The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 5, February 1, 2015, Article 16


Last week I asked for information about numismatist Warren Gee of Spring Lake, Mich. Turns out there was some great information right under my nose! John Lupia sent me a link to an entry in his online Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies?. Thanks! Here's the meat of it. -Editor

Warren Wallace Gee (1830-1905) was born at Portage County, Ohio on August 6, 1830, son of Nicholas and Adaline Daniels Gee. His mother was a direct descendant of Amariah Daniels (1769-1841) who served as a musician during the American Revolution. His father was a native of New York and his mother of Massachusetts.

Gee's Early Life and Commercial Career

On April 2, 1850, at Logan, Ohio, he married Margaret “Maggie” Kildahl a Norwegian immigrant. They had two daughters Ava and Gertrude. Gertrude later on married George D. Sisson. The Gee family lived in Ohio when Ava was born. However, they moved to Hartford, Wisconsin, and then soon settled in Spring Lake, Ottawa County, Michigan. By 1870 he was a well established and highly prosperous produce merchant. In 1874 he was listed as a capitalist in the Milwaukee Grain & Stock Exchange. By 1880 he became a very wealthy wheat broker. In 1882 he was elected as the president of the Spring Lake Horticultural Society.

Gee's Numismatic Career

Warren Gee envelope addresd to SHH Chapman In the mid 1880’s he became a somewhat part-time coin dealer. Most of his coins appear to have been acquired over the counters on his business trade, keeping the best and creating a set of American coppers and some foreign currency and selling off other specimens at a premium. He was a correspondent to the Chapman Brothers beginning in 1885. Drawn by coin dealings he visited Philadelphia January 20, 1885 and January 11, 1886, where he stayed at the American Hotel. He was a subscriber to A. M. Smith, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gold and Silver Coins of the World; Illustrating the Modern, Ancient, Current and Curious, From A.D. 1885 Back to B.C. 700. (Philadelphia, 1886) : as he is listed among the subscribers on page 12.

He was also a subscriber to Mason’s Coin Collectors’ Magazine in 1890 listed among the subscribers in the September issue.

Gee's Later Life and Commercial Career

In April 1888 he was at the Board of Trade Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He stayed at the Palmer Hotel, Chicago on July 9, 1889. Sometime between 1891 and 1902 he had an office at 56 Board of Trade, Chicago, Illinois.

From 1890-1891 he partnered with Dr. Cyril P. Brown who patented a mechanical device the “Musical Leaf Turner” that turned the pages of sheet music so that a musician could play continuously without interruption.

In May 1893 his Spring Lake house burnt down among the more than thirty that were destroyed by the great Spring Lake fire. The fire started on May 11, at Haire’s dock at 8 a.m. was spread by a strong wind. It seems tenable that the numismatic collection was lost and destroyed in that fire.

In 1896 he formed a partnership in a grain company with George Knowles in a firm Gee & Knowles located at 357 Broadway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1897 he built a home there.

He died on October 16, 1905. After his death his wife moved to Indianapolis Indiana.

What a loss if Gee's coins were indeed destroyed in that 1893 fire! See the complete entry for the full Bibliography, which is extensive and now includes last week's E-Sylum article and the Grand Haven Tribune article that inspired it.

I also heard from Kay Olson Freeman, our resident genealogist, who unearthed a few more pieces of the puzzle. Thanks! - this is a lot of work. -Editor

Kay writes:

I have corrections to John Lupia’s biography of Warren W. Gee:

I am not sure the middle initial “W” stands for “Wallace.”

Warren W. Gee married two times with a daughter by each marriage:

1) married Adelia M. Gee in Logan, Ohio, on April 2, 1850. She was born 1834, OH. She dies between 1861 and 1867.

They have a daughter, Evaline Adelia Gee, born 1861, OH. She is called “Eva” NOT “Ava.” Evaline marries Henry Harrison Hungerford.

2) married Margaret Kildahl Rice in Milwaukee, on Nov. 6, 1867. Kildahl was maiden name and she had been married, 1854, to John Rice, born 1827, Ireland.

Did John Rice die – maybe Civil War? Margaret and John Rice seem to have daughter, Minnie Rice, born 1856, Wisconsin.

Warren and Margaret’s daughter was Gertrude Margaret Gee, born, 1876, MI. Gertrude marries George Dwight Sisson, Jr.

The possible loss of the coin collection in the house fire should have been reported in newspapers at the time.

Someone could look at Warren Gee’s will which is probably in Wisconsin or Michigan, not Indianapolis. Warren moved to Indianapolis – Lupia stated only his wife moved there.

Google Gee’s business partner “George Knowles, Jr.” Milwaukee is trying to preserve Knowles’ house. Site mentions Gee, but Gee is bit of mystery to preservationists there too.

Here are the details of Kay's findings. Feel free to skip over this if the details don't interest you; I'm publishing these to update the record on Gee. If the coins somehow survived the fire, these descendants and their families may hold a clue. -Editor

Descendants of Warren W. Gee (b. 1830, Ohio – d. 1905, age 75, Spring Lake, Mi) Warren’s 2nd wife, Margaret Kildahl Gee, dies in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 1932, age 96 (born Norway 1836)

Margaret K. Gee buried April 27, 1932 in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis. She is not buried with husband Warren in Spring Lake, MI. Margaret K. Gee is buried with her daughter and son-in-law.

I assume Warren and Margaret Gee moved to Indianapolis @ 1903 from Milwaukee to live near their daughter: Gertrude Margaret Gee, born June 1876. Their Indianapolis address was the same as their daughter and her husband.

Gertrude M. Gee married 1900 in Milwaukee, George Dwight Sisson, Jr. The Sisson family had lived in Spring Lake, Mi as well and had a large lumber business. The Sissons had relocated their lumber business to Indianapolis

Gertrude M. Gee Sisson dies in Indianapolis March 1906. Her husband, George D. Sisson, Jr., does not remarry and dies Sept. 1930, Indianapolis. Gertrude and George D. Sisson had one son, also named George D. Sisson, Jr (born 1901, Indianapolis – died June 1970, Indianapolis). The latter had a wife, Patricia M. (b. 1908 – died 1994, Ft. Meyers, FL).

Warren W. Gee had a daughter by 1st marriage: Evaline (Eva) Adelia Gee born 1861, Ohio. Evaline marries 1882, Spring Lake, MI, Henry Harrison Hungerford. By 1900, They are residing in Chicago where Henry H. Hungerford is an inventor. He had patents for packaging things like crackers.

Evaline Gee Hungerford died Aug. 1936, age 75, in Saugatuck, MI. Henry H. Hungerford (b. 1854 - died 1945, Chicago). Evaline and Henry had a son: Warren Harrison Hungerford (1887- 1962). Warren H. Hungerford had 2 sons: Henry H. (1913-1976) and George B. (1916-1980), both married and had children.

This descent assumes that possessions pass from husband to wife to children which may not have happened to Warren W. Gee’s coin collection.

Because of the death dates, the coin collection may have been inherited by sons-in-law – Sisson (Indianapolis) and Hungerford (Chicago).

Warren Gee’s will (if he had one) would have to be consulted to see if coin collection is mentioned – unless collection had been disbursed earlier, before 1905.

I wonder if Warren W. Gee became interested in American history because his mother, Adeline Daniels Gee (1812- 1880) was born in Massachusetts and traced her ancestry to Revolutionary War military. Warren’s father, Nicholas Gee (1802-1879) was born in NY State. [most of the Gees I have encountered are from NY State]

Another odd thing, I have not been able to determine what Warren Gee’s middle initial “W” stands for. He seems to have had a younger brother, Wallace Gee, born 1845/1847?, Ohio. Some records say the brother’s name is Warren Wallace Gee and he moved to Alabama, married, had children, and died there 1916.

Another person mentioned in newspaper article is Warren W. Gee’s last Milwaukee stockbroker partner: George Knowles, Jr. (b.1853-d. 1916). Knowles moved into Gee’s Milwaukee house when Gee removed to Indianapolis.

Joel Orosz asked, "Was Warren Gee related to E. Gordon Gee, controversial President of many colleges?" Kay writes:

I would say no relation. Elwood Gordon Gee was born 1944 in Utah into a Mormon family which resided in Utah for several generations. Also, it is just a coincidence that E. Gordon Gee was succeeded by an interim President (1997-1998) of Ohio State University by John R. (Richard) Sisson, born 1936.

Thanks, everyone! I kept John Lupia and Joel Orosz abreast of our exchange. Their comments are below.

The fate of Gee's collection is still a mystery, but now we have more clues, including the ominous fire. How about opening a related topic - what numismatic collections do we know of that were destroyed by fire, flooding or some other natural disaster? -Editor

John Lupia writes:

This is spectacular. Thank Kay for me. Kudos to you all. Great work!

Joel Orosz writes:

John Lupia's Numismatic Mall has certainly become a valuable resource--I'll remember to look there first next time a question arises.

Kay Freeman is an amazing researcher--more than once, I have thrown up my hands in despair on some abstruse point, only to have Kay track it down and present it to me on a silver platter. If she finds it, you can take its veracity to the bank!

To read the complete Encyclopedia article, see:

To access Lupia's Encyclopedia, see:
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies? (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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