Lesher Referendum Medals
Zerbe Varieties 1 to 18
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Another article appeared in the Victor Daily Record, dated Wednesday, November 14, 1900.
LESHER DOLLARS IN DEMAND
"The Publication of His Silver Scheme Has Caused a Sensation and a
Rush for the Souvenirs -- Merchants Anxious To Use Them."
article below pic…
(pic: Lesher household)
The account of Joseph Lesher's scheme to coin silver at a private mint appearing in yesterday morning's newspapers caused a sensation, not only in Victor and Colorado, but throughout the United States.
It set business men, financiers and mine owners to talking and thinking and brought novelty seekers in great numbers to Mr. Lesher's house. He and his wife had hardly begun breakfast in their little home when the rush began. It seemed that everyone in town was anxious to become the possessor of a 'referendum dollar.' One rap after another shook the front door and visitor after visitor was turned away with the assurance that there were not enough dollars on hand to go around.
The most welcome visitor of the morning was A. B. Bumstead, proprietor of the grocery on North street. Mr. Bumstead was welcome because he proposed to accept the souvenirs in exchange for groceries and give them out to anyone who wanted them in change.
This took a load off Mr. Lesher's mind, because he did not relish the idea of having his peaceful home turned into a sub-treasury. He gave Mr. Bumstead all the 'referendums' he had on hand, about 10012, and afterwards referred all comers to the dealer in groceries. A few minutes after this arrangement had been concluded a messenger boy in blue clothes and brass buttons brought a telegram from the headquarters of the Associated Press in New York asking for details.
This matter was disposed of and the proprietors of several stores called, all of them anxious to use referendum dollars in their business by receiving them for goods and paying them out in change and clerk hire. Mr. Lesher took their names and promised to supply them with souvenirs as soon as he had some more made.
The first edition of the souvenirs is now practically exhausted and the next issue will consist of 500 pieces. These will be manufactured by the novelty works in Denver.
There are by two opinions of Mr. Lesher's scheme expressed here. One that it is feasible and will be of great practical benefit to Colorado industries, and the other that it is impractical if not illegal. The decision seems to lie with the public. If the business men, as they now seem disposed, encourage the scheme and redeem the dollars the success of the undertaking seems probable, assuming, of course, that the United States authorities do not discover some ground for interference."