Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

JAN    1   1900

Cancel from the South Chicago freight office of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway. 


Here is to a better 2013.  The end of the Mayan long count calendar did not bring an end to the world, nor will the fiscal cliff.  But we did experience a terrible tragedy with the assault rifle deaths of elementary school children in Connecticut.  

I learned to shoot as a kid, and owned my first shotgun by the age of 12 (20 gauge Remington).  Assault rifles, especially the M4 carbine and AK47, have been a constant presence for me in some of the places I've worked like Afghanistan and west Africa.  I appreciate the appropriate use and possession of assault rifles, especially when they are used for practical reasons and in the hands of trained soldiers in places where they've saved my life like Liberia.  But for the life of me I can't figure why we treat guns like glamorous objects and symbols of freedom in the continental United States.  And why do we venerate the things to the point where a Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association could make a dystopian recommendation to put armed guards in all of our schools?  Lanza, the Connecticut mass murderer, would have been smart enough to have taken out the guard first before using his Bushmaster human killing machine on the children.   The NRA, gun makers, and people that glorify these things should be ashamed, not so much for supporting the right to own guns, but for promoting them as something they are not.

I once owned a home in Chevy Chase, Maryland that my wife and I had purchased in 1999 after we returned from a six year stint in Liberia during the midst of the country's civil war.  During October 2002 while we were residents in the house, the Washington area, of which Chevy Chase is a neighborhood, was terrorized by a sniper, who murdered 10 people over a three week people with a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle.  The sniper was taking people out in parking lots, bus stops, and gas stations.  People lived in fear throughout the region.  

After about ten days from the start of the murders, I received a call in Chevy Chase from a friend named Brownie Samukai who called from western Tanzania in East Africa near the country's border with the nation of Burundi.  Brownie, who is now the Minister of Defense in Liberia, was at the time a security official for the United Nation High Commission for Refugees.  He and some of his colleagues had been watching CNN reports on the sniper, and as he had my number in Chevy Chase on his phone, he decided to call me to make sure I was OK and to find out how we were coping.  I have never quite gotten over the irony of a security official calling me from east Africa to make sure I was OK in the United States from people on the rampage with a military weapon.  For six years in Liberia I lived with the ever present threat of AK47s, .50 cals, and M60s, which all shot up my house and office in 1996 and nearly got me.  Brownie was in Liberia then too, and I think both of us thought we would be just a bit safer out of Liberia by 2002.  So Brownie got a job with the UN, and I went back to Washington.  But one of Bushmaster's fine and efficient killing products, which can be bought freely in the United States, made everyone in the capital city of the United States watch their back at all times, everywhere, for nearly three weeks.

I am certain that more than a few readers will mumble something to the effect that guns don't kill people, people kill people, and all that.  These are shallow thinkers.  There is a reason we all don't have anti-aircraft guns at home.  At some point our society has drawn a line.  The question is where and why, and why do the people that defend assault rifles not protest their lack of ability to acquire high caliber guns like anti-aircraft guns?  As a society we have already drawn a line.  

The line needs to start with values, and the glorification of assault rifles as an aspect of manliness and machismo.  Consider the the advertisement below that might have been read by Adam Lanza:

Above is an advertisement for a Bushmaster rifle, written and paid for by those that want you to think that your manliness is equated with owning one of these things.  What?  The numbers of dead in Connecticut are part of a much larger tally of dead that the current stories don't mention.  I've seen way more children and other innocents cut apart by rifles like these in Liberia and Sierra Leone to know that manliness has nothing to do with the people firing these things.  So many of the murders in those countries were committed by children themselves, shooting unarmed people.  Their AK47s hardly made them men, only effective murderers.  How much more of a man is Adam Lanza now that he has killed all these children?  I accept the fact that we are always going to have guns like these made by companies like Bushmaster.  But mass marketing like this?  Shame.


In 1978 the British band Gang of Four recorded the song Armalite Rifle.  I was something of a punk rockphile back then, and this song was one of my favorite records as a high school kid.  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

David Thompson's 2 Cent Documentary Block of 6 with Double Transfer

There are not too many fly-speckers out there in philately anymore, especially for the battleship revenues, for which fly specks, e.g. double transfers, plate scratches, layout lines among others, are quite common.  But David Thompson keeps his magnifying glass handy and his scanner to more closely examine his battleships.  We don't report every new finding on this site, but occasionally there is an interesting item.  Today we present an R164 block of six with two fly-speckable stamps, one with a plate scratch and the other with a double transfer.  See the upper right and middle right stamps in the block below.

 Below:  Upper right stamp with double transfer.  David has marked the clear DT points with white arrows:

 Upper right stamp with double transfer showing across "TWO CENTS":

 Middle right stamp with plate scratch noticeable in the right margin.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Need Some Help with Whitmay (?) Mills

Today we have a cancel from a firm that appears to be "Whitmay" Mills.  Problem is that neither David Thompson, who sent in this scan, nor I can find anything about this mill, or a person with the this name.

Two questions for the crowd out there in internet land.  Does this look like, and is the manuscript cancel indeed Whitmay Mills, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?  We've thought of Whitney Mills, but it just doesn't look like Whitney.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Metellus L. C. Funkhouser of Montgomery & Funkhouser

Metellus L. C. Funkhouser, photographed as a Major in the US Army.   As a Captain, Metellus saw action in the Spanish American War.  Montgomery & Funkhouser was a Chicago-based insurance agency.


Langlois scan

The retired Major Funkhouser would become involved in Chicago law enforcement. As 2nd Deputy Police Commissioner he would have responsibilities to clean up aspects of organized crime in Chicago.  His status was such that a contract was put out on his life in 1914. 

I can't get over the name Metellus L. C. Funkhouser.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Chicago Board of Trade Members: C. A. Jennings of The N. K. Fairbank Company

NOV  23   1899

Langlois scan

Mr. Jennings was with the N. K. Fairbank Company, a manufacturer of lard and soaps.  He was member #6007 of the Chicago Board of Trade.

The N.K. Fairbank Co. no doubt maintained a registered trader on the CBOT to purchase contracts for some of the primary inputs for the consumer products that it manufactured including soap and baking products.  They prospered in a city with great meat packing companies like Armour where meat packing by-products were plentiful.   The company had factories in Chicago, St. Louis, Montreal and Louisiana and had international offices in the United Kingdom and Germany. Gold Dust Washing Powder was one of the most successful cleansing product lines in twentieth century North America.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from 1898 Revenues

Christmas Card from the Luedinghaus-Espenschied Wagon Company

Merry Christmas from the management and staff of 1898 Revenues:


Luedinghaus-Espenschied Wagon Company bill of lading on the Steamboat Sydney for "One Farm Wagon complete, with seat", for $800.

Bog Hohertz sent in this scan following yesterday's L-E Wagon Company post.  Thanks Bob!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Luedinghaus-Espenschied Wagon Company

In March last year, Frank Sente published a post on an export bill of lading on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad for a shipment by the Luedinghaus-Espenschied Wagon Company.  Frank pointed out the rarity of export bills of lading and the reason behind the rarity in that post, and I recommend clicking the link to read Frank's contribution. 

Today, however, we feature a stamp that likely came from a more common domestic bill of lading fromt the L. E. Wagon Company.  The stamp below is off document, but I am certain that I have a couple of L. E. Wagon BOLs from Henry Tolman's collection, with cancels similar to the one below, regrettably all in storage in northern Virginia, waiting for my return from Kenya.  For now, I will focus on the single below and the L. E. Wagon Company:


Langlois scan

An L. E. Wagon Company product from 1894

Luedinghaus-Espenschied, based in St. Louis, Missouri, built wagons of all types, including wagons suitable for travel out west from the gateway city of St. Louis.  L-E was manufacturing wagons by by 1850s, and they equipped 1000s trekking west to find new homes in the great expanse from the prairies to the pacific.  

The Coachbuilt website provides the following background on Luedinghaus-Espenschied:

Louis and Henry Espenschied of 148 Broadway, St Louis, Missouri were German natives who first opened a St Louis blacksmith shop in 1843. They soon expanded to wagons and by the 1850s were making large numbers for pioneers heading west.

Henry passed away in the early 1850s, but Louis continued, renaming the firm the L. Espenschied Wagon Co. Mormon records indicate that for the great migration of 1853, the settlers purchased fourteen wagons for $58 apiece from Louis Espenschied in St Louis for their westward trek to the great Salt Lake. During the civil war Espenschied received a large contract for wagons and wheels for the Union Army.

Hanna F. Arensmann married a young carriagemaker named John Henry Luedinghaus on May 9, 1858 in St. Louis. Money was given to young John Henry from his in-laws to form the Arensmann-Luedinghaus Wagon Manufacturing Co. soon after.

By the 1870s both firms were specializing in heavy commercial and farm wagons and they decided to join forces in 1880 as the Luedinghaus & Espenschied Wagon Co.

Louis Espenschied died in 1887, but his sons and Luedinghaus kept the business going, which survived into the 1930s making heavy wagons, trailers, commercial bodies and motor trucks (Luedinghaus Truck of the 1920s).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New York Stock Brokers and Financiers: Henry Marquand & Company

Henry Marquand
by John Singer Sargent

Marquand was a wealthy financier and railroad director.  He was best known as a philanthropist and a patron of the arts.  As shown here, both he and his wife were painted by the great American painter John Singer Sargent.

JAN 16 1901

Langlois scan

Mrs. Henry Marquand
by John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Noble & Mestre

Noble & Mestre cancels are common on 1898 revenue series stamps, yet there are no photos of Mssrs Noble or Mestre in this site's favorite NYSE 1898 reference, King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange.  Also, I cannot find much in the way of history of any kind on this firm.  So if you know anything, please write to






Langlois and Thompson scans

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New York Stock Brothers: Kingsley, Mabon & Company

K. M. & CO.

K. M. & CO.

stamp from the memorandum of sale below

Kingsley, Mabon memorandum of sale for 100 shares of Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.

Monday, December 17, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: P. W. Harding & Company

Philip W. Harding was on the Governing Committe of the New York Stock Exchange in 1898

P. W. H. & CO.

David Thompson scan

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Indianapolis Stock and Grain Brokers: L. A. Kinsey & Company

Indianapolis, Ind.

David Thompson scan

From Indianapolis of Today, 1896:

THE L. KINSEY COMPANY, Incorporated:  Brokers; Nox. 11 and 13 West Pearl Stree.--The vast volume of business transacted here in trade, commerce and manufactures, renders Indianapolis one of the most desirable fields for banking operations to be found anywhere, and that the field is extending is evidenced by the prosperous existence of so many houses conducting business on a commission basis in the handling of grain, provisions, stocks, and bonds.  Prominent and pre-eminently popular among such is the corporation of the L. A. Kinsey Co., whose offices are located in the Commercial Club Building Nos. 11 and 13 West Pearl Street.  The concern was established as an individual enterprise in 1892 by Mr. L. A. Kinsey, state corporate charter under the existing trading title being secured in 1895.  The company has an ample cash capitalization, the personnel of the executive management as follows:  L. A. Kinsey, President; F. M. Ketcham, secretary; Maud S. Elliott, treasurer.  The company deal largely in stocks and investment securities, handle options on the Chicago Grain and Provision Market, and as a matter of fact, are the leading stock and share brokers in Indiana's state capital city.  Having direct communication by leased wires with the leading exchanges of the country, they can buy or sell for cash or on margin any of the listed stocks, bonds, or speculative securities.  Branch offices of the concern are likewise conducted at Chicago, Anderson, Muncie, and Martinsville, Ind. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Canadian Bank of Commerce, San Francisco

The Canadian
Bank of Commerce
San Francisco

DEC  30  1901

David Thompson scan

The Canadian Bank of Commerce building in San Francisco prior to the great earthquake of 1906.  The stamp above was likely canceled in this building.

New York Stock Brokers: Newborg & Hess

Newbork & Hess
New York

David Thompson scan

The New York Morning Telegraph announced the formation of this brokerage house in January, 1901:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicago Board of Trade Members: Schwartz, Dupee & Company

The firm of Schwartz, Dupee held memberships on the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.  Below are two photos from the 1897 King's Views of the New York Exchange.  The cancels on the stamps in this post were placed in Chicago.

Schwartz, Dupee & Co.
JAN  31    1901

David Thompson scan

Chicago Board of Trade Members of the firm Schwartz, Dupee included:
CBOT #3462   Gustavus A. Schwartz
CBOT #430  John Dupee Jr.
CBOT #6044 Isaac Bloom
CBOT #6260  John W. Conley

From A History of Chicago, Its Men and Institutions:

John Dupee, of the Board of Trade firm of Schwartz, Dupee & Company, was born at Bangor, Maine, and is the son of John and Eleanor Winslow (Pratt) Dupee.  He was educated in the Boston  public schools, in which city his parents resided except for a brief period, and after his graduation form the Park Latin School he began his business career as an employee of the house of Howe & Leeds, wholesale grocers.  In 1883, together with the late Mr. Charles Schwartz, Mr. Dupee organized the firm of Schwartz, Dupee.  In 1884 Mr. G. A. Schwartz was admitted as a partner, and in 1891 Mr. John W. Conley, who for a long time was connected with John F. Rumsey & Company, and Mr. I. J. Bloom were admitted to membership.  Mr. Charles Schwartz died in 1893, and Mr. G. A. Schwartz retired September 1, 1899.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chicago Board of Trade Members: Lasier & Hooper

L.  &   H.
SEP  27   190?

David Thompson scan

Lasier & Hooper were Commission Merchants at the Chicago Board of Trade.  David S. Lasier was CBOT member # 5229.  This stamp was part of a lot of futures contract memoranda of sale from Chicago.  The initials L&H are uniquely associated with the firm Lasier & Hooper during the 1898 tax period on the CBOT.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chicago Board of Trade Members: Nash Wright Company

N. W. Co.
NOV  10  1899

David Thompson scan

Nash Wright members of the CBOT included:

#1135 Charles T. Nash
#2628 William Nash

Nash Wright Co. was a commission trading firm.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chicago Board of Trade Members: William H. Beebe Company

W. H. B. & Co.
AUG    9     1898

David Thompson scan

This stamp came from a lot of Chicago documents that were all fragments of futures memoranda of sale. The initials WHB&Co. can be uniquely attributed to William H. Beebe & Co. from the 1898 tax period among members of the CBOT.  Mr. Beebe was a commission merchant.

CBOT #2191 William H. Beebe

From The Educational History of Illinois, 1912:

William Hempstead Beebe was born at Galena, Illinois, September 18, 1846, his father being Thomas H. Beebe, born at St. Louis, Missouri, in 1819, and his mother, Catherine Eddowes, of Dover, Delaware. The family came to Chicago in the spring of 1853, where Thomas H. Beebe engaged in the commission business as president of the Peshtigo Company, being associated with William B. Ogden.

William Hempstead Beebe was educated in the private schools of Chicago and the University of Chicago, class of 1866. On leaving college, he entered the office of the Peshtigo Company, lumber manufacturers, and afterward engaged in the lumber business with Edward Hempstead, under the firm name of Hempstead & Beebe. Subsequently he joined the Chicago Board of Trade, and for twenty-seven years was engaged in the grain commission business with R. Hall McCormick, as McCormick & Beebe, and afterward under the style of William H. Beebe & Co.

While a member of the Board of Trade, Mr. Beebe served successively as a member of the Arbitration and Appeals Committees and as a director of the Board. In 1887 he was appointed by Mayor Roche a member of the Library Board, serving on the Administration Committee, and was elected president of the Board for 1888 and 1889. In 1893 he was appointed by Mayor Washburne a member of the Board of Education, serving as chairman of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds during 1895. 

Mr. Beebe is a member of the Presbyterian Church, was married in October, 1871, to Miss Kate Krebs, of Baltimore, Maryland. He is agent for the Estate of L. J. McCormick, with offices in the McCormick building. He resides at 154 East Superior street, Chicago.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chicago Board of Trade Members: William R. Mumford & Company

William Mumford's firm in Chicago dealt in the pedestrian farm commodities of hay and animal feeds, and apparently provided for a comfortable and successful life for his family.  The nature of his business is a great example of the difference between the type of firms that used vast quantities of 1898 revenue stamps in Chicago versus those in New York City.  New York was the center of American capital and finance, and had large and numerous firms that traded in corporate equities and bonds.  The Chicago Board of Trade, however, was populated by many that were absorbed in the grounded world of the mid-western farm economy.  It is hard to imagine a man like J. P. Morgan even thinking about hay, much more doing business with it like Mr. Mumford.

W. R. M. & CO.
NOV   14  1898

David Thompson scan

W. R. Mumford & Company was listed in the 1900 CBOT annual report as a Grain, Feed and Hay firm.  The staff included the following CBOT members:

#1125 William R. Mumford
#5223 W. O. Mumford

From the February 1923 edition of the trade journal Flour and Feed:

Death has again invaded the ranks of the Chicago Feed Dealer's association and has taken away one of its most honored and highly respected members, William R. Mumford.  Mr. Mumford was one of the founders of the association and was its first secretary, which position he occupied fore several years, and it is due to his earnest work that the association succeeded and is today second to none in the country.

Mr. Mumford was a native of Pennsylvania, born in Wilkes Barre, March 5, 1842.  He came to Chicago about 1865 and at once entered into the hay and grain business and by industry and close attention to business soon established an extensive trade. 

He organized the firm of W. R. Mumford & Company that year and in 1875 became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and at his death was one of the oldest active members of that organization.  He was an active member of the Chicago Hay Receivers association and served one year as its president.  He was a most genial companion; always met you with a smile and hearty grasp of the hand.  never to busy to speak a pleasant word. 

During the session of the National Hay association held in Chicago two years ago at the banquet given at the Drake hotel, he as referred to by the president of that organization was "the grand old man of the hay trade"...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Pearl City Bank

As previously mentioned, On Beyond Holcombe is off through the remainder of the year but will be back in 2013.  If you are visiting this site looking for Malcolm's column, thanks for stopping by.  Meanwhile, enjoy this cancel from the P. C. Bank.

The P. C. Bank
APR   10   1899
Pearl City, Ill.

Langlois scan

From A History of Stephenson County, Illinois, 1910:

The banking facilities of Pearl City are un­excelled for a village of the size. The Pearl City Bank, a private corporation, was organized about twenty years ago, by Simon Tollmeier, who became the first president, and has since continued to hold the office. The firm represents a capital of $25,000, and a personal responsibility of $250,000. The officers are: President, Simon Tollmeier; vice president, Dr. S. H, Aurand; cashier, A. L. Kurd; directors, Simon Tollmeier, Dr. S. H. Aurand, Frank R. Erwin, Fred Tollmeier, Frederick Althof, Henry Althof, August Althof, Charles Althof, Al­bert Althof, Otto Althof. The bank occupies a frame structure on Main street which is well fitted out for its banking offices.

Pearl City check from 1904

Pearl City is a town in north western Illinois that by the 1880s was a stop on the Chicago Great Western Railway.  Today the town has a population of 2,000.

Check out these previous posts on small town midwestern banks:

Lincoln County Bank, Merrill, Wisconsin

First National Bank, Charlotte, Michigan

The Bank of Baraboo, Baraboo, Wisconsin

The Bank of Willmar, Willmar, Minnesota

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Camille C. Roumage


Dave Thompson scan and highlight

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chicago Board of Trade Members: Robert Bines

Robert Bines was member #1796 of the Chicago Board of Trade

JUL   28  1898

Bines was a player in the high business community in Chicago. He was born in Bloomfleld, Ohio in 1842, arrived in Chicgo in 1866 and by 1869 was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. By the time of this cancel he was a member of the Board of Directors.

The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald from January 21, 1902 reported the Mr. Bines had enough capital to speculate in Chicago area land claims:

Robert Bines, of Chicago, began, on the I7th inst., the " payment, at Dowagiac, Mich., of $34,000 to the Pottawatomie Indians [$ioo to each] for their title to lands along the lake front of Chicago." He evidently believes their claims to these lands to be sustained.

Bines was in the brick business too, as reported in the History of Chicago, Illinois by John Moses in 1895:

Among the leading establishments engaged in the manufacture at this time are the following: The Tiffany Pressed Brick Company is a corporation composed of the following directors : J. Van Inwagen, president ; J. Tiffany, vice-president ; N. K. Fairbank, Robert Bines, and J. B. Lyon. The capital of the concern is $200,000, and the value of the investment estimated at $300,000. It employs 75 hands, to whom are paid wages amounting to $4,500 per year. The value of the material used is $20,000, and of the output 100,000. The factory is at Momence, 111.