The History of Central States,
Part 16 - 1974 - 1976
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Winter 2006-07 (Vol 54, Number 4) Issue of the Centinel
Oliver W. Horton, CSNS secretary-treasurer, issued this warning in January, 1974: "Detroit is going to be a touchy situation for you dealers. In Milwaukee (1972), there were 130 dealers. In Peoria (1973), there were 99 dealers. But in Detroit (May 9-12, 1974), there will be (space for) only 75-80 dealers. Someone is going to be left out."
The 1974 Central States 35th anniversary convention was well attended and very successful by all measurements. An exhibit of 18th century U.S. type coins won best of show for Lelan Rogers of Hannibal, NY. Other awards included the coveted medal of merit to David Shapiro of RARCOA, and the Elston Bradfield literary award to free-lance writer, Clement F. "Clem" Bailey of Iola, WI.
The convention banquet witnessed the awarding of a Krause Publications' "Numismatic Ambassador" award to Glenn Smedley of Oak Park, IL.
1974 was an election year! Newly elected officers and board members installed at the Saturday evening banquet were: Daniel Parker, Detroit, president (Parker served as general chairman of the 1974 convention); Harold Berk, Warren, OH, first vice president; A. P. "Dell" Bertschy, Milwaukee, second vice president; Oliver W. Horton. Washington, IL, secretary-treasurer; and governors: John Cain, Kansas City; Ken Ferguson, Jr., Cleveland; Ralph D. Hardman, Jr., Shawnee Mission, KS; Wayne Jackson, Logansport, IN; Miss Orlane D. Kittle, Winona, MN; Kurt Krueger, North Prairie, WI; Ray O. Lefman, Kansas City; Tim Marcy, Jamestown, ND; Lowell Owen, Adel, IA; William Pettit, Aurora, IL; Don Squire, Dearborn, MI; Ben Stocker, Southfield, MI; and Allan Schrock, Omaha, NE.
1974 began on a sad note with the sudden death of CSNS second vice president, Sol Kaplan of Cincinnati. Kaplan was one of the nation's top dealers and a founder and first president of the Professional Numismatist Guild (PNG).
The 1975 Central States convention returned to the spacious Hotel Muehlebach in downtown Kansas City. The hotel advertised its new rooftop patio and swimming pool! Ray O. Lefman, general chairman of the 36th anniversary convention, issued a personal invitation with the following boast: "This year's event will be the biggest and best yet!" Highlights of the convention were two exhibits: the 1907 Indian Head double eagle insured by Paramount International Coin Corp. for one million dollars, and the 100 case exhibit of Chinese coins belonging to Jack Klausen.
There was a 175-dealer bourse and a RARCOA auction. Virgil Hancock, John Hunter and Ed Fleischmann conducted a counterfeit detection seminar. Films by the U.S. Mint and the Franklin Mint were shown throughout the convention. Mint Director Mary Brooks was honored by a special reception hosted by CSNS President Dan Parker. Autograph parties featured ANA President Virginia Culver and Chet Krause and their just-released Guide to Franklin Mint Products. Marjorie Owen captured best of show for her paper money exhibit. The Elston Bradfield literary award went to young author and CSNS governor Kurt Krueger.
President Dan Parker postscripted his July, 1975, Centinel column with this challenge: "P.S. - Chicago: Top this one, please!!!"
1976 show chairman, William Pettit, took up the challenge for the bicentennial year convention held at the Sheraton-Chicago Hotel, April 30-May 2. Over 2,000 people attended the three-day show which featured an outstanding educational forum. A trio of well-known numismatists, Ken Bressett, Eric P. Newman and Henry Christenson, discussed coins and paper money of the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods.
The social and emotional highlight of the convention was the Saturday evening banquet honoring pioneer numismatic publisher Lee F. Hewitt. Recipient of numerous awards, Hewitt was one of the founders of Central States, and although he never held office within the organization, eventually he was granted the title of "Honorary President."
Banquet attendees received facsimile copies of Hewitt's first edition of The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, originally published in January, 1935. Krause Publications president, Chet Krause, presented Hewitt with a "Numismatic Ambassador" award.
1976 was an election year for CSNS. Elected and installed were: president - Harold Berk, Warren, OH; first vice president - A. P. "Dell" Bertschy, Milwaukee; second vice president - Ralph Hardman, Shawnee Mission, KS; secretary-treasurer - Marjorie Owen, Adel, IA; and governors: John Cain, Kansas City; Leon Hendrickson, Winchester, IN; Jack Huggins, Sr., Belleville, IL; Wayne Jackson, Logansport, IN; Tom Jones, Dearborn, MI; Miss Orlane Kittle, Winona, MN; Mike Kolman, Cleveland; Kurt Krueger, Kimberly, WI; Ray Lefman, Kansas City; Tim Marcy, Jamestown, ND; Allan Schrock, Omaha, NE; and Don Squire, Dearborn, MI.
Future CSNS conventions were scheduled for Milwaukee in 1977, St. Louis in 1978, Dearborn in 1979, and Lincoln, NE in 1980.