The History of Central States
Part 10 - 1957-1958
by W.Ray Lockwood
The 15th anniversary Central States convention met for the first time in St. Louis. Missouri, April 26-28, 1957. Despite "violent weather" which canceled many flights, the convention was well attended with 358 registered by Saturday evening and several hundred non-registered visitors on hand.
The high point of the convention was the banquet attended by 215 souls. The MC and first secretary of Central States. Eric P. Newman. also conducted a post-banquet educational forum with the able assistance of Waiter Breen and Art Kagin. Noteworthy was Mr. Newman's non-competitive exhibit of numismatic rarities. These included one of two known Confederate half dollars, the Nova Constellation silver pattern, a rare variety of the Connecticut cent, the earliest known picture of St. Louis on a rare Missouri note, and a gold President coin reportedly carried by George Washington as a pocket piece!
Dr. F. Stevens Epps was elected secretary-treasurer to succeed Earl C. Brown who resigned due to serious illness. Other officers elected were: Irwin C. Gerber. president; Harry X Boosel. vice-president: and governors: Harold Baker. Harold Bowen, Harry Collura. D. Wayne Johnson, Sol Kaplan. Louis R. Karp. Clifford Lindall, Mark Hilding Nelson and Theodore Pokorney. A life membership was voted for the ailing Earl C. Brown. Medals of Merit were awarded to Ray Fiscus and Ignatius T. Kopicki.
Fifty-three dealers filled the large bourse room in the Hotel Statler. Popular coins up for sale were Indian cents in all conditions, older proof sets and all gold coins. James Kelly conducted the two-day auction with the top priced coin being an 1875 $3.00 gold proof which brought $4,250.
Cincinnati's New Netherlands Hotel served as host for the 1958 CSNS convention. Attendance was below expectation due to show dales coinciding with Mother's Day. Four-hundred-fifty attended instead of ihe usual 500-600.
Some 77 dealers occupied bourse booths. Gold coins were in strong demand with many dealers running out of stock. James Kelly again served as auctioneer with the same coins in demand as in the bourse.
A full entertainment program was provided for ladies which included a tour of Proctor & Gamble, style show and luncheon. The Saturday evening banquet was preceded by a cocktail party complete with an abundance of snacks. Several attendees complained that the cocktail party should have been held in the mid-afternoon as the hors d'oeuvre table was a meal in itself!
John J. Pittman was MC of the posl-banquet program. Past CSNS president Lillard Culver installed the new officers: Harry X Boosel. president; Ray Lefman, vice-president; and governors Harold Bowen, Harry Collura, Ray Janda, D. Wayne Johnson, Sol Kaplan, Louis Karp, Mark Hilding Nelson, Clifford Lindall and Theodore Pokorney.
The CSNS business sessions were unusually long due to lengthy discussions of a new convention guidebook, rules for future conventions, and the need to purchase and finance exhibit cases. Annual dues were increased to $2.00 and bourse fees also increased. The financial report for the Cincinnati convention revealed receipts of 56,732.78 and expenses of $6590.17.
Medals of Merit were award to Burton Saxton of Cedar Rapids; Harold L. Bowen from Detroit; and Dayton's James Kelly.
The Heart of America Numismatic Association was announced as host club for the 17th anniversary convention in Kansas City in 1959.