The History of Central States,
Part 4 - 1942
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Winter 2003-04 (Vol 51, Number 4) Issue of the Centinel
For the second time in the brief history of Central States, the annual convention was held in the state of Iowa. CSNS president, J. Hewitt Judd, met with Iowa Numismatic Association president, V. Leon Belt, in early 1942 to plan the May 8-10 event in Des Moines. The three-day convention format was a first, as the previous three had been two-day affairs. The convention organizers noted that the previous joint meeting of CSNS and INA had been the largest numismatic get-together west of the Mississippi and that the Des Moines gathering would top the 1940 convention.
James Kelly, Dayton, Ohio dealer, was awarded auction privileges to be called in two sessions. Kelly was auctioneer at the 1941 convention, while the first two CSNS conventions featured auctions conducted by local clubs. The March, 1942, issue of The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine contained an ad by Kelly requesting "consignments of choice material." Lee Hewitt, editor of the Scrapbook, commented: "Turning the auction over to a dealer relieves the local entertainment committee one of its biggest headaches."
The same Scrapbook featured a photo of a large plaque which the CSNS board had decided to award to the local club in the CSNS area which did outstanding work during the past year. The plaque was donated by New York City dealers, Stack's. According to the Scrapbook article, it was 24 inches in diameter and inlaid with coins and medals. A silver plate on the plaque was to be used for engraving the names of winning clubs. The award was to be presented annually, but in the event one club won it three times it would become the permanent property of that club.
The Des Moines convention began on the evening of Friday, May 8, with a social open house. Most of the dealers seemed to be among the early birds, so the open house ended up being an "open bourse." Convention registration began at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday followed by a breakfast meeting of the CSNS officers.
The CSNS business session was held at 11 a.m. with the highlight being the election of officers. Elected were: President - Ignatius T. Kopicki of Chicago; 1st Vice President - Carl T. Shelby of Muncie, IN; 2nd Vice President - Richard Yeoman; Board of Directors (9): V. Leon Belt of Waterloo, IA; George Edwards of St. Paul, MN; Rual Forsythe of Taylorsville, IL; Arthur B. Kelley of St. Louis; Earl F. Barger of Chicago; Hubert L. Polzer of Milwaukee; and James Kelley of Dayton, OH. President-Elect Kopicki announced that Thomas Shrugue of Chicago was his appointment to be CSNS Secretary-Treasurer. The board voted to hold the 1943 convention in Indianapolis.
Speakers at the 2 p.m. educational session included Lloyd B. Gettys on "Large-size U. S. Paper Money" who illustrated his talk with full sheets of notes. Dr. J. Hewitt Judd gave a talk on "Pattern Coins of 1872-1879" illustrated with colored slides.
At the Saturday evening banquet it was announced that the judges had awarded the Stack's plaque to the Indianapolis Coin Club. Lu Riggs, president of ICC, made a short speech. The plaque was formally presented on June 21, 1942, at an open house of the ICC. The July, 1942, issue of Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine contains a photo of CSNS President Kopicki presenting the plaque to Mr. Riggs. Interestingly enough, the plaque reported to be 24 inches in diameter in the March issue of the Scrapbook became 36 inches in diameter just four months later! The plaque is indeed 36 inches and is the permanent property of the Milwaukee Numismatic Society.
The CSNS auction consisted of 662 lots with dealers Reed, Mehl, Stack, MacAllister, Bolender, Saab and Schulman being heavy buyers. Some prices realized: 1856 Flying Eagle Cent, proof -- $62.50; 1652 Pine Tree Shilling in VF - $26; 1793 Large Cent in F -- $2; and an 1834 Quarter, unc -- $4!! One lady, a Mrs. Stone, attended the auction instead of playing cards with the other ladies because she insisted on bidding for a 1922 No "D" cent. She won it for $8.25!
The Sunday session of the convention had some stiff competition from the Hollywood Victory Caravan of Movie Stars. This touring group of celebrities was raising funds for war bonds and came through Des Moines at approximately 2 p.m. Therefore, the CSNS banquet was moved up to 11:30 a.m. The men claimed that the women just wanted to see Cary Grant, Charles Boyer and Bing Crosby. However, it was noted that the "boys" were on hand when Claudette Colbert and other beauties passed by!
With World War II in progress, the fate of the 1943 CSNS convention in Indianapolis was anything by certain. The next installment of our "History of Central States" will provide answers.
Again, credit is due to back issues of The Numismatist and The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine.