The History of Central States
Part 11 - 1959 - 1961
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Fall 2005 (Vol 53, Number 3) Issue of the Centinel
The year 1959 found the Central States 17th anniversary convention in Kansas City, Missouri, for the first time ever. The setting was the Hotel Muehlebach, April 24-26. The host club, Heart of America Numismatic Association, celebrated its silver anniversary during 1959, and HANA President Ray Lefman was - at the same time - CSNS vice-president and convention chairman.
The convention featured 75 tables on the bourse which cost dealers $50 each. The bourse was housed in "one large, 80' x 80' room with wide aisles and sufficient chairs to rest aching feet." Paid attendance was slightly over 700 with a three-day registration fee of $2. Wooden flats in four denominations were issued at a combined cost of 90 cents, and 500 medals were struck and sold for $1.75 each. Interestingly enough, convention leaders stated that "participation by the general public was very limited due to strenuous objection to newspaper publicity by insurance companies." Despite this criticism, the words which best described the convention were "smooth running and well organized."
Medals of Merit were awarded to Lee Hewitt and Dr. F. S. Epps, two of the most deserving recipients ever. The Best of Show plaque was won by Mr. & Mrs. Lamar Davis for their exhibit of ancient coins.
The 1960 or 18th anniversary CSNS convention returned to Detroit for the third time, April 29 - May 1. The site was the spacious Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel with the Detroit Coin Club as host. The entire 4th floor was devoted to the bourse and exhibits. Ninety-one dealers paid a $60 bourse fee which included one banquet ticket, registration fee, a badge and one display case.
A three-session auction was called by Mr. & Mrs. French of Troy, New York. Featured were 400 lots of gold coins and 100 lots of rare currency. Top money of $1,050 was paid for an 1806/5 $2.50 gold eagle in XF condition.
Paid registrants -- 793 of them - enjoyed the convention for a fee of $1.50. Other visitors put the estimated attendance at over 2,000. A field trip to the National Bank of Detroit's famous Money Museum proved to be a popular event for many. Women were invited to play bingo and enjoy a luncheon in the private dining room of the J. L. Hudson Company.
A CSNS "first" was the free distribution of the Convention Journal featuring information and facts about the convention and Central States. Another innovation was a tape recording giving the highlights of each exhibit. The CSNS Board developed the first-ever Guidebook for use by local clubs to plan and operate future conventions.
Two-hundred-ninety attendees enjoyed filet mignon at the Saturday night awards banquet. Paul E. Olson of Minneapolis and Milwaukee's Erwin C. Gerber were recipients of Medals of Merit. Robert McNamara of Cleveland won Best of Show for his plaster casts of several commemorative medals. The Best of Show award was donated by the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) in memory of the late, great Texas dealer, B. Max Mehl.
The 19th anniversary convention of Central States returned to Minneapolis in the Nicollet Hotel with the Northwest Coin Club serving as host. Those attending the convention were urged by General Chairman Paul Olson to visit the new Minneapolis Public Library which opened at the end of January, 1961.
The convention auction, called by the trio of Leo Young, Bill Ulrich and Max Winters, featured two $4 gold Stellas, a very rare 1795 half dollar and 1943-P and S copper cents.
There were 48 total exhibits with 22 from local exhibitors. A new exhibit class was added this year: "All Gold Coins." Best of Show went to George Hatie for his U. S. Coin exhibit.
Entertainment for the ladies included a luncheon, bingo, favors, a tour of the Twin Cities and separate hotel accommodations in the beautiful Candlelight Room.
At the CSNS business meeting it was decide to increase the number of Centinels from two to four per year. Elston G. Bradfield agreed to stay on a Editor. Another Board decision was the CSNS President would appoint a representative from each member club to advise the CSNS Board.
Medals of Merit were given to Carmen Baum of Minneapolis for her work in designing, producing and selling the convention medal; and to August Hausske of Chicago; D. Wayne Johnson of Sidney, Ohio; Iola, Wisconsin's favorite son, Chester L. Krause, and Arthur Rutz of Gary, Indiana.
Milwaukee was chosen to host the 1962 convention for a third time and Kansas City for the 1964 affair. 1963 was left open after Rockford, Illinois, declines to serve as the host.