The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 27, July 8, 2018, Article 8


Will Mumford of Baltimore has passed. He was the editor of the journals of the Maryland Token and Medal Society and the Civil War Token Journal. Thanks to Bryce Doxzon for letting me know. Here's an article from the Capital Gazette, passed along by Ray Williams. Thanks. -Editor

Will Mumford

Willard R. Mumford, in this file photo from 2003, holds up a historic coin made by Annapolis silversmith John Chalmers. (Wendi Winters / Capital Gazette)

Local historians don’t come more passionate than Willard R. Mumford, a retired Air Force officer who taught engineering at Anne Arundel Community College — just as his father had taught electrical engineering at the Naval Academy. He died earlier this month at age 84.

One of those people who want to know everything about a subject that has caught their interest, Mumford worked on archaeological digs, accumulated thousands of documents on Annapolis during the Civil War, collected hundreds of historic coins — some of them dug up in Annapolis — and wrote what is probably the definitive book on a largely forgotten facet of this region’s heritage: “Strawberries, Peas & Beans: Truck Farming in Anne Arundel County.”

Those who pick up that book will find out about the days when much of northern Anne Arundel was given over to growing produce; at one point Anne Arundel had more acreage planted in strawberries than any other spot in the U.S.

Mumford came to the subject naturally: His first job was working in tobacco fields on land off Defense Highway now covered by shopping centers “I did not want to see that history lost,” he said.

Thanks to him, it won’t be. Mumford always had a story about history and was always trying to teach. His enthusiasm was contagious — and we hope a lot of people caught it. How will we meet the challenges of the future without a solid appreciation of our past?

To read the complete article, see:
Our say: Mumford one of those who illuminated the past (

It's heartbreaking to realize that photo of Will was taken by Wendi Winters, one of the Capital Gazette staffers who lost their lives in the recent shooting rampage at the paper.

Here's an excerpt from Will's online obituary. -Editor

Will Mumford obituary photo Will was born in McMinnville, Oregon on August 1, 1933, and moved to Annapolis, Maryland in 1944 when his father was assigned to the Naval Academy as a professor of Electrical Engineering. Will graduated from Germantown Elementary School and Annapolis High School where he served as president of the class of 1951. He was active in the Boy Scouts and obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Education, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He ended his Air Force career as Deputy Director of the Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center in Annapolis.

Will served as president of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society from 1988 to 1994. During this time the society developed the concept of making the property of the Benson-Hammond House an Interpretive Truck Farm, acquired the Kiethe Library, and initiated the annual Strawberry Festival. He was District Chairman for the Capitol District Boy Scouts of America; a member and director of the Annapolis Rotary Club; president of the Maryland State Numismatic Association, the Colonial Coin Club, the Utah Numismatic Society, and the Chesapeake Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

He served for over 20 years as the editor of the Civil War Token Society journal and from 1988 to 2017 as the editor of the Maryland Tokens and Medals Society Journal. Will enjoyed making presentations to community groups and made over 400 presentations on various subjects, mostly on Maryland history and numismatics. For many years, Will was an active volunteer in local archaeological programs.

In 2003, Will found a rare Chalmers' three pence at an archeological dig at 10 Cornhill Street; believed to be the workshop of the Annapolis colonial silversmith, John Chalmers. In his "retirement" Will authored "Strawberries, Peas and Beans; Truck Farming in Anne Arundel County," "Barter, Bits, Bills and Tobacco; The Story of Money in Early Maryland" and the soon to be published "The First 100 Years: The First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis, Maryland." Will served as the Chairman of the Anne Arundel County Trust of Preservation from 1999 to 2017 and coordinated the History Lecture series at St. John's College. He also taught a course of the History of Anne Arundel County at Annapolis and South County Senior Centers through Anne Arundel Community College.

To read the complete article, see:
Willard Royal Mumford (1933 - 2018) (

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