The Metro Louisville Stamp Society
A Brief History
Though our society was organized in 1896, it apparently did not join the American Philatelic Society until late in 1908. This was the beginning of four periods of membership, the most recent of which began in early 1968.
An interesting news story appeared in an issue of THE COURIER-JOURNAL during September 1907. The newspaper reported with photographs the appearance of the Jamestown Commemorative set. It made no references to our club or individual collectors but it is suggested that a club member or individual collector provided the information for the article to the editor.
In 1912 a very young boy named Clinton Ang from New Albany became interested in our hobby through a member named Nick
Adler. Clinton recalled going to meetings in the Kentucky Home Life Building during the war years 1917-1918. He later became one of our club leaders.
The next known club activity took place in 1925 when the Louisville Stamp and Stationery Club had offices at 208 Lincoln Bank Building. G. H. Koerner was the club secretary.
Three years later a notice dated December 14, 1928 announced a club meeting at the Republic Life and Accident Insurance Company, 1469 South 4th Street.
The following month, on January 25, our club held an auction in the Inter Southern Building which was located at 5th and Market Streets. L. C. Hassler was the club President while W. E. Greenaway was the Secretary. In 1929 local interest was sparked by the dedication of the locks at the Falls of the Ohio. That ceremony brought United States President Hoover to our city and a First Day of Issue for the two-cent Ohio River Canalization commemorative, the first know such event in Louisville.
By early 1930, the club had 40 members and it appears that the club was reorganized. A prestigious downtown book store, W. K. Stewart’s, was the scene of an interesting exhibit. A contemporary report says nearly every country in the world was represented and one member drew “oohs and ahs” with a complete set of Confederate stamps. Another highlight was a comprehensive collection of triangular shaped stamps.
That year also saw the HERALD POST bring Walter N. Emerson, President, and Chicago Philatelic Society here. Emerson spent a day answering local collectors’ questions and appraising the value of stamps. He also had some to sell.
A second exhibit in 1931 brought displays by 17 members and a total club membership of 50. The club claimed that there were now over 300 collectors in this vicinity. Mr. Hassler and Gassaway were the club officers.
An October 9, 1932 issue of the LOUISVILLE TIMES included a most interesting article by reporter and collector John Eschrich. The popularity of our exhibit led it to run for almost two months at the Speed Museum. Among exhibits, member W. Y. Fillebrown displayed a notable collection of the U.S. 1847 series. During these years the club had occasional dinners at the Brown Hotel.
During the 1930’s with a stamp collector in the White House, our members included John Wonder, Edward Brooks, Charles Van Overbeke, F.A. MacPherson, Mrs. V.H. Engelhard, L.A. Beck, George Mayer, Bill Able, Kirby Stoll, Bill Waples, Charles Kern, Ken Coyte and Marshall English as well as Clinton Ang. The club met at several places during that time.
One could buy stamps at W. K. Stewart’s and later at the Falls City Stamp Company in the Republic Building. Lawrence Heyman was the dealer but as far as was known was not a collector. Bill Waples set a local record by using several Transit vehicles to make it to the club meetings.
In 1932, we welcomed a young Hoosier named Chick Field who would serve several terms as President. Then in 1938, a young German immigrant named Justin Hess became a member. He was the longest serving member of the club.
In Spring 1939, collectors from 7 to 70 years of age enjoyed a dinner meeting/exhibit at the Calvary-Methodist Episcopal Church, in New Albany, Indiana. This brought the local club and its Southern Indiana counterpart together. This event drew some enviable press coverage including a photo of two lady members. The eye-popping exhibits included a complete Columbian set, the imperforate three-cent stamps from 1851 to 1857, covers autographed by writer Zane Grey, boxer Max Schmeling, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, a complete set of plate blocks of the 1922 U.S. Regular Issues and a display of a map decorated with stamps which pointed to their geographical sources.
The entry of this country into World War II in 1941 saw a number of members and dealer Lawrence Heyman enter the Armed Forces. After the war, Heyman returned to open the Jefferson Stamp Store on South 5th Street. In 1950 we welcomed a young man named John Glick.
In 1973 the club became incorporated as a non-profit organization. The club became the Louisville Stamp Society.
Annually, starting in 1976 the club has sponsored a philatelic stamp show which is called LOUIPEX. For each of these annual exhibits the club has issued a special pictorial cachet and/or souvenir card which has been serviced with a special postal cancellation.
In 2003, the name of the club was changed to the Metro Louisville Stamp Society. It was felt that this new name more accurately reflected the merger of the city and county governments.
A review of today’s members reveals a delightful mix of new and recent members, as we celebrate LOUIPEX and look forward to the next century.