Unprecedented Wisconsin Bank Notes Exhibit at Milwaukee ANA World’s Fair of Money

June 27, 2007 By ekr

Unprecedented Wisconsin Bank Notes Exhibit at Milwaukee ANA World’s Fair of Money 

The most extensive collection of state bank notes ever publicly exhibited at one time will be featured at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money® 116thAnniversary Convention in Milwaukee, Wis., August 8 – 12. 

“More than 1,200 Wisconsin notes from the collection of well-known hobby publisher, Chet Krause of Iola, Wis., will be displayed in an unprecedented exhibition arrayed in over 150 display cases,” announced William H. Horton Jr., ANA President. Krause began assembling the unprecedented collection 47 years ago. 

“This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for attendees to see almost all of the great Wisconsin rarities, from Territorial through Obsoletes, large and small Nationals and even scrip and advertising notes,” said paper money reference book author and former Krause Publications executive Clifford Mishler, the convention’s General Chairman. 

For months, Mishler has been assisting on the educational text for the huge exhibition designed by numismatic researcher and author Doug Watson. The unparalleled exhibit represents nearly two centuries of Wisconsin bank notes and a half-century of Krause enthusiastically collecting the notes. 

“I began putting the collection together in 1960. When I was traveling in the early 1960s to establish Numismatic News I bought most anything that said ‘Wisconsin’ on it,” Krause recalled. He will frequently be in the exhibit area during the convention to personally meet with collectors and discuss the vast display. 

“One time I bought a lot of 50 notes printed by Lipman Litho of Milwaukee, all proofs, which was a very nice addition to the scrip notes. A $2 Lazy Deuce on La Crosse number 13 is of special interest in that it was stolen from me with a larger group of my collection. About 5 years ago it was offered at auction. I had no supporting documents to reclaim it, so I bought it back.” 

The exhibit will include as many as 10 “Lazy Deuce” notes, so named because of the “reclining” nature of a large number 2 in the design. There also will be more than a half dozen $1 First Charter notes and a $50 First Charter. The display will showcase 20 number one 1929 National notes; Type I and II small size 1929 National $5, $10 and $20 examples; a unique $50 Red Seal and two of the three known $100 Red Seal notes. 

The earliest note in the Chet Krause Wisconsin Paper Money Collection exhibit is a Territorial from the Wisconsin Bank of Green Bay dated November 1, 1836 — just four months after the future state officially became a territory of the United States. 

“In National Banks I’ll exhibit one note per bank, except when there is something special. Certainly I have notes of other types and denomination in my complete collection, but not much in the way of duplicates. The large size National Bank notes are the best of each bank from the Monty Sherwin Collection, and the small Nationals were obtained from Bob Steele. These were the best collections of each ever assembled at the time, and I’ve been able to add several notes to each collection,” Krause explained. 

Mishler emphasized: “Never before has such a large currency collection from a single state gone on exhibit anywhere.” 
“In Nationals alone there will probably be a dozen or so display cases just for Milwaukee. 
When Doug Watson and I were examining Chet’s collection I added so many additional 
notes from what Chet selected for the exhibit that they’ll fill up another two or three display 
cases. At one point I came up with no less than nine Red Seals and seven Brown Backs, 
and still I left some behind,” Mishler said. 

One of the notes in the paper money exhibit will have a direct connection to another item on display at the convention courtesy of Krause and the Wisconsin Automotive Museum, a rare 1921 Gold Bug two-seated roadster built by the Kissel Car Company in Hartford, Wis. 

The bank note exhibition includes a First National Bank of Hartford Third Charter (Series 1902) plain back $5 National Bank Note signed by automaker Ole P. Kissel, who was President of the bank. 
Categories of the planned bank note exhibit are: 
  •  Wisconsin Territorial Banks, 1836-48 
  •  Wisconsin Bank Notes, 1853-65 
  •  Wisconsin Scrip, 1862-1900
  •  Wisconsin Large Nationals, 1862-1928 
  •  Wisconsin Small Nationals, 1929-1935 
  •  Wisconsin Depression Scrip, 1933 
  •  Wisconsin Advertising Notes, 1875-1900 

By the time the exhibition opens on August 8, there may even more than now planned, according to Mishler. “Chet is still buying bank notes, so there will be a display case or two with recent acquisitions for the exhibit.” 

The ANA summer convention at the Midwest Airlines Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, will be hosted by Numismatists of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Numismatic Society and the South Shore Coin Club. Other organizations assisting are the Waukesha Coin Club; Ozaukee Coin Club; Midwest Chapter of the International Bank Note Society; Racine Numismatic Society; Kenosha Coin Club; and the Lake County (Illinois) Coin Club. 

For additional information about the World’s Fair of Money, contact the American Numismatic Association Meeting Services Department at (719) 482-9857 or visit online at www.money.org. 

Originally Release Date: June 27, 2007
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9864
                       Email: pr@money.org
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