The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 14, April 5, 2015, Article 10


In the I-should-have-known-this-would-happen department, I quickly got a response from John Lupia about the question on Ohio coin dealer Charles Stake. -Editor

John writes:

I had Stake on my website for some time now. I am planning a full biography of him to be printed as a small book at some future date. I am glad to see there is interest in him. He had kidney and liver disorders and was a cripple. These conditions limited his capacity. He was a small time dealer, which was undoubtedly attributable to his ill health.

Thanks! John's Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies‎ is available at his Numismatic Mall web site, linked below. Here's a short excerpt from the entry on Stake. -Editor


Stake, Charles Louis (1854-1886), in 1873, he was a student residing at Old (School District) No. 16, Centre Street, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; from 1875 -1877: 16 Maple Street, between Perry and Wilkinson Streets, Dayton, Ohio; from 1878-1880: 24 Maple Street, Dayton, Ohio; From November 1880 : 223 South Jefferson Street, Dayton, Ohio. He was a small time coin dealer from 1875-1886, who specialized in Early American Copper.

He was born the only son of two immigrants to America, Louis Stake (c.1829/32-1920), a French émigré and his German born wife Barbara Stake (1835-1901). Charles was very frail and suffered from various medical complications and was a cripple early in life. Yet he established himself as a lesser-known and obscure coin dealer with sporadic ads in   Numisma. He published a coin catalogue, monthly fixed price lists, and small mail bid auctions that averaged about 200 lots each. His largest known mail bid auction was Sale #1. August 15, 1882, 230 lots.

When he first began he had graphic illustrated letterhead and business envelopes with a hand drawing of a 1793 S.4, B.5 Chain Cent (period after date) for his numismatic advertising printed on cadmium yellow deep as well as tan colored paper stock. He was coetaneous and a true contemporary of the Chapman brothers who began dealing nearly three years before they began dealing independently from Col. John W. Haseltine. We first learn of his coin dealership in 1875 in the Dayton City Directory. However, this listing did not last but that single year and we do not see him again as a coin dealer until 1878 when he began correspondence with the Chapman Brothers.

Seven months later he published an ad in Numisma citing “a neat 16 page pamphlet”   Catalogue of United States Coins, etc., for 15 cents beginning in March. (See Remy Bourne, FPL, Vol. 1). At that time he also advertised to his mailing list clients that he would bid for them at coin auction sales for a nominal fee of 10 per cent. His stock comprised of better specimens culled from change of common and scarce United States coinage as well as Colonial coins. He specialized in United States Large Cents, but also sold half cents, medals, tokens, books and electrotypes.

He was a steady customer with the Chapman Brothers from 1879-1886, and was a great haggler over prices.

Stake held at least 35 coin auction sales that were typically published monthly beginning in August 1882 until November 1885, of which, only 13 are known...

The article is well footnoted and illustrated with examples of his printed envelopes, one of which I've shown above. Read the complete article online for a full list of Stake's known publications, and more illustrations. -Editor

George Kolbe writes:

Since 1988, Kolbe & Fanning appear to have handled a copy or two of the 1879 Charles L. Stake list mentioned by accomplished numismatic bibliophile Dave Hirt in last week’s E-Sylum, but only two Stake auction sale catalogues have come up for sale: one his “Seventeenth Coin Sale," dated April 26, 1884; the other, his “Twenty Seventh Coin Sale,” dated February 28, 2885.

In Sales 100 and 101, however, the following quite interesting Stake publication was offered:

Stake, Charles L., Publisher. PAMPHLET. GIVING LIST OF DATES, WITH THEIR DEGREES OF RARITY, OF THE GOLD, SILVER AND COPPER COINAGE OF TH[E] [U]NITED STATES FROM 1793 TO 1858. Dayton: No. 24 Maple Street, circa late 1870s? (4) pages, last blank. Single sheet, folded in half. Once folded horizontally, a trifle dusty. Very good/near fine.

Not in Attinelli; likely issued after 1875. American Numismatic Society   Dictionary Catalogue page 4568 (the sole citation located). The only example we recall ever having encountered. It is included here [as part of the John W. Adams collection of Attinelliana] because it clearly is a shameless plagiarization of the tabular portion of Mickley’s 1858 work [DATES OF UNITED STATES COINS AND THEIR DEGREES OF RARITY]. In comparison to Mickley, it is a mean production, poorly printed on cheap paper, with nary a creative flourish. The two letters of the title reproduced within brackets above are altogether missing and the spacing and typography of the remaining words in the title are askew.

Charles L. Stake was a pioneering if parsimonious Ohio coin dealer. In the 1880s, he conducted at least thirty-five coin auction sales, only a third of which are recorded in Gengerke. His various publications were apparently issued in small numbers and, at least in the case of the title at hand, were deemed unworthy of retention by his limited clientele.

Kay Olson Freeman did some independent research on Stake. Her information is below. -Editor

  • Charles L. Stake was born 1854 in Ohio. He died May 25, 1886, Dayton.
  • Buried Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, Dayton.
  • In the 1880 US Census for Dayton, there is a notation that he is crippled. Charles never married. He always lived with his parents. Charles died before his parents and his only sibling, a sister, who was older and married.
  • His father, Louis Stake, was born in Alsace-Lorraine. [The name may have originally been “Staeke.”]
  • His mother, Barbara nee Paul, was born in Germany (Baden?) They married in Ohio in 1852. Barbara’s 1901 obituary, written in German, is online.
  • Louis Stake was a “last maker” for shoes.

Charles L. Stake in Dayton, Ohio City Directories:

  • 1873 – CLS, student. old no 16 Centre
  • 1874 – CLS no listing. Father Louis Stake, last finisher. 16 Maple betw. Perry and Wilkinson
  • 1875 and 1876 – CLS, 18 Maple betw. Perry and Wilkinson [no occupation]
  • 1877 – CLS, coin dealer. 18 Maple
  • 1878 – CLS. 24 Maple. [no occupation]
  • 1879: CLS, old coins. 16 Maple betw. Wilkinson and Perry
  • 1880 – CLS, dealer in coins, 16 Maple St, betw Perry and Wilkinson
  • 1881 – CLS. 223 S. Jefferson betw. 5th and 6th [no occupation]
  • 1882: CLS, numismatologist. 223 S. Jefferson, between 5 and 6th. [also listed in 1882 business directory as Numismatologist]
  • 1883, 1884: CLS, dealer in old coins. 223 S. Jefferson St.
  • 1885: CLS, [no occupation]. 223 S. Jefferson [final listing in directories]

Advertisement in Aug. 6, 1883, Troy (NY) Times. Charles L. Stake, 223 S. Jefferson St., Dayton, Ohio, endorses a patent medicine, Hunt’s Remedy. Stake says he was a “severe sufferer of weakness of kidneys and torpid liver.” [which was cured by Hunt’s Remedy]

Another numismatologist! Thanks, everyone. This is great information. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

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