It gets cold in northwest Missouri in the winter, and readers of the Skidmore New Era had some time on their hands. In 1913, that meant they had time to compare notes to see who had the oldest coin in his or her possession. Here’s another entry in that competition from the January 16, 1913 Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), page 4:
Oldest Dollar in County — Probably
All you old coin fellows will now have to come again. H. W. Montgomery of Skidmore has dug up one that has past the century mark by fifteen years. It is a United States silver dollar and bears the stamp of 1798, or dropped from the mint in the second year of the Senior Adams’ administration. If that old dollar could talk what a wonderful story it could tell. It has lived through the greatest century of progress the world ever knew. it has seen a young struggling Republic rise from thirteen weak, feeble colonies to forty-eight mighty, strong empires, which together form the greatest country on the face of the earth.
When the “eagle” on this “dollar of our daddies” was first squeezed by its proud owner and possessor, who were as reluctant to part with them as their sons are with their wealth now, we had no telephones, telegraphs and great railway lines traversing this grand continent. Travel and communication then was by the slow process of the old stage coach.
But what a transmogrification has taken place since then. Behold the chrysalis is now a beautiful butterfly. This dollar was given to Mr. Montgomery by his father when he was ten years old, and he prizes it very highly not only as a souvenir, but as a keepsake. All these years he has consciously realized that he has never been entirely “broke.”
Mr. Montgomery also has a Spanish coin, which is over 120 years old. This silver piece was ploughed up several years ago in this township and was probably lost on an old Indian trail when this part of the country belonged to the Red men of America.