasible and was dropped. Average attendance was slightly lower then in the 1940's but remained steady with an average of 70 per meeting.

Club Bulletin

The Club issued six annual Bulletins during this decade. Nearly all were thinner volumes than in previous years with fewer numismatic articles. The main feature continued to be the membership list, with home addresses and collecting specialty. Also contained were obituaries and notable events of the previous year. The years of issue were 1950-53, '55 and '57.

Ladies Night

Ladies Night was still going strong in the early 1950's. The members continued to enjoy original skits, exhibits from the ladies's own collections and quizzes on female portraits on coins. In one instance, a gold coin was donated by the "ladies coin purse" and given as a door prize. In 1955 the second vice-presidency was not filled by one of the ladies and the planned activities enjoyed by many since 1934 faded quickly. Before the decade ended, the only organized program was in December when the ladies would each bring a $1 grab bag gift. This practice continued into the early 1970's and was expanded to include all members.

400th Meeting Counterstamped Peso

The 400th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order on May 14, 1952 in the Lincoln Room of the La Salle Hotel with 87 members and guests present. The program for the evening featured a panel of experts composed of Earl Barger, Ignatius Kopicki, M. Vernon Sheldon, Robert L. McBrien and Harry X Boosel. Acting as moderator, Lee F. Hewitt directed to them a series of numismatic questions. Only four of the seven questions were answered correctly but the record doesn't state whether this was because they were difficult or whether the panel of five was not quite as knowledgeable as they thought.

A 1944 Mexican one peso piece was counterstamped to commemorate the event. According to then-president Harry X Boosel, several delays were encountered and the unstruck pesos were delivered to the engraving firm of Meyer and Wenthe, Inc. at 10:30 A.M., the morning of the meeting. The firm already had its production planned for the day, but managed to counterstrike them after 5 P.M., in time to be delivered to the meeting. Two hundred pesos were counterstruck and sold for $1 each. The circular 5/8" counterstamp on the obverse reads "CHICAGO COIN CLUB 400TH MEETING, MAY 14,1952."

Annual Banquets and Coin Shows

Twice in this decade, the Club hosted banquets to honor select members. The first was on October 10, 1951 and honored the nine past presidents in attendance. A photo in the archives shows then-president Boosel with Messrs. Barger, Rayson, Ripstra, Ostrander, Boyer, McBrien, Kopicki, Pennington and Lamb. Each of the honorees gave a brief talk on his collecting experiences, but everyone particularly enjoyed Alden Scott Boyer's speech on what he collected and how, as his many hobbies grew, a warehouse was used to store these items.

The second special banquet held October 30, 1954 honored the Club's seven surviving Charter Members. This was held in conjunction with a Club-sponsored coin show. The highlight of the evening, attended by 136 members and friends, was the presentation of engraved membership cards to the original members. The 2" x3-1/4" cards had a background of blue enamel with the Club emblem prominent in white and the members' name engraved in script. President Grimm presented the cards personally to Anna and J. Henri Ripstra and Ernest Jonas. Cards were presented in absentia to George Blake, Treasurer Emeritus of the A.N.A., Michael P. Carey, George F. Brown and B. Max Mehl. Present at the banquet, but no longer a member, was Marie A. Naerup, first secretary of the original Branch No. 1.

The opportunity to mingle with fellow numismatists increased in the 1950's when the Club decided to hold all-day events in conjunction with the annual banquets. At first they were simply called "annual gatherings" or "all day meetings." In 1959, this event was given the formal name "Fall Festival." These one day gatherings were held annually from 1953 - 59, with the '54 and '55 events encompassing two days. Some of the locations were the La Salle and Congress Hotels, the Swedish Engineers Society and the Webster Hotel.

Members set up exhibits, heard educational talks and had the opportunity to buy and sell from 20 or so Midwestern dealers. The events concluded with the popular annual banquet. It was at the 1955 banquet when the Club began a consistent awards program by honoring all its past presidents with the presentation of a silver medal. Medals of Merit were also introduced at this time. The recipients that first year were, Clyde L. Grimm, J. Henri Ripstra and Glenn B. Smedley.

Club member Nathan N. Eglit issued a 1-1/4" brass token for the 1959 Fall Festival. The obverse reads "CHICAGO COIN CLUB FALL FESTIVAL 1959." The reverse shows Shakespeare's quotation from "Hamlet" "TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE."

1953 C.S.N.S. Convention

The Central States Numismatic Society returned to Chicago in 1953 bringing together 44 dealers for its annual three day convention. The highlight for Club members was when one of their own, Lee F. Hewitt, was presented with an inscribed gold medal and made the Society's Honorary President, a title he still holds today. The Society also presented their first six Medals of Merit, five of which were awarded to Chicago Coin Club members Earl C. Brown, Colonel James W. Curtis, Paul Ginther, Glenn B. Smedley and Richard S. Yeoman. Also presented with medals were the Society's seven past presidents in attendance, three of whom were Club members.

1956 A.N.A. Convention

General Chairman Glenn Smedley oversaw the national convention in Chicago, August 22 - 25, 1956, at the Congress Hotel. Memorabilia seekers should be aware that this convention was referred to as the "CHI-ANA" convention, a phrase coined by Lee Hewitt. The 1000 attendance mark was broken for the first time as people from around the world came to take in the 73 exhibits and the wares of the 60-dealer bourse. Among the exhibits was a portion of Francis Cardinal Spellman's collection, which included papal medals and coins, U.S. proof sets, U.S. and international gold coins, including the rare 1841 quarter eagle. The famed Louis Eliasberg collection of U.S. coins also came to Chicago at this time and many conventioneers made a point of stopping by the Northern Trust Bank to view it.

The wives of the Club entertained the visiting ladies with a series of activities, such as card parties, a talent show, a session with a palm reader and a "never-to-be-forgotton" smorgasbord at Kungsholm, the world renowned miniature grand opera theater.

National Coin Week

Ever since Club member Julius Guttag founded National Coin Week (N.C.W.) in 1924, the members of the Chicago Coin Club have actively participated and a number have served as national chairmen. The club archives have a number of binders documenting N.C.W. activities. An example is the 1954 report which shows that 62 members participated, setting up 28 exhibits, giving 21 talks, appearing on 6 radio and television shows and receiving publicity from 11 articles in daily newspapers. For their efforts, the members were presented with the following awards for Class "A" clubs: first place in 1952 and '54, third place in 1951 and sixth place in 1953. After winning the first place award in 1952, the Club counterstruck a medal in conjunction with the Central Illinois Numismatic Society (C.I.N.S.) which had received first place for Class "B" clubs that same year. These bronze counterstruck medals were the 1-3/8" First anniversary Medals issued in 1949 by the C.I.N.S. and were presented to each N.C.W. participant in both clubs. The 5/8" counterstamp on the obverse reads "NATIONAL COIN WEEK WINNERS, 1952." The reverse counterstamp of the same size shows the vertically interlocking initials of the Chicago Coin Club and was struck from the same reverse die used earlier in the year for the Club's 400th meeting counterstamped peso.

Special Programs

Members had a chance to show their generosity in 1959, when a muscular dystrophy victim in the Chicago area was robbed of his collection of coins and stamps. Thirteen year old Christopher Manzak was confined to a wheelchair and was heartbroken when his collection was stolen. The story appeared in the newspapers and the Club members came forward with several hundred coins to help him rebuild his collection. A photo of President Joseph Merkel presenting the young man with his new coin collection appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and The Numismatist.

Throughout the 1950's many interesting programs were given at the regular Club meetings, but the November 11, 1953 program and its approach to the presentation of numismatic history stands out. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Subsidiary Coinage Act, Elston Bradfield adapted a 40 minute playlet featuring eight Club members who delivered verbatim excerpts of the actual congressional debates. Members in the roles of congressmen were placed throughout the audience and spoke on cue or when recognized by the House Speaker, played by Mr. Bradfield. This unusual production was enthusiastically received.

The 1960's

The Chicago Coin Club met at four different locations during this decade. The first two were the Pine Room of the Congress Hotel and the Lake View Building, across from the Art Institute. The Palmer House was the next meeting site from 1961 through 1963. Beginning in December 1963, it moved to the Plaza Room of the Pick Congress Hotel, where it remained for ten years.

During the 1960's came the accelerated suburban sprawl and with it, many local coin clubs formed in the outlying areas. This would have a long term effect on the Club. Average attendance in 1960 and '61 was 71 per meeting. By 1964 this figure dropped to 42 and remained in that range through 1969.

500th Meeting and Medal

The 500th meeting was held September 14, 1960 in the regular meeting room at the Lake View Building with 140 members and guests in attendance. In addition to the short talks given by many of the Club's long-time members, those present enjoyed a long social hour with numismatic discussions over coffee and cake.

To commemorate the event, a unique medal was struck in gold, silver and bronze. Designed by member James A. Friberg, the medal has a barrel contour and measures 72 x 52 mm. The legend denotes "41 YEARS, 500 MEETINGS".

Gold medals were sold for $135 each by pre-order only. Bronze and silver were $4 and $8 each by pre-order, after which prices were $5 and $10. A motion was passed at the February 1960 meeting that the bronze medals be limited to 200 Pieces and the silver to 100. They were so popular that Medals Chairman M. Vernon Sheldon arranged to strike the three piece set in anodized aluminum to simulate gold, silver and bronze. A minimum order of fifty sets was needed, but it was never reached. It is possible, however, that at least one set exists as the December 14, 1960 Chatter reported that "A sample set will be on display Wednesday evening ... The medals are remarkably beautiful and one has to pick them up to believe that they are not actually gold, silver or bronze."

A 500th Meeting Souvenir Booklet was also issued. The 12 page publication contained a short history of the Chicago Coin Club and its ancestor clubs, plus listings of past officers and charter members.

Fall Festivals

The members of the Club would sponsor or participate in nine conventions during this decade. The first two were the 1961 and '62 Club-sponsored Fall Festivals. The 1961 Festival was held at the Sherman Hotel over three days and was under the chairmanship of Harry X Boosel. There were 94 bourse tables and a three session auction by Ben's Stamp and Coin Company. Over 2600 people attended the show which was heralded as the biggest numismatic event in Chicago since the 1956 CHI-ANA convention. The one day Festival in 1962 was under the direction of Chairman Nathan Eglit at the Sheraton-Chicago and 1200 visitors took in the 40 dealer bourse and viewed the 30 exhibits.

Several pieces of medallic memorabilia were created in connection with both Festivals. A goldine token was struck in 1961. The dedicatory legend reads "CHICAGO COIN CLUB FALL FESTIVAL, OCT. 13-14-15, 1961. Ten were produced in silver and presented to members of the Festival committee.

Club member and dealer Leonard Stark issued four different elongated cents commemorating the same event. The machine was at his bourse table and the cents were produced and sold on request. The archives are in possession of this die, which he presented to the Club in 1968. In a recent interview, Mr. Stark stated that he did not keep an official count on the number of sets produced, but felt that it did not exceed 100.

Another goldine token was struck for the 1962 Fall Festival. The inscription includes a list of the names of the festival committee and "CHICAGO COIN CLUB FESTIVAL," and in the exergue "NOVEMBER 18, 1962. "

Educational Programs

Gerda and Al Birkholz and Harry Flower were co-chairmen of a one day numismatic forum sponsored by the Club in October, 1964. The 125 who attended this educational event at the Pick Congress Hotel saw 22 exhibits and heard presentations given by the well known numismatists Richard S. Yeoman, Russell Rulau, Admiral O.H. Dodson and Glenn Smedley. The Numismatist reported that most people came early and stayed all day with time to enjoy fellowship and leisurely examine the exhibits without the rush to tour a bourse or catch an auction session.

Education-minded members had the opportunity to further broaden their horizons from the fall of 1965 till spring of 1966, when Roosevelt University offered a class titled "Numismatics, The Story of Civilization." Many eminent numismatists from across the country came and delivered lectures under the joint sponsorship of the University and the Professional Numismatists Guild. Club members took advantage of this unique educational opportunity and many were in attendance at each lecture. Among the speakers were: Gilroy Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. V. Clain-Stefanelli, Walter Breen, Mr. and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb, Hans Schulman, Eric P. Newman, Amon Carter, Jr., Eva Adams, and Dr. John Davenport. The Chicago Coin Club was already home to a number of knowledgeable numismatists and the following Club members also served as lecturers: Kenneth Bressett, Abe Kosoff, Richard Yeoman, Lee Hewitt, Arthur Kagin, Philip More, Charles Ricard, Leonard Stark, Margo Russell and Michael Powills.

These weekly Wednesday lectures coincided with the monthly meeting and it followed immediately after at the Pick Congress Hotel. After a time though, the Club found this difficult and moved its January through May 1966 meetings to the second Tuesday.


A numismatic library had been maintained since the Club's inception. For many years, it was housed in the downtown office of one of the members. In 1960 member Philip More built a portable cabinet on wheels. This gave the members more access to the books as it was rolled into the room each meeting night. Mr. More also produced and installed two large identifying medals which were affixed to the outside of the cabinet. In January 1966 the Club donated this library to Roosevelt University with the assurance that the University would use this as a nucleus to build a larger numismatic library with borrowing privileges extended to Chicago Coin Club members. One of the two identifying medals is in the Club archives. The six inch uniface circular cast medal shows a wreath of oak leaves with "CHICAGO COIN CLUB LIBRARY" engraved in the center.


During this decade, the Club hosted the 1963, '65 and '69 Central States Numismatic Society conventions and the 1967, '68 and '69 Professional Numismatists Guild (P.N.G.) shows, which were cooperative efforts between the two groups. Attendance was high, as was typical for Chicago shows during those years, generally exceeding 2000 and in one case, topping 3000. All of these conventions had a number of good exhibits but a truly unique group of coins were displayed at the 1967 P.N.G. show at the Palmer House. Through the efforts of Club member William A. Pettit, the original Columbian Exposition half dollars from 1892 and 1893 were on exhibit. This was the first and only time they were displayed together, courtesy of the Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Historical Society. At that same show the following coins were also exhibited: 1794, 1802 and 1804 U.S. dollars, a 1792 1/2 disme and the Bebee-McDermott 1913 Liberty nickel, which had just sold for $46,000.

1966 A.N.A. Diamond Jubilee Convention

From August 16-20, 1966 the Chicago Coin Club played host to the 75th Anniversary Convention of the A.N.A., held at the recently remodeled and modernized Pick Congress Hotel. General Chairman Harry X Boosel and his committee registered nearly 7000 conventioneers. Out-of-towners enjoyed the educational forums and the 100 plus dealer bourse, in addition to a Chicago Cubs baseball game, the Lincoln Park Zoo and a tour of the nightclub circuit. Just as in 1956, the ladies enjoyed a return visit to the Kungsholm Scandinavian Restaurant and Theater. Club members were very proud and deeply moved when member Elston G. Bradfield, editor of The Numismatist for more than twelve years, received a spontaneous standing ovation at the banquet as he was presented the Association's Editor Emeritus certificate.

50th Anniversary Medal

The 50th anniversary of the Chicago Coin Club was celebrated January 8, 1969 with a banquet at Harding's Restaurant. The 77 in attendance had only one regret - that the bad weather kept many away. Following a brief address, A.N.A. Past President and Club member, Matt H. Rothert installed the new officers. It was at this banquet that the Club began to present the annual Cabeen Award to the top exhibitors at the regular monthly meetings. This first presentation was made to Glenn B. Smedley.

The 1969 Golden Anniversary Bulletin contained a complete list of membership with current members indicated by an asterisk. In deference to the changing times, no addresses or collecting specialties were published. The gold-covered 32-page booklet listed past officers and award recipients, in addition to a short history of the Club and its ancestor organizations.

The momentous occasion was commemorated with the issuance of a silver 2-1/4" silver and bronze medal. Designed by Trygve A. Rovelstad of Elgin, Illinois, the medal's obverse incorporates the head of his proposed "I Will" statue. It shows a modernized head of Arethusa, facing left. The designer's monogram, name and year he completed the design, "T.A. ROVELSTAD, 1968," are in small letters just beneath the bust. The reverse features the Winter Hexagon, a constellation of six stars. At the base of the Hexagon is the brightest star in the heavens, Sirius. Clockwise, the remaining stars are: Procyon, Pollux, Capella (at the top), Aldebaran, and Rigel. Betelgeuse is the star in the center. The designer's monogram appears just above the third letter in the Latin motto. Struck by Medallic Art Company of New York, its name appears on the lower edge of both medals. The silver medal also has ".999 + SILVER" and on it's upper edge is a serial number. The 182 bronze medals sold for $5 each and the 113 struck in silver were sold for $20 to members only.

The November 12, 1969 Chatter reported that the cancelled obverse die was returned to the Club and was on display at the 1969 P.N.G. show. The die's location at this time is unknown. The reverse pattern was designed with the intent of retaining the die for possible use on future Club medallic awards and a quantity were struck uniface in a nickel alloy and silver. What would have been the obverse side was left blank for engraving purposes.

As the occasion was also the 600th meeting, 250 inch and a half goldine tokens were struck by Meyer and Wenthe of Chicago and sold for $1 each. The obverse shows the vertically interlocking initials of the Club within a circle. The five line legend on the reverse reads "SIX HUNDREDTH MEETING, JANUARY 8, 1969."

Richard McP. Cabeen Award

Richard Cabeen was a knowledgeable philatelist and coin collector who joined the Club in 1938. He was well known to Chicagoans through his column "The Stamp Collector," which he began writing in 1923 for the Sunday Chicago Tribune. In later years, he also wrote "The Coin Collector." A 1904 graduate of the University of Illinois, he spent his career with the noted architectural firm of Holabird, Root and Burgee.

In 1968 Mr. Cabeen donated $210 to be used as the Club saw fit. The response to this donation was so gratifying, that several months later, he donated an additional $5000 with "no strings attached." These donations were the basis of the Richard McP. Cabeen Awards given annually for excellence in exhibits and he presented the first award bearing his name. The next year a second place was added, followed in 1975 by honorable mention.

The 1970's and '80's

The Club meeting site which had been the Pick Congress for ten years was changed in 1973 to the Herman Crown Center of Roosevelt University. In August of 1976, the Club took up temporary quarters in Abbott Hall at Northwestern University's downtown campus, and then spent several months in the Atgeld Room at 127 North Dearborn. The Midland Hotel was the next meeting location through the years 1977 - '80. Beginning in January 1981, the Club moved to it's recent location at 208 South La Salle.

Attendance during the 1970's continued to slip. Editors of the Chatter would, for the first time, begin to editorialize on this decline. The featured program at several meetings was an open discussion concerning this problem, but no solution was found. In 1970 the average attendance was 36 per meeting. In the following years, attendance consistently fell until the lowest point was reached in 1978, with an average of 19 per meeting. Beginning in 1979, the Club began to re-build and attendance climbed, averaging 28 per meeting in both 1983 and '84, and in the first six months of 1985 averaging 30 per meeting.

1976 Bulletin

The Chicago Coin Club issued a 22 page Bulletin which was distributed at the June, 1976 meeting. As the Club's history was documented in the 1969 Golden Anniversary issue, this edition included only an updated membership list, past award recipients and officers, and the constitution.

1976 C.S.N.S. Convention

The last Central States Numismatic Society convention the Chicago Coin Club hosted was the April 29 - May 2, 1976 gathering at the Sheraton-Chicago Hotel. The activities of the convention, including the 100 plus dealer bourse, were under the chairmanship of William A. Pettit. The successful educational forum followed a Bicentennial theme and consisted of Eric Newman, Kenneth Bressett and Henry Christiansen. The convention banquet honored Lee F. Hewitt, much to his surprise, in recognition of his many years of service to the numismatic community.

Annual Banquets

The early Club banquets grew into all-day affairs and from there, to three day coin shows. The banquet as we know it today has been an annual event since 1967 and has been held at a variety of locations, most recently at the Como Inn and the Bismark Hotel. For the past eleven years, member Edward Milas of RARCOA has generously sponsored the cocktail hour. Always held in January, the date was changed to December in 1979. Primarily a social evening with many spouses attending, there is little business discussed except for the election of officers and bestowing of annual awards.

The featured banquet programs have been many and varied. One of the more unusual non-numismatic programs was in 1971 when Patricia Ferko of Cleveland demonstrated the techniques of art on jeweled eggs. Using her artistic name of "Petruska," she charmed the members and guests with examples of her lacquered and gold leafed eggs which were decorated with pearls and other precious jewels.

750th Meeting Counterstamped Half Dollars

On July 8, 1981 the Club observed it's 750th meeting under the presidency of Richard Hartzog. To commemmorate the event, uncirculated 1981-D and circulated 1919 half dollars were counterstruck on the reverse side. The design by Dr. Saul B. Needleman shows select buildings from the City's skyline with Buckingham Fountain in the foreground. Adam J. Cool of Brigantine, New Jersey counterstruck 100 of the Kennedy and 68 of the Walking Liberty half dollars which sold for $3.00 and $9.00, respectively.

800th Meeting Medal

During the presidency of Dr. Saul B. Needleman, the Chicago Coin Club will celebrate its 800th meeting with a banquet at the Midland Hotel. To mark this milestone occasion, this book that you are reading has been published and a medal has also been issued. Six unsigned drawings were submitted at the December 1984 annual banquet and the members chose the obverse and reverse designs submitted by Carl F. Wolf.

The obverse is dominated by the portrait of Janus, the ancient Roman god of beginnings. His bearded and laureled double head looks to both the past and the future, symbolizing the Club as it looks to its past heritage with pride, while maintaining a focus upon the future. Around the top appears "CHICAGO COIN CLUB." A quotation from Shakespeare's play "The Tempest," is around the bottom, "WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE," expressing the Club's continuity with the past.

The reverse design illustrates the Club's emphasis on education with the primary focus directed to three books. One is open and rests atop two others. Across the left half of the open book is the Club's Latin motto "DOCENDO DISCIMUS." From the top left and extending across the open book is a branch from the Tree of Knowledge. The fruit which it bears represents the benefits received through numismatic education. To the right, the Path of Knowlege leads from the books to a rising sun, symbolizing enlightenment through education. To the left is a small skyline which pays tribute to the City of Chicago. Around the top appears "800TH MEETING," and around the bottom "SEPTEMBER 14, 1985."

This 2" medal is produced of pure copper, plated with bronze or silver and given an antique finish and was manufactured by Pressed Metal Products, Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia. The exact quantity which will be issued is unknown at this time. A limited number of pieces in silver and gold will be made available to Chicago Coin Club members by presubscription only.


Chicago Coin Club

Charles N. Hinckley 1919 Joseph E. Merkel 1959
Alden Scott Boyer 1919-27 Glenn B. Smedley 1960
Dr. Alexander M. Rackus 1928 Hugh Mc. Knight 1961-62
R. Edward Davis 1929-32 Michael M. Dolnick 1963-64
J. Henri Ripstra 1933-36 Philip J. More 1965-66
William G. Rayson 1937-38 James L. Grebinger 1967-68
Robert L. McBrien 1939-40 James J. Babka 1969-70
Edmund E. Lamb 1941-42 Lee F. Hewitt 1971
Paul Pennington 1943-44 James R. Budd 1972
Earl F. Barger 1945-46 William A. Pettit 1973-74
Ignatius T. Kopicki 1947-48 Charles J. Ryant 1975-76
Glenn R. Ostrander 1949-50 Gerda H. Birkholz 1977-78
Harry X Boosel 1951-52 Dr. Saul B. Needleman 1979
Clyde L. Grimm 1953-54 Richard Hartzog 1979-82
Elston G. Bradfield 1955-56 Barbara Goldfreed 1983
Theodore F. Pokorney 1957-58 Dr. Saul B. Needleman 1983-
R. Edward Davis 1919-27 Joseph E. Merkel 1951
Elmer J. Lawless 1928-30 Earl L. Salisbury 1952
Ignatius T. Kopicki 1931 Theodore H. Rich 1953-54
Michael A. Powills 1932 Michael M. Dolnick 1955-56
R. Edward Davis 1933-36 J. Thomas Nolan 1957-58
M. Vernon Sheldon 1937-38 Judy Sabel 1959-60
Ignatius T. Kopicki 1939-41 Ignatius T. Kopicki 1961
Clifford P. Lindall 1942-43 Marjorie Baker 1962-74
Glenn R. Ostrander 1944-46 Leah Klein 1974-79
Earl C. Brown 1947-49 Carl F. Wolf 1979-84
Glenn B. Smedley 1950 William A. Baker 1985-
Chatter Editors
James A. Friberg David Schecter
Glenn R. Ostrander Gerda H. Birkholz
Martin Vink Charles J. Ryant
Paul W. Igelman Larry Natta
Herbert J. Shaner, Jr. Don Valenziano
Glenn B. Smedley
Medal of Merit Recipients
Clyde L. Grimm 1955 Ignatius T. Kopicki 1956
J. Henri Ripstra 1955 M. Vernon Sheldon 1956
Glenn B. Smedley 1955 Lee F. Hewitt 1957
Earl C. Brown 1956 Richard S. Yeoman 1957
Elston G. Bradfield 1958 Arlie R. Slabaugh 1966
Joseph Unseitig 1958 Thomas F. Shugrue 1967
Ernest Jonas 1959 Gerda H. Birkholz 1968
Herbert J. Shaner 1959 Clifford P. Lindall 1969
Judy Sabel 1960 Chester Poderski 1970
August F. Hausske 1960 James L. Grebinger 1971
Philip J. More 1960 Jules L. Marshfield 1972
Michael M. Dolnick 1961 Leah Klein 1975
Harry X Boosel 1962 Frank Zaylick 1976
Harold R. Klein 1963 William A. Pettit 1977
William Hoppe 1964 Charles J. Ryant 1977
Marjorie Baker 1965 Carl F. Wolf 1981
Literary Award Recipients
James W. Curtis 1956 Gerda H. Birkholz 1966
Glenn B. Smedley 1958 William A. Pettit 1967
Nathan N. Eglit 1959 James Plath 1969
Harry Flower 1960 William A. Pettit 1970
Arlie R. Slabaugh 1961 Gerda H. Birkholz 1971
Michael M. Dolnick 1962 Harry X Boosel 1972
Ignatius T. Kopicki 1963 Adalbert R. Birkholz 1974
Gerda H. Birkholz 1964 Dr. Saul B. Needleman 1977
Arlie R. Slabaugh 1965 Dr. Saul B. Needleman 1982
Richard McP. Cabeen Award Recipients
Silver Bronze Honorable Mention
1968 Glenn B. Smedley
1969 William A. Pettit Gerda H. Birkholz
1970 William A. Pettit Gerda H. Birkholz
1971 Gerda H. Birkholz Harry X Boosel
1972 Gerda H. Birkholz Harry X Boosel
1973 Gerda H. Birkholz David Schecter
1974 Gerda H. Birkholz Harry X Boosel
1975 Harry X Boosel Gerda H. Birkholz Richard Hartzog
1976 Gerda H. Birkholz Richard Hartzog Harry X Boosel
1977 Gerda H. Birkholz Richard Hartzog Dr. Saul B. Needleman
1978 Gerda H. Birkholz Richard Hartzog Dr. Saul B. Needleman
1979 Richard Hartzog Gerda H. Birkholz
Gregory J. Gaskill
1980 Richard Hartzog Harry X Boosel Chester Poderski
Harry Flower
Carl F. Wolf
1981 Barbara Goldfreed Richard Hartzog
Carl F. Wolf
1982 Carl F. Wolf Harry Flower Gerard Anaszewicz
George Lill III
Richard Hartzog
Dr. Saul B. Needleman
Chester Poderski
1983 Gerard Anaszewicz George Lill III Harry X Boosel
Harry Flower
Richard Hartzog
Dr. Saul B. Needleman
Carl F. Wolf
1984 Robert D. Leonard, Jr. George Lill III Gerard Anaszewicz
Harry Flower
Thomas Michell
Dr. Saul B. Needleman
David E. Simpson
Carl F. Wolf

Chicago Coin Club
American Numismatic Association

It would be impossible to list all the achievements of Club members within the A.N.A. and the names that follow should not be viewed as the only members who have made notable contributions. In addition to being A.N.A.'s oldest member club, the Chicago Coin Club has provided more officers, has had more recipients of A.N.A. awards and has hosted more national conventions (seven) than any other coin club.
William G. Jerrems 1891 Nelson T. Thorson 1933-34
Dr. J. M. Henderson 1909-10 J. Henri Ripstra 1937-38
Judson Brenner 1911-12 Loyd B. Gettys 1947-48
H.O. Granberg 1915-16 M. Vernon Sheldon 1949-50
Moritz Wormser 1921-25 Leonel C. Panosh 1955-56
Charles Markus 1927-29 Oscar H. Dodson 1957-60
Alden Scott Boyer 1932 Matt H. Rothert 1965-66
General Secretaries
Alden Scott Boyer 1921 M. Vernon Sheldon 1938-43
Harry T. Wilson 1923-37 Lewis M. Reagan 1944-61
Treasurers R. Edward Davis
1921 Harold R. Klein 1949-62 George H. Blake 1922-48
Board Chairman
Board Chairman
(Office discontinued in 1937)
William F. Dunham 1909 Moritz Wormser 1919-20
H.O. Granberg 1910-14 Charles Markus 1926
Judson Brenner 1915 Nelson T. Thorson 1929-32
George H. Blake Loyd B. Gettys J. Henri Ripstra
Harry X Boosel H.O. Granberg Matt H. Rothert
Alden Scott Boyer Julius Guttag C.H. Ryan
Judson Brenner Dr. J.M. Henderson M. Vernon Sheldon
Henry Chapman Arthur M. Kagin Glenn B. Smedley
James W. Curtis Harold R. Klein H.A. Sternberg
Oscar H. Dodson Theophile E. Leon Nelson T. Thorson
William F. Dunham Charles Markus Moritz Wormser
Edward Fogler B. Max Mehl Richard S. Yeoman
Leonel C. Panosh
Editors of The Numismatist
Lee F. Hewitt 1942-43 Elston G. Bradfield 1954-66
Burton H. Saxton 1943-44 Glenn B. Smedley 1966-67
National Coin Week Chairman
Julius Guttag 1924 Harry X Boosel 1950
Moritz Wormser 1925 James W. Curtis 1951
Lewis M. Reagan 1943-44 Ignatius T. Kopicki 1955
Richard S. Yeoman 1945 Lois Otis 1965-66
Abe Kosoff 1949

The Farran Zerbe Award

Presented to those "considered to have rendered the Association distinguished service and to be worthy of the highest honor it can bestow."
M. Vernon Sheldon 1951 Elston G. Bradfield 1963
Lewis M. Reagan 1954 Leonel C. Panosh 1965
Richard S. Yeoman 1956 Oscar H. Dodson 1968
Burton H. Saxton 1958 Abe Kosoff 1972
Louis S. Werner 1959 Matt H. Rothert 1973
Glenn B. Smedley 1960 Margo Russell 1975
Lee F. Hewitt 1962 Chester L. Krause 1977

The A.N.A. Hall of Fame

"Persons whose contributions to the field of numismatics have been of the highest excellence and most outstanding." Year inducted:
George H. Bake 1970 J. Henri Ripstra 1978
Henry Chapman 1970 Richard S. Yeoman 1978
Lewis M. Reagan 1970 Abe Kosoff 1982
Moritz Wormser 1970 Glenn B. Smedley 1982
Burton H. Saxton 1972 Elston G. Bradfield 1982
B. Max Mehl 1974 Louis S. Werner 1982
Frederick Boyd 1978 Leonel C. Panosh 1984
Lee F. Hewitt 1978

Medal of Merit

Reserved for "those who have shown outstanding devotion to numismatics, the organization and its goals."
Louis S. Werner 1948 Michael A. Powills 1955
C.H. Ryan 1949 Earl C. Brown 1956
M. Vernon Sheldon 1949 James W. Curtis 1956
Lewis M. Reagan 1949 Elston G. Bradfield 1957
George H. Blake 1950 August F. Hausske 1957
Lee F. Hewitt 1950 Abe Kosoff 1958
Oscar H. Dodson 1950 Matt H. Rothert 1960
Burton H. Saxton 1950 Michael M. Dolnick 1966
Loyd B. Gettys 1951 Chester A. Krause 1967
Marcella L. Sheldon 1952 Margo Russell 1967
Richard S. Yeoman 1952 Lois Otis 1968
Glenn B. Smedley 1953 Aubrey Bebee 1968
Harold R. Klein 1954 Paul Whitnah 1978
Edward Fogler 1955 Kenneth E. Bressett 1978
Leonel C. Panosh 1955 Arthur M. Kagin 1983

Chicago A.N.A. Conventions

1891 Commercial Hotel
1893 Douglas Pavilion of the Columbian Exposition
1911 Art Institute of Chicago
1920 Art Institute of Chicago
1929 Congress Hotel
1933 Congress Hotel
1943 La Salle Hotel
1944 La Salle Hotel
1956 Pick Congress Hotel
1966 Pick Congress Hotel

Chicago Coin Club
Central States Numismatic Society

Arthur B. Kelly 1939-40 James W. Curtis 1952-54
R. Edward Davis 1940 Harry X Boosel 1958-60
Ignatius T. Kopicki 1942-43 Philip J. More 1966-68
Richard S. Yeoman 1948-50
Ignatius T. Kopicki pro tem 1939 Arthur Rutz 1948-50
Thomas F. Shugrue 1942-43 Paul H. Ginther 1950-54
Richard S. Yeoman 1947-48 Earl C. Brown 1954-57
Medal of Merit Recipients
Earl C. Brown 1953 Lee F. Hewitt 1959
James W. Curtis 1953 D. Wayne Johnson 1961
Paul H. Ginther 1953 August F. Hausske 1961
Glenn B. Smedley 1953 Arthur Rutz 1961
Richard S. Yeoman 1953 Harry X Boosel 1963
Elston G. Bradfield 1954 Arlie R. Slabaugh 1964
Lewis M. Reagan 1955 Philip J. More 1968
James Hurlbut 1955 Abe Kosoff 1969
Clyde L. Grimm 1956 Louis S. Werner 1969
Ignatius T. Kopicki 1957 Tillie Boosel 1979
Burton H. Saxton 1958
Editors of The Centinel
Elston G. Bradfield 1953 Howard B. Eisenberg 1966-69

Chicago C.S.N.S. Conventions

1939 Congress Hotel
1953 La Salle Hotel
1963 Sheraton - Chicago
1965 Pick - Congress Hotel
1969 Sheraton - Chicago
1976 Sheraton - Chicago