The History of Central States,
Part 15 - 1971 - 1973
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Fall 2006 (Vol 54, Number 3) Issue of the Centinel
The 1970 ANA convention turned out to be a successful rehearsal for the 1971 Central States convention. Both events were chaired by CSNS first vice-president David Cooper and both were held in the famous Chase-Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis. Mr. Cooper wisely utilized substantially all the same competent committee members for both shows. In deference to female leadership, Mr. Cooper chose Mrs. John "Bink" Stevenson as his co-chair and her husband as bourse chairman.
The St. Louis Numismatic Association served as co-host for the May 14-16 conclave, with Thursday, May 13th, designated as PNG Day. Booth location drawings were held at the February 22nd meeting of the host club. Bourse chairman Stevenson noted that "Special attention is being given to proper lighting of the spacious Khorassan Room" for the bourse and display of auction lots.
Four specialty groups held meetings during the 32nd anniversary convention: The Check Collectors Round Table, Young Numismatists Committee, International Banknote Society, and the General Hobbies Group. St. Louis convention highlights included: attendance at 3,500, 100 dealers from 23 states and England, 300 attending the Saturday night banquet, medals of merit presented to David Cooper and Charles Wormser, best-in-show exhibit award to Louis Reagan, and the Bradfield literary award to Daniel Parker.
Amendments to the CSNS by-laws were approved: 1st - applicants for membership to have their names published in The Centinel with a time certain for objections and eventual admission for those receiving no negative comments; 2nd - expulsion and suspension of members, and the adoption of mail votes by 2/3rds of the board of governors.
President George Hatie appointed five new governors to bring the board up to full strength of thirteen members: A. P. "Del" Bertschy - Wisconsin; Harold Berk - Ohio; James Shirey - Indiana; Don Squire - Michigan; and Wayne Jackson - Indiana.
The January, 1972, issue of The Centinel was the last to be edited by Dr. Frank J. Chase who resigned for personal and professional reasons. President Hatie announced: "We are fortunate to have found a new editor, Roland W. Finner of Iola, Wisconsin. Rollie, a former CSNS governor and a member since 1958, is well experienced in the numismatic publication field."
The new and ultra-modern Red Carpet Inn & Expo Center was the location for the 1972 CSNS convention. The Expo building housed the bourse, exhibits and a snack bar. A short walk led to the 400-room Red Carpet Inn which, in turn, was only one block from the Milwaukee airport. The Milwaukee Numismatic Society hosted the 33rd anniversary convention, April 28-30. This was the fourth convention for Milwaukee, the others being 1941, 1954 and 1962. Co-chairs for the convention were A. P. "Del" Bertschy and Gale Highsmith.
An amazing 5,300 people attended the Milwaukee convention and certainly were not disappointed. The U. S. Treasury Department's "Billion Dollar Display," featuring an array of U.S. banknotes of all varieties and denominations, was a big hit with long lines forming to take a "look see." The Franklin Mint had a large exhibit of its medals and coins. The two-session auction called by Chicago's RARCOA was very well attended and featured the 1873 U.S. and foreign coin collection of Harry X Boosel. The resurgence of public participation at Milwaukee convention received praise by Clifford Mishler, senior editor of Numismatic News. His very positive review of the convention appeared under the title, "Happy Days are Here Again," in The Centinel of July 1972.
1972 was a Central States election year. New president David Cooper of St. Louis ran unopposed. First vice-president Daniel Parker of Detroit defeated Sol Kaplan of Cincinnati. All other elected officers and governors were unopposed: second vice president Oliver Horton of Washington, IL; secretary-treasurer F. Stevens Epps from Homer, MI; and governors: Harold Bert of Warren, OH; A. P. "Del" Bertschy of Milwaukee; Ken Ferguson of Cleveland; Ralph Hardman, Jr. from Shawnee Mission, KS; Wayne Jackson of Logansport, IN; Ray O. Lefman from Kansas City; Ben Stocker of Southfield, MI; and Robert Whitmore from Peoria, IL.
Dealers and collectors headed for Peoria, IL, May 4-6, 1973, for the 34th anniversary CSNS convention. The Peoria Hilton was the site of the event hosted by the Peoria District Coin Club and chaired by CSNS second vice president Oliver Horton. The 100 table bourse sold out several months before the convention and almost 30 dealers had their names on the waiting list for possible cancellations.
Just prior to the Peoria event, the governor of Illinois proclaimed the first week of May to be "Illinois Coin Collecting Week." Helium filled balloons were released from the steps of the Peoria county courthouse, each containing a certificate which could be redeemed for a copy of the booklet, "Let's Collect Coins," at the CSNS convention.
Famous folks from the numismatic community who made convention appearances included Director of the U.S. Mint Eva B. Adams, ANA President John Jay Pittman, ANA Executive Director Edward Rochette, and Courtney Coffing, editor of The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine. Rochette and Coffing spoke at the May 5th educational forum.
Amendments to the CSNS constitution and by-laws were voted upon at the general membership meeting. These included a definition of junior members - 11 to 17 years of age; annual dues set at $3 for regular and $1 for junior members; applicants for life memberships required to be regular members for a minimum of one year (down from the previous five-year requirement); and the filling of board vacancies by a majority of the board rather than the president.
An interesting Peoria convention highlight was the presentation of permanent (metal) life membership cards. Life memberships in 1973 cost $60.
As a diversion from the normal ongoing details of CSNS conventions, a "Have You Heard" story in the January, 1973, issue of The Centinel and accompanying photo revealed that a father and son had battled it out for best-of-show exhibit honors at a recent Illinois State show. It seems that a very young looking Jack Huggins, Jr. beat out his father, Jack Huggins, Sr., by a "whopping three votes!"