The History of Central States,
(Part 13) 1965-1967
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Spring 2006 Issue
(Vol 54, Number 1) of The Centinel
The 1965 CSNS convention returned to Chicago for the 4th time, April 23-25, and significantly, it was held in the Pick-Congress Hotel, site of the first Central States "Conference" of 1939. Over 3,000 attended and were treated to a 123-dealer bourse, a three-segment auction, a large exhibit area with awards being medals struck at the French Mint in Paris, and three outstanding educational programs: Mrs. Elvira Clain-Steffanelli of the Smithsonian talking on "Our National Coin Collection," Ken Hallenbeck, Jr. from Fort Wayne, Indiana, discussing "Counterstamped Coins," and William Pettit of Aurora, Illinois, on the topic, "The Pretenders."
The Saturday evening banquet was billed as the "My Fair Lady" banquet, so-named because the meal was the same served at the Chicago premiere of the movie, "My Fair Lady." Guest of honor was the Director of the U. S. Mint, Miss Eva B. Adams.
The 1965 convention could be called a medal collector's bonanza. The official badge featured a bust of Abraham Lincoln in aluminum on a ribbon. In addition, a three-piece set of Lincoln medals was struck in silver, bronze and aluminum with significant Civil War events for the year of 1865 engraved on the reverses. Sets sold for $15 and featured a Lincoln portrait engraved by professional engraver - and CSNS officer - J. Henri Ripstra.
Other 1965 convention highlights included Art Lovi of Florida winning best-of-show for his exhibit of U. S. Type Coins, CSNS medals of merit awarded to Ray Janda of Kansas City and George Hatie of Michigan, a change in the by-laws lowering the age of adult membership to 18, and consideration of a reincorporation of the society in either Illinois or Michigan.
1966 marked the 150th birthday of the state of Indiana. CSNS President Leo G. Terry of Indianapolis welcomed everyone to the 24th convention. Mr. Terry also served as general chairman of the convention held at the famous Claypool Hotel, April 29-May 1. The registration badge was in Indiana colors - blue and gold - with the sesquicentennial medal attached. The $1.50 registration fee included the medal/badge struck by the Medallic Art Company. All non-winning exhibitors were given trophies. The full bourse area consisted of 80 prominent dealers from the U. S. and Canada. A bus tour of famous Indianapolis sites took place on Friday and included a close-up look at the Indianapolis 500 speedway.
The convention's educational speakers were ANA President Matt Rothert of Arkansas whose topic was "United States Fractional Currency," L. A. Harwood from Georgia who spoke on "Indians on Money & How Indiana Got Its Name," and Helen Rhodes from Indianapolis and historian of the Fort Harrison U. S. Army Finance Center whose topic was "The Home of the Army Dollar." Special events for the ladies would be a wig consultant from Sears-Roebuck, bingo, a luncheon, and a speaker from the Patricia Stevens Finishing School!
1966 was an election year for Central States. None of the then-current officers chose to run for reelection, and only five of the board of governors sought reelection. The winners were Philip More, Chicago, president; Ben Stocker, Detroit, 1st vice president; George Hatie, Grosse Point Park, Michigan, 2nd vice president; F. Stevens Epps, Homer, Michigan, secretary-treasurer; and governors: Edwin Gerber, Milwaukee; C. H. Clark, Worthington, Ohio; Joe Welles, Topeka; Russell Porter, Milwaukee; C. A. M. Smith, Detroit; Ray Janda, Kansas City; David Cooper, St. Louis; Don Jensen, Humboldt, Iowa; Richard Peterson, Chicago; Clifford Gillett, Peoria; John Gabarron, Lincoln Nebraska; A. J. Croshier, Cleveland; and Roland Finner, Northfield, Minnesota. (Finner is our current editor of The Centinel and in 1966 was secretary for two local clubs, secretary of Minnesota Organization of Numismatists (MOON), editor of MOON Views, and was on the administrative staff of Carleton College as news and publicity photographer.)
Peoria, Illinois, was the site chosen for the 1967 Central States convention, April 28-30, in the spacious Hotel Pere Marquette. The bourse area accommodated 80 dealers and was located next to the award-winning exhibit area. General Chairman Cliff Gillett reported that almost 1,500 collectors registered from 21 states and Canada. Three educational programs featured Dr. John Davenport ("The Talers and Ecus of Alsace-Lorraine"), Adm. Oscar H. Dodson ("Money Is What You Make It"), and "Mr. Redbook" Richard Yeoman ("Private Gold Issues.") A special presentation was made by U. S. Mint Director, Eva B. Adams, about her typical day on the job.
2005 - St, Louis: With tongue in cheek, Pres. Marv Mericle (left) made a generous offer of $3.00 for the 1787 Brasher Doubloon displayed courtesy of Steve Contursi of Rare Coin Wholesalers, Dana Point, California. (Jerry Lebo photo)
The best-of-show exhibit honor went to Irving Moskovitz of Detroit, and the society's medal of merit was awarded to Leo G. Terry, past president. The CSNS board voted unanimously to establish the Elston G. Bradfield Literary Award for the best article in The Centinel. Bradfield was the first editor of The Centinel and past editor of the ANA's The Numismatist. In other board action, it was decided to indefinitely suspend the publication of the annual membership roster. And, since over a dozen CSNS members were running for various ANA offices, the board voted to endorse no single candidate. A committee was appointed to consider changing the design of the medal of merit and introduce metallic life membership cards.
The 26th anniversary convention was to be held in Detroit, April 19-21, 1968, with Ben Stocker and Dan Parker as co-chairmen.