The February 2009 issue of Bank Note Reporter has a great article by Fred Reed on the publishers of counterfeit detectors. Bibliophiles - if you don't already subscribe, you should consider it. Fred's Shades of the Blue & Grey column often discusses the numismatic literature relating to week's subject. After 35 years of looking, I rarely see anything new from Kansas. But a while ago I got a message from Heritage Auctions that something had turned up on my want list, so I opened the sale to check it out. It looked like an 1880s period draft that was payable to bearer for 10 cents. The note, or warrant, was dated March 4, 1933 - the date when the deluge of small-size depression scrip was taking place.
Another interesting article about a Kansas scrip note was penned by Steve Whitfield, and it's available online at the Numismaster web site. Thanks for Editor Bob van Ryzin for sending us the image of the note which is not available on Numismaster. -Editor
Could this be a piece of unknown Kansas Depression scrip? I had to know. I monitored the note and bid to win. As usual, someone else wanted it pretty bad, so I had to overspend to own it, which I did.
The Western Kansas World reported the county commissioner's proceedings for their meeting on March 6, 1932. George Glass, chairman, presided, and the county clerk was Willis S. Spitsnaugle. A petition was presented, "praying that the county commissioners pay bounties as follows: One dollar on coyotes and ten cents on pocket gophers." It was resolved that "warrants of small denomination be made up as change for the large warrants until such time as a normal means of exchange had been re-established."
So, my note was not a piece of undiscovered Depression scrip, but rather a scrip warrant for the 10-cent bounty on pocket gophers. It was a "County Bounty" if you will. Still, if there were funds appropriated to pay the bounties, as can be presumed, and since these warrants were payable to the bearer, they could have been used as money. Therefore, it fits into my definition of obsolete paper money.
Scrip Paid 10c Bounty on Pocket Gophers (www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=6073)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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