The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 16, April 17, 2011, Article 10

John E. Bull, 1844-1923

E-Sylum readers have come through again, this time in response to last week's query by Roger Siboni on numismatist J.E. Bull. Thanks!! -Editor

Kay Olson Freeman writes:

John E. Bull born July 1844, Connecticut - died 1922, Connecticut. He served in the Civil War from Aug. 29, 1862 to Sept. 30, 1863, as a private, Co. B, CT 24th infantry. When he enlisted, Bull was age 19, a farmer, unmarried.

In 1870 US Census, John and his older brother are "joiners" in West Meriden, CT. By 1880, John E. Bull has married, had a son and his wife has died. (John does not remarry.) He, his son, and his brother, have moved back to their original home in Essex, CT. They live with their parents (father a farmer). John E. Bull and his brother will work making ivory piano keyboards in piano factory for rest of lives. The Cheney Co. (George A. Cheney and Samuel M. Comstock) was a well-known piano manufacturer in the town. J.E. Bull's son will work in the piano factory as well.

The Bulls are an old New England family and John E. Bull seems to have had an interest in genealogy. John's son was William C. Bull (born Dec. 1872, CT - died Oct. 6, 1959,CT) who did marry Helen S. Pratt (d.1953,CT); but had no children. One genealogy says John left family papers to son, William. John E. Bull's brother, David Clarke Bull, did not marry and they always live together.

Centerbrook, and Ivoryton are towns very near Essex, Middlesex County, CT. That town is key to finding "J.E. Bull" because there are many others by that name elsewhere. I have no information on his collecting.

John Lupia writes:

I am not certain what became of John E. Bull's coin collection, but I suspect part of it was donated to the Museum of Connecticut History, part of the Connecticut State Library, that does have his manuscript on genealogy. I already checked the Connecticut Historical Society, and no coins were donated or bequeathed. Included in my response to you is the biographical data on him in my database of numismatic biographies.

Bull, John E. (1844-1923), 228 Main Street, East Part of the Village Centre Brook, Town of Essex, Middlesex County, Connecticut. He was born in July 1844 in his maternal grandfather's David Clark's (b. 1764) farmhouse in Say Brook, Middlesex County, Connecticut, the eldest of four sons of John A. (b. 1812) and Maria M. [nee Clark] Bull (b. 1825).

On July 1, 1863, during the Civil War he enlisted in the Connecticut Volunteers, 24th Regiment Company B, and served as a private. In the Department of Connecticut Grand Army of the Republic he was the commander at Mather Post, Deep River.

In 1870 he and his brother David Clark Bull (b. 1848) left the family farm to work in West Meriden, Connecticut, as joiners. They returned to their parent's farm at Centre Brook, and lived there the rest of their lives working in the village's piano and organ key factory, known locally as the Ivory Works. In 1878 he was an officer in the local Masonic Hall, and, in 1884, an officer of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Connecticut. He was an avid numismatist and genealogist and wrote : Family History and Genealogy of John Clarke and His Descendants (Manuscript in the Connecticut State Library). The Connecticut State Archives contain his "John E. Bull correspondence and genealogical notes 1887-1923. He was also a donor to the Connecticut Historical Society in 1911.

Numismatist and collector who owned a vast New Jersey state coinage collection some of which he purchased from Dr. Edward Maris. He was a buyer of United States colonial coinages at the Parmelee sale. His subscription to Mason's Coin Collectors' Herald was paid in 1881. Noted numismatists including Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., Charles Steigerwalt and Dr. Edward Maris communicated with him about numismatics via mail correspondence and postcards. For example, as per Roger Moore, Maris corresponded with him by mail on July 7, 1883.

Bibliography :
The Connecticut Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 5, May (1899) : 295 Gnecchi, Ercole and Francesco, eds., Guida Numismatica 4th edition. (Milano : U. Hoepli, 1903. Edition) : 532, No. 5382. Mason's Numismatic Herald, Vol. II, No. 4, March (1881) : 27d; Annual Report of the Connecticut Historical Society (1911) : 45 State of Connecticut, Register and Manual (Hartford, 1915) : 358

Now that we have this background, can anyone provide additional details about John Bull as a numismatist? -Editor

Wayne Homren, Editor

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