John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's
installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is
Houston dealer Joe Mitula. -Editor
Albin Joseph Mitula, Jr. (1896-1972), was born on January 16, 1896, at Galveston, Texas, son of Polish immigrant father : Albin J. Mitula
(1862-1944), and Norwegian mother, Anne Marie Holm Mitula (1861-1937).
Albin Joseph Mitula preferred to be called "Joe", and was popularly known simply as Joe Mitula.
He graduated his local high school and entered the workforce in the advertising industry.
On November 23, 1925, he married Mrs. Mary Edna Burns, nee Thompson (1892-1979).
From 1926-1930, he was president of Mitula Publishing Company, the publisher and manager of Houston Greeters Guide. Henry L. Doherty& Co., were
his sales distributors.
In 1930, he opened and operated the Albin J. Mitula Inc., Dealer in Postage Stamps, located in the Union National Bank Building, Room 420,
Houston, Texas. He advertised in the Houston Chronicle.
The Houston Chronicle reported on October 7, and October 12, 1934, that $2,000 of rare stamps, some 4,000 stamps in number, were
stolen along with other articles from a car Mr. Mitula had parked in the 1100 block of Rice while visiting another stamp dealer. The thieves soon
found that they could not easily sell the stamps, and a dealer they took them to refused to accept them, so they burned them. A sad remnant of social
prejudice typical at this time the men were referred to simply as "Negroes". Fortunately, Mr. Mitula knew exactly what stamps had been
taken and had the stamps covered by insurance.
In the 1940s, he expanded to become the Mitula Stamp& Coin Company.
In April 1944, he was ANA Member No. 10221, and would advertise in The Numismatist.
He was somewhat famous for the rumor that he had accumulated a million 1950-D nickels during those 1950s. Q. David Bowers wrote about Mitula's
having made much money off the 1950-D nickels in his Historian's Diary column in The Numismatist, February 2009.
In March 1965, he donated $1,000 to the A.N.A. Building Fund.
Mitula's ads in The Numismatist May 1956 and July 1960
He died of arterial thrombosis on July 18, 1972, at Medical Arts Hospital, Houston, Texas. He is buried in Forest Park Cemetery, Houston,
The Greater Houston Coin Club established the A.J. Mitula award in his honor for Best-in-Show exhibitors.
To read the complete article, see:
* * * * *
MITULA, JR., ALBIN JOSEPH
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