There have been an outpouring of articles following the recent passing of Chester L. Krause, founder of Krause Publications. First, a
note from Chet's longtime collaborator, Clifford Mishler. -Editor
Chet's Last Days
Clifford Mishler writes:
He died peacefully shortly after 9:30 Saturday evening. He had been living in his apartment at the local Living Oaks facility,
attended to by hospice type folks up to this past Tuesday, when he was transferred to the local rest home facility. Two of his nieces
were by his side when he passed; I received an advisory call from them shortly thereafter. I had last spoken to him on Friday.
He had actually been doing quite well until about 8 to 10 weeks ago; at that time I was thinking he had a good chance of making it to
his 93rd birthday this coming December. About three weeks ago, however, his physical health started falling rather rapidly and
consistently. Two weeks ago today was the last time he made it in to his office for what had long generally been almost daily visits; his
office was just two doors from mine in a commercial condominium that we shared with others in downtown Iola.
Books on Krause Publishing History
David Gladfelter writes:
There are two earlier books about Chet and his publishing business, Just Plain Chet: The History of Krause Publications by
Michael J. Goc (1992), a chronological account, and Pioneer Publisher: The story of Krause Publications' first 50 years by
Arlyn G. Sieber (2001). The latter book has an appendix listing all the books and magazines published by Krause, the coin and hobby shows
it sponsored, and a list of the names of all Krause employees through July 1, 2001.
When Sieber's book came out, free copies were given to persons who attended presentations given by Krause employees at shows. And
not to be overlooked is Krause's establishment and sponsorship of the Numismatic Ambassador program in 1974. They published a list,
with photos, of all the winners in 2003 (I see your mug in there, Wayne, class of 2002). Closest thing American numismatics has to a
Who's Who, I would say.
I was not aware of the Sieber book! -Editor
Redbook Editor Kenneth Bressett
Ken Bressett writes:
I knew, respected and admired Chet for all he did to spread the word about the joy of coin collecting. He was truly a giant in the
John and Nancy Wilson
John and Nancy Wilson write:
On June 25, 2016 we all lost a good friend and a great numismatist Chester L. Krause, who was born on December 16, 1923. Besides being
a World War ll veteran and builder, a man called "Chet," was a numismatic icon who spoke in a mild and knowledgeable manner.
You could say he carried a big stick with his excellent actions and communications and helped advance our numismatic hobby in countless
Starting in the early 1950s, KPs weekly publication Numismatic News was a powerful source of information for collectors
from coast to coast. From that beginning and over the years other periodical publications were started such as Bank Note Reporter,
World Coin News and Coins Magazine. These don't include the many hobby publications that are also under the Krause
Publications and F + W umbrella, with many being standard references today. We found out on their web page over 150 different
publications are part of the Krause Publications and F + W brand.
The firm continues to be a leader in numismatic and hobby publications along with a diverse selection of coin supplies. Today, Krause
Publications in Iola operates with a very small staff and continues to print excellent periodicals and other publications in a timely and
efficient manner. Chet started an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1988. The ESOP ended not long after F + W took ownership of the
company in 1992 when the shares were distributed mostly to the employees.
Besides Mr. Krause's great impact in the numismatic hobby with his periodicals and publications, he was a great advocate and
benefactor for our hobby and his beloved Iola, Wisconsin. His donations in the numismatic hobby were great. Over the years he was honored
with the highest awards by many different organizations such as the ANA, ANS, CSNS and others. After making a significant donation to
ANA, Chet and Cliff were instrumental in getting the ANA Museum named the Edward C. Rochette Museum in 2005. To find a new direction for
the Association, Chet served on the ANA board twice, starting in 2007 and resigning in 2010.
He was also a phenomenal collector and researcher of not only his State of Wisconsin, but also of all types of Depression Scrip, World
Bank Notes, Postage Currency Envelopes, Canadian Coins (including a rare Canadian 1936 Dot Cent) and many others. His great collections
were sold by several major auction firms. His automobile and military collections were also fantastic, and over the years were sold. We
know he wanted to get back the Sherman tank he sold and keep it in Iola.
The Iola Car Show (started in 1972) held annually is on land that once was owned by Chet Krause and nearby to the Krause Publications
headquarters. The Iola Car Show site recognized Chet after his passing and said, "Chet’s influence in this area is felt far beyond
what words can express, and we could never repay all he’s done for us and our community.
Chet's contributions to Iola are legendary and run into millions of dollars and countless hours dedicated to the city he loved.
Besides Iola, Chet was a major benefactor to Rawhide Boy's Ranch in New London, WI. Chet's obituary states that any donations
made in his memory go to Rawhide (www.rawhide.org).
He also made donations to several Wisconsin based companies, and in 1990 was named the state's Small Business Person of the Year.
His philanthropy in many areas was huge, and he never wanted any thanks or a pat on the back for his contributions. All of us should be
thankful that we had many of the 92 years of Chet's life to be his friend.
He will be missed greatly by his many friends not only in this country but many others. We send our sympathy to his family on the loss
of Chet. His accomplishments and achievements will far outlive everyone who has crossed his path or is reading this. Rest in Peace Chet,
we will never forget you.
Sincerely, John and Nancy Wilson, Former Wisconsinites now living in Ocala, FL.
Clifford Mishler and Chester Krause
Here is a short excerpt from a June 27, 2016 article by Dave Harper, editor of Numismatic News. -Editor
It is probably appropriate that I was on the road when he passed as no individual was more responsible for opening my eyes to the wider
world than was Chet.
Even though I wrote a blog in early April that he was in a bad way, like many times previously he had bounced back again and returned to
his routine of going to his office on Main Street.
The last time I had coffee with him, some of the conversation of the four of us present was about how many caregivers he was going
through. He always retained a sense of humor.
The numismatic world has lost a giant.
He did not like to be called Mr. Krause as I found out when I first addressed him as boss in 1978.
As the name of a book that was later written, he wanted to be called just plain Chet.
So Chet I called him.
I subscribed to his products as a kid, both Numismatic News and Coins Magazine. I went to work for him after
Through both aspects of my life in numismatics, Chet introduced me to the wider world.
Now it is time for me to pay respect as it is for others whose lives he enriched.
It is time to say thank you for a life well lived.
Thank you, Chet.
To read the complete article, see:
We’ll miss you, Chet
For those who prefer listening to reading, here's a link to the CoinWeek podcast interview with Dave Harper on the Passing of
Chet Krause. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Podcast #34: Numismatic News Editor Dave Harper on the Passing of Chet Krause
Numismatic News Staff
Tom Casper forwarded this article by Numismatic News staff. Thanks. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
The first issue of what became a monthly and then weekly periodical was published Oct. 13, 1952. It originally sold for $2 a year. It
helped revolutionize numismatics and changed his life. He went from rural carpenter/building contractor into a pioneering hobby publisher.
Mr. Krause picked up on a need for ever increasing speed in numismatic business and communications, yet remained loyal to his hometown
of Iola, Wis., which even now has a population of only 1,300.
It was this rural isolation, far from the urban areas that hosted coin shops and shows, that brought him to believe that many other
collectors shared the same needs he had.
He was right. That single insight proved to be timely. It eventually became the basis of a large publishing business called Krause
Publications serving collectors in many other fields beyond numismatics.
Numismatic News grew with coin collecting to the highs of the roll and bag boom that peaked in 1964. He acquired a magazine in
1962 that he renamed Coins. The numismatic recession that hit in 1965 along with clad coinage nearly cost Mr. Krause the company.
He sold his coin collection to support the business. He founded a new title, Coin Prices, in 1967, but soon he reached beyond
coin collectors and it was this diversification that set off a period of consistent growth.
In 1971 he founded, Old Cars, a paper for car collectors. His business vision took him into other collectible fields that ranged
from sports cards and comic books to firearms, antiques and paper money.
If there was a collector of something, there was a need for a price guide. Mr. Krause compiled the Standard Catalog of World
Coins first published in 1972 and it became the bedrock resource for the world's many coin collectors and dealers. Today, the
Krause-Mishler catalog numbers named after him and his co-author, Clifford Mishler, are the basis of the world coin identification
To read the complete article, see:
Hobby publisher Chet Krause dies
Connor Falk and Others
Here's an excerpt from a June 29, 2016 article by Connor Falk in Numismatic News. -Editor
Chet Krause’s positive attitude and dedication to numismatics is his lasting legacy to a coin collecting hobby he cared deeply for.
Jeff Garrett, president of the American Numismatic Association, said he appreciates his time serving with Chet Krause on the ANA
“I liked Chet’s wit and wisdom,” he said. “I worked with him during some trying times in the ANA. He was one of the guys who could cut
to the chase, get to the nitty-gritty, a no-nonsense type of person.”
Chet Krause changed the industry when he formed Krause Publications, he said.
“He was a great businessman,” Garrett said. “I think that’s the way he wanted to have been remembered: as a great businessman.
Numismatic News has a great legacy. This was someone who created something that is still around. I still read Numismatic
“I think his biggest impact was the Standard Catalog of World Coins series. Those books transformed the market at a time where
information on world coins was difficult to find. It was a giant effort.”
Chet Krause’s own collecting brought him to sales and shows often, Garrett said.
“I admired seeing his paper money collection when it went to auction in 2008,” he said. “He collected a lot of Wisconsin National Bank
Notes. It was inspirational to see him assemble such a collection while also working in the business.
“I always enjoyed seeing him at coin shows. He traveled often. I would see him on the bourse floor and he’d stop over to say hello and
chat for a bit.”
Harvey Stack, founder of Stack’s Bowers, successor firm to New York’s venerable Stack’s, said he has fond memories of Chet Krause
going back to before Numismatic News.
“It was 1951 when Chet came into the store and asked, ‘Do you think I should start a coin newspaper?’” Stack said.
Chet Krause founded Numismatic News a year later.
Ken Bressett, editor of A Guide Book of United States Coins, said he admires Chet Krause’s focus on advancing
“I think his work impacted the whole hobby,” he said. “I knew him before he started the magazine. He was way ahead of his time in his
thinking and in his attempts to stimulate the hobby. Numismatic News is his greatest contribution. Way above anything else. His Standard
Catalog series was also very useful, but I think Numismatic News was his pride and joy.”
The article includes a great picture of Chet Krause with Redbook founding editor Richard Yeo. -Editor
Two giants of numismatics from Wisconsin were
Chet Krause of Iola, left, and R.S. Yeoman of Racine, right.
To read the complete article, see:
Chet fondly recalled
George Cuhaj forwarded a link to Chet's obituary on the funeral home web site. Here's a short excerpt - see the complete version
Lifelong Iola resident and perhaps its best-known citizen, Chet Krause, 92, died June 25 of complications of congestive heart failure.
At the time of his death he was under hospice care at Iola Living Assistance where he had been admitted June 22.
Chester Lee Krause was born Dec. 16, 1923, in Helvetia Township, rural Waupaca County, about six miles east of the village of Iola. He
was the youngest of six children born to Carl and Cora (Neil) Krause. His education began in a one-room schoolhouse that had been built by
his father next door to the family farm. From an early age, Chet learned the building trades working with his father who was an
accomplished stone mason. He attended high school in Iola, graduating in 1941.
In October, 1952, Chet published the first issue of Numismatic News. The paper was meant to fill a niche he had identified to
serve coin collectors nationwide who were far removed from metropolitan areas. He was the prototypical customer for his new venture: a
serious coin collector who was geographically cut off from that hobby's mainstream.
For the next five years the publication grew in advertising volume and circulation as Chet nurtured it on evenings, weekends and when
inclement weather kept him away from current construction projects. In 1957, Chet finished the last building he would ever construct, a 40’
x 40’ brick and glass office a block off of Iola's Main Street. That would remain, with occasional additions as expansion dictated, the
offices of Krause Publications for nearly two decades as Numismatic News and Krause Publications expanded through acquisitions and
start ups of periodicals to fill identified needs in the coin collecting community.
Chet guided the growth of his publishing company through the 1980s, expanding into more that a dozen collectible hobbies and outdoors
activities, producing dozens of periodicals and more than 150 book titles, with revenues approaching $100 million annually.
In retirement as he neared the age of 90, Chet spent much of his time writing monographs on subjects ranging from family and local
history to a compendium of places named Iola throughout the U.S. These publications were a continuing facet of his lifelong goal to
preserve historical information for future generations, whether they be coin collectors half a world away, or neighbors from down the
In January, 2014, Chet suffered a stroke that impaired his ability to read and write. He recovered much of his lost mobility and
retained his generally upbeat attitude. He came nearly every day to his Main Street retirement office, remaining active behind the scenes
in the planning and financing of village improvement projects. His office was a morning coffee-break meeting place for local friends, out
of town visitors and former employees.
Among the most regular visitors to Chet’s office was his former right-hand man in the publications’ business, Cliff Mishler. Cliff
maintains a Main Street office of his own just two doors down from that which Chet occupied. In retirement, Chet and Cliff were in almost
as close a proximity as they had been for more than 40 years operating Krause Publications. Cliff remained a liaison to the numismatic
world for Chet and continued to act as a sounding board on community affairs.
To read the complete article, see:
L. Krause (www.voiefuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=3763168&fh_id=12037&lud=CE046A80BCD44155B21CF02E524A26BF)
To read the earlier E-SYlum articles, see:
CHESTER L. KRAUSE, 1923-2016 (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v19n26a02.html)
CHET KRAUSE: THE AUTHORIZED INTERNET BIOGRAPHY
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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