HOLLAND WEST WALLACE III 1940 – 2018 RIP
Dale Seppa submitted this remembrance of numismatic researcher and author Holland Wallace. Thank you! -Editor
Holland was born in Hidalgo County, Texas on the 21st day of March 1940 to Holland W. Wallace Jr. and Patricia Elliott Wallace. He
graduated from Weslaco High School, at age 17, in the class of 1957. He had been a National Merit Scholar and later attended Rice University before
transferring to the University of Texas School of Architecture.
Regardless of his academic achievements, Holland’s real love was coins and history and economics related to coins. After working as an
architectural draftsman for a few years he went to work for Stanley K. Rupert, a well known San Antonio coin dealer where he gained a wide general
knowledge of numismatics.
During this period he authored and published Central American Coinage Since 1821. In the words of the Central American numismatic scholar
“This handy 125-page book opened the field to collecting the seven countries now constituting Central America. Holland's work
provided just enough background to arouse interest and provide historical context but, then, saturated the reader with numismatic detail not really
seen in references to that date. Central American Coinage incorporated a plethora of photos along with each coin’s narrative
description, weight, diameter, and metallic content along with prices in three-to-four grades and the occasional cryptic comment on rarity or
variations. Also, for the first time, he provided extensive mintage data, where known. He set the tone for future endeavors addressing
country, regional, and even global numismatic references works.”
COIN WORLD dated May 11, 1966 announced that Holland had joined the editorial staff of the Whitman Publishing Company in Racine, WI.
Sometime in late 1966 or early 1967 Holland kindly invited Soterios Gardiakos and me to be his guests at Whitman. It was the first time I met
him, and in the few hours we were together I learned many things previously unknown to me. He continued to be a source of
help and information to me and many others over the next fifty years.
During his ten years at Whitman, Holland authored and edited many articles and books to include two editions of A Guide Book of Mexican Coins -
1822 to Date, Coins of the World 1750 – 1850 as well as working on the various books authored by R. S. Yeoman. Several of his
articles were also published in the Whitman Numismatic Journal and other periodicals.
After the sale of Whitman to Western Publishing Holland moved to California and became a dealer specialized in Latin American coins. He issued
regular price lists and had bourse tables at many major coin shows often working with Freeman L. Craig Jr. He lived with Craig for a short period
until Freeman married Marney Albert in July of 1980. In conjunction with Craig, he finished a 250-page book entitled CROWN COINAGE OF THE
AMERICAS which was never published due to the financial failure of the publisher. Based on letters from him and comments from others the decade
he spent in California was the happiest period of his life.
When he subsequently decided to further his education he returned to Texas to attend San Antonio College (now UTSA) acquiring a degree in
Information Systems. He subsequently returned to Weslaco to help his aging parents take care of his handicapped brother. With the death of his mother
in 1994 his burden increased as there was now only one body to take care of a handicapped brother and a rapidly aging father. After the death of his
father in 2001 the complete management of the family trusts fell upon Holland’s shoulders. By this time Holland was also in failing health so
the burden was two-fold if not four-fold.
With failing health, and increased responsibility Holland commenced his long period of decline through no fault of his own. A flood in 2016
destroyed about ten thousand pounds of numismatic literature which must have been heartbreaking to a person that had built one of the finest,
privately held Latin American Numismatic libraries in the world. The remaining four tons or so of Latin American numismatic literature have
been moved by Freeman Craig, the executor of Holland’s will, to the establishment of Alan Workman in Orlando who will auction them off in 2019
for the benefit of the estate.
His last years passed largely in pain and he was often bed ridden for weeks and months at a time. Nevertheless he continued his research and email
contacts, as long as he was still able, with the friends and associates that he had acquired over six decades as a professional numismatist and
Sad to see another great numismatist pass away but ashes to ashes and dust to dust – rest in peace my friend! You will be missed by many!
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
HOLLAND WALLACE (1940-2018) (http://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n42a14.html)
NOTES ON THE DEARLY DEPARTED
Wayne Homren, Editor
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