Last week Pete Smith asked:
What was the original source for the statement that Nagy was son-in-law of Haseltine? Did this offer any specifics like the name of Haseltine’s daughter and Nagy’s wife?
Harold Levi writes:
In my book, The Lovett Cent; a Confederate Story, I repeated the same info about Stephen K. Nagy being John W. Haseltine's son-in-law. At the time, I questioned whether or not this was true since I had found conflicting information in the April 1925 Numismatist obituary for John W. Haseltine that listed his daughter as Mrs. Marion H. Richards of Crawford, NJ.
My footnote on Nagy being Haseltine's son-in-law: Walter Breen, Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, (New York: Doubleday, 1988), p. 567. In his discussion about the handling of some of the special coins in the Idler estate, Breen states "This 1876 First Transitional went successively to Stephen K Nagy (Haseltine's agent and son-in-law),.,.,.". Another oops for Walter?
Pete Smith adds:
I believe that Breen also stated this in other places. However, I still don't think he was the first. Breen made mistakes, but often they were repetition of earlier mistakes.
Dave Hirt writes:
I enjoyed The E-Sylum as usual. I can always count on it for interesting reading.
About the Stephen K. Nagy/John Haseltine relationship, I long suspected they were not related. I am away from home, so am writing from memory. In Haseltine's obituary in the Numismatist 1924 or 1925, Nagy is not mentioned.
I believe the relationship story started because of their close business association, Nagy could be called Haseltine's prodigy. During the period around 1907-1913 they worked together selling items from the William Idler estate. Idler had been a trusted purchaser used by mint employees to sell coins and patterns "liberated" from the mint.
Another published relationship that I do not believe is correct is that coin dealer Paul Seitz was Tom Elder's son-in law. I will have more to say on this subject in an article I am writing for publication in The Asylum.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
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