HISTORY OF THE
CINCINNATI NUMISMATIC ASSOCIATION
THE FOUNDING OF THE
At the August 1930 American
Numismatic Association Convention in Buffalo, William J. Schultz,
Cincinnati numismatist, armed with telegrams from Cincinnati
hotels, Mayor Russell Wilson, and many others, invited the
ANA to have its 1931 Convention in Cincinnati. Harley Freeman
of the Western
Reserve Numismatic Club, Cleveland, seconded Cincinnati
for the 1931 convention after Toronto and New Orleans were
mentioned as possible 1931 hosts. Sam Kalealo, member of the
only other Ohio coin club, Youngstown Numismatic Club, also
invited the ANA to Cincinnati for 1931. Dr. J. M. Henderson,
noted Columbus numismatist, also voiced support for a Cincinnati
ANA Convention in 1931. So it was moved, seconded, and unanimously
carried that Cincinnati be the next ANA convention site. The
Board of Governors agreed.
The Cincinnati Numismatic
Association, with a membership of 15 actual coin collectors,
was brought into being within one week after the Buffalo convention.
Temporary officers named were Herbert A. Brand, Chairman;
G. L. Schultz, Secretary; and William J. Schultz, Publicity
Chairman. These were the officers until the first election
in January 1931. The Constitution and By-Laws, after a second
reading, were adopted October 28, 1930.
It was decided that the Cincinnati
Numismatic Association be closed to charter membership in
January 1931. At that time the roster of the Cincinnati Numismatic
Association made an exotic picture. It was made up of 17 wealthy
collectors from Cincinnati, and the other 18 were some of
the greatest names in numismatics of the era, including many
officers of the American Numismatic Association. They were:
CNA Charter Members
- William J. Schultz, Cincinnati patent attorney
- S. Schultz, his son, and
- G. L. Schultz, his daughter.
- Harley Freeman, Cleveland, Ohio financier
and numismatic great.
- George J. Bauer, Rochester, New York banker
and president of the American Numismatic Association.
- Charles J. Thul, partner in the Armstrong
Stationary Company of Cincinnati, and an avid collector.
- Herbert A. Brand, Cincinnati, sales engineer
and general manager of a New York firm; a specialist in
medals and obsolete bank notes.
- Galen M. Lyon, Cincinnati district attorney
and avid obsolete bank note collector.
- D. C. Wismer, wealthy Hatfield , Pennsylvania.
collector who authored extensive State listings on obsolete
- Nelson J. Thorson, Omaha, Nebraska collector
and past president of the ANA.
- Waldo C. Moore, Lewisburg, Ohio banker,
poet, past president of the ANA, and author and researcher
of many many numismatic articles.
- Edmund Kerper, Cincinnati attorney and
avid collector and trader.
- J. M. Henderson, Columbus, Ohio wealthy
medical doctor and avid collector and trader.
- Max Mehl, Fort Worth, Texas dealer; the
first great mail order coin dealer in the country.
- Moritz Worsmer, Millionaire numismatic
great. At this time still a collector and officer in the
ANA, he later founded New Netherlands Coin Co., and made
many great contributions to numismatics.
- Henry Chapman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The last of the Great Chapman brothers who were among the
foremost coin dealers of their era.
- Byron H. Burns, Cincinnati, Officer in
the Fifth-Third Bank and an avid collector.
- Delvin Leach, wealthy Cincinnati businessman.
- J. Lazar, President, Cincinnati Federal
Reserve Bank and a noted collector.
- Walter Boebinger, Cincinnati, president
of a chain of men's wear shops.
- William Hesslein, Boston, a wealthy physician
and famous numismatic great.
- Farran Zerber, New York, Chase Manhattan
Bank. A numismatic great and peerless contributor to numismatics.
- William H. Schwarz, owner of Cincinnati
Gold and Silver Refining Co. Also struck medals.
- William L. Doepke, Cincinnati Financier
and owner of a large department store. A famous collector
of coins and stamps.
- Henry F. Wolfe, wealthy Yazoo City, Mississippi
businessman and noted collector.
- Willis O. Crosswhite, Cincinnati financier
and vice president of the Southwestern Publishing Company
and ardent collector of coins and currency.
- Charles Markus, noted Davenport, Iowa collector.
- Albert A. Grinnell, Detroit, Michigan financier
and numismatic great.
- Otto Kersteiner, Hamilton, Ohio, Officer
of Champion Paper Company and an ardent collector of tokens
- Ronald Stanforth, Cincinnati Businessman
and avid collector.
- Alvin Schlesinger, leading Cincinnati attorney
and businessman, and a noted collector.
- Faye W. DeCamp, noted Camden, Ohio collector
of the era.
- Henry Kercher, Cincinnati, Owner of the
Cincinnati and Newport Bridge Company and an avid collector.
- L. M. Brown, wealthy Cincinnati Collector.
- James F. McGarr, Covington, Kentucky, banker
and an avid collector.,
With this great group of the
numismatic elite solidly behind him, Schultz and his friends
appeared at the Buffalo ANA Convention in 1930 and overlooked
no opportunity to win over every important person attending.
He brashly requested the 1931 ANA Convention for Cincinnati,
to enable him to form a new ANA Club and got it.
This was an unbelievable accomplishment
of dedication and determination. Especially so since the East,
in 1930, still though the civilized U.S. ended at Jersey City
and Cincinnati was still Daniel Boone and Indian country.
The following is quoted verbatim
from an editorial in the 1931 The Numismatist:
"Those who have carefully
read these articles of the 1931 Convention City are probably
convinced by this time that Schultz knows his Cincinnati.
He has figuratively taken prospective conventioneers on
a tour of the big city on the Ohio.
When Mr. Schultz appeared
at the Buffalo Convention last year and told the members
that Cincinnati wanted the 1931 Convention, and that it
would mean the formation of a local club if the Convention
would meet there, the Buffalo gathering felt inclined
to grant his request without argument. He went home and
in a few weeks, the Cincinnati Numismatic Association
was formed . . ."
(How could he miss with
Bauer, Zerbe, et al on his side?)
"Besides being an attorney
. . . during the last nine months his time has largely
been devoted to making arrangements for the ANA Convention
. . . Although Buffalo was the first convention he attended,
and he was a stranger to most on the first day, by the
time the convention was adjourned he knew everybody and
everybody knew him. Big and jolly, he has a personality
all his own and does things when others are thinking about
them. With Schultz in charge of the entertainment, those
who attend the convention are assured of six days of the
best vacation they ever experienced . . ."
Now having obtained his ANA
Convention, Schultz really went to work to make it the best
since the ANA was founded. He asked for, and was granted,
the use of the June-July-August "The Numismatist" for his
Cincinnati buildup. He started his story with Longfellow's
poem in the June issue:
"The Queen City of the West
In her garlands dressed
On the banks of the beautiful river."
In his three monthly articles,
Schultz dramatically pictured every notable and important
item of interest of Cincinnati's glorious past and present
that might be of interest to a visitor, in order to entice
every ANA member to attend the convention in 1931.
No form of innovation was
overlooked by Schultz and his group to entertain their visitors.
At the December 8, 1930, meeting
of the CNA, a committee was named by Herbert Brand composed
of William L. Doepke, William J. Schultz, and Walter J. Boebinger
to create a design emblematic of Cincinnati for the CNA token,
which was planned to be distributed to the visiting delegates
as a memento. These tokens were to be struck in silver for
founding members and gold for life members.
The design created by the
committee and adopted by the CNA was characteristic of Cincinnati.
The center of the design has the well known Tyler-Davidson
Fountain, which stands in the center of the city. Surrounding
this is "Cincinnati Numismatic Assn. 1930." This design has
been reproduced on the letterhead of the CNA every year since.
The obverse of the token or
medals had this design and the reverse had "One Itannicnic"
(Cincinnati spelled backward) with two palm branches and space
for engraving name and number. Five pure gold, twenty-five
pure silver, and three hundred copper pieces were struck.
The gold medals were for life members and cost $100, the silver
were for the founders and cost $10, and the copper were for
members at $1. The dies were made and the medals struck by
the Gregg Wright & Sons Company from metal furnished by
CNA member and owner of Cincinnati Gold and Silver Refining
Company, William H. Schwarz.
The 1931 Convention Committees
- Herbert A. Brand
- Herbert A. Brand
- William L. Doepke
- William J. Schultz
- Galen M. Lyon
Banquet and Entertainment Committee
- William H. Schwarz
- Willis O. Crosswhite
- Byron H. Thul
- William J. Schultz
- Byron H. Burns
- Waldo C. Moore
- Dr. J. M. Henderson
- Mrs. Herbert A. Brand
- Mrs. William J. Schultz
- Mrs. Charles H. Thul
- Mrs. Waldo C. Moore
- Mrs. William H. Schwarz
- Mrs. Galen M. Lyon.
The, for then, lavish entertainment
and civic cooperation in the setting of the most beautiful
hotel on the continent, the almost new Netherland Plaza, pleased
the numismatic fraternity greatly and they all left agreeing
that Schultz had fully kept his promise of one of the finest
vacation weeks of their lives in the beautiful Queen City.
An interested gentleman of
the city attending the convention was Sol Kaplan, already
a veteran of 17 years in the stock brokerage business (he
started at the age of 13!) Since many of these wealthy members
were clients, any of their activities in the field of money
interested him, and he sensed that this might be an even more
lucrative field for his talents. It was not too long before
he became involved enough to become Cincinnati's first full
time coin dealer and during the following era he attained
his major stature in numismatics.
The ANA convention was a success
as on the last day, September 3, 1931, resolutions were made,
seconded and passed giving a hearty vote of thanks to Schultz,
all of his chairmen, committees, Rembold, Doepke, the Netherland
Plaza Hotel, City of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati press.
There were 81 registered at the convention.
The culmination of the 1931
ANA Convention, which was a great success for both the ANA
and the host club, set the numismatic tide in Cincinnati surging
and leading to the great era which Jule Silverman termed the
"Golden Age of the Morganatic Angels."
Despite the dark days of 1931
and 1932 with banks closing doors even faster than businesses
were failing nationally, conservative Cincinnati weathered
the storm nicely. The exposure to numismatics enticed wealthy
collectors of stamps, guns, and other items to this new exciting
field of coins, currency and medals.
Schultz and his founding group,
having an acquaintanceship with the bankers, financiers, and
businessmen, easily attracted them as new members to the club,
and with the avidity of a child with a new toy, and they soon
became the leaders, guides, and the "angels." Angels were
as always, of utmost importance to a club. It was not unusual
for an H. Gibbs of Pittsburgh to invite the entire club to
his baronial estate for a meeting, or for F. C. C. Boyd of
New York to foot the bill for refreshments for all who attended
his club meetings.