Skidmore’s Rare Coins, Part 1

Coin collecting fever (or at least coin history fever) struck Skidmore, Missouri in early 1913. Here’s the piece that started it all in the January 2, 1913 Skidmore New Era:

Half Dollar Eighty-four Years Old.

“Leechburg, Pa., Dec. 19 — A half dollar in a perfect state of preservation bearing the date of 1828 and the words ‘fifty cents’ instead of ‘half dollar’ on the reverse side, is in the possession of R. T. Frank. Considerable interest is manifested in the coin, which is said to be the oldest half dollar in Pennsylvania. Several men have procured 1853 half dollars, which they say are quite valuable and one man has an 1840 half dollar.”

We can beat that “all hollow.” J. V. Parrish of Skidmore has in his possession a half dollar coined in 1819, or nine years before the Pennsylvania coin was stamped. It seems as though the Skidmore coin is of the same design as the one mentioned above. It has the words “50 C” stamped on one side, instead of the words “half dollar.” The “Goddess of Liberty,” is the old-fashioned bust design with Liberty cap surrounded by thirteen stars. Instead of the milled edge, like the silver coins of today, the words “fifty cents” are stamped on the edge.

Mr. Parrish has carried this silver piece for thirty-four years. He received it for work while running a blacksmith shop on the river where the Nash Mill stood. This was two years before Skidmore was laid out.

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