The History of Central States
Part 17 - 1977-1979
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Spring (Vol 55, Number 1) Issue of the Centinel
The year 1977 marked the fifth time for Milwaukee to host a Central States convention, Mar 12-15. The host club, Milwaukee Numismatic Society, expected to exceed the record-breaking attendance of the 1972 convention held at the Red Carpet Expo Center. A. P. "Del" Bertschy again served as general chairman and was also first vice president of Central States.
The Milwaukee convention had a new twist in the program. Each day was designated in honor of outstanding numismatists: May 13 was David L. Cooper Day; May 14 - Richard S. Yeoman Day; and May 15 - A. P. "Del" Bertschy Day.
Several specialty clubs met during the convention including the Civil War Token Society, Token & Medal Society, Society of Paper Money Collectors, International Banknote Society, Elongate Collectors and the organizational meeting of Numismatic Editors.
RARCOA of Chicago auctioned the Harley L. Freeman collection of Florida obsolete currency, a high-grade complete type set, and complete sets of uncirculated half dimes, Morgan and Peace dollars. "Mr. Red Book," Dick Yeoman, was honored at the Saturday evening banquet, and each guest received an autographed 1977 "Red Book." Best of show honors went to Sam Whipple of Evansville, Indiana, for his "Gold Coins of Selected English Monarchs."
Kurt Krueger won the Elston Bradfield Literary Award named in honor of the founder of The Centinel and later editor of ANA's Numismatist. Sadly, Bradfield passed away on August 13, 1977, at the age of 71. Marge Owen, CSNS secretary/treasurer, won the Society's Medal of Merit.
The Missouri Numismatic Society hosted the 39th anniversary CSNS convention, May 11-14, 1978, in the famous St. Louis Chase-Park Plaza Hotel. The event was co-chaired by Mrs. John S. ("Bink") Stevenson and David L. Cooper, co-chairs of the 1970 ANA and 1971 CSNS conventions. A 175 dealer bourse with booths priced at $200 greeted the collecting public.
Exhibit winners included Erwin Brauer, best in show, for his type set of U.S. gold; best paper money exhibit was won by John Wilson for "Large Size Money: 1861-1925," while new CSNS junior member, Jack Huggins, Jr., won best junior exhibit for his display of Peace dollars. Other award-winning exhibitors were Bob Kutcher, Jim Moores, Larry White, Paul Leistritz, Eric Newman and Nancy Wilson. Art and Don Kagin called the CSNS auction which exceeded $500,000 in sales. Strong bids were received for such rarities as a 1793 large cent, 1865 proof three-cent nickel and a 1916-D Mercury dime.
1978 was an election year! New officers were: A. P. "Del" Bertschy of Milwaukee, president. (Mr. Bertschy was 82 when elected!) Others elected were Ralph D. Hardman, Jr. of Kansas, first vice president; Kurt Krueger of Wisconsin, second vice president; and Marjorie M. Owen of Adel, Iowa, was renamed secretary/treasurer. Members elected to the board of governors were: John Cain, Kansas City; Leon Hendrickson, Winchester, IN; Don Hudson, Indianapolis; Jack Huggins, Sr., Belleville, IL; Miss Orlane Kittle, Winona, MN; Mike Kolman, Cleveland; Ray Lefman, Kansas City; Bob Lemke, Waupaca, WI; Tim Marcy, Jamestown, ND; Don Mark, Adel, IA; Leonard Owen, Omaha, NE; Allen Schrock, Omaha; and Don Squire, Dearborn, MI.
Gov. Squire was a co-founder of the Dearborn (MI) Coin Club which hosted the 40th anniversary convention, April 26-29, 1979. The site was the new, plush, 800-room Dearborn Hyatt-Regency Hotel which was connected to the nearby Fairlane Shopping Center by electronically controlled "people movers." A "people mover" appeared on the cover of the Winter, 1978, issue of The Centinel.
Chris Wilken won best-in-show with a perfect score of 100 for his "Odd & Curious Monies of China." Other outstanding exhibits were entered by John Wilson, Bob Kutcher and Peter Phillips. The CSNS medal of merit was awarded to SIX ladies who "contributed greatly to the numismatic field:" Marian Yeoman, Tillie Boosel, Betty Lefman, Dorothy Cooper, Wanda Parker and Suzanne Berk.
During the 1979 convention, the board of governors voted to create a $500 junior scholarship for the ANA Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs.
Future conventions were awarded to Lincoln, NE for 1980, Indianapolis, IN for 1981, and Cedar Rapids, IA for 1982.