The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 8, February 21, 2021, Article 10

JAMES C. RUEHRMUND (1926-2021)

Tom Kays writes:

"James C. Ruehrmund, of Richmond, past president and Life Member of the Virginia Numismatic Association passed away February 18th, 2021 at the age of 94. Jim received an American Numismatic Association Presidential Award in 2020 and served as past editor of The Virginia Numismatist. The Richmond Times Dispatch ran a profile of James C. Ruehrmund written by Betsy Powell in 1987 that was reprinted in The Virginia Numismatist, Volume 23, Number 2, March 1987, now archived on the Newman Numismatic Portal, and adapted here."

James C. Ruehrmund Jim Ruehrmund has a long history of fascination for the Civil War.

"When I was a little boy, I had a collection of coins and various kinds of paper currency, which had come down through the family," he said, pulling out an 1874 25-cent note that belonged to his grandfather, James R Sheppard.

"He walked to Richmond from Glen Allen. He came to Richmond to seek his fortune." Reuhrmund explained the origin of the note called a shin plaster.

Ever since this small piece of rag paper was passed on to him, he has been hooked on Virginia History and Confederate money.

A Richmond native, Reuhrmund's Virginia roots go back to the early 17th century on his mother's side and 1882 on his father's side, all having settled within 50 miles of Richmond.

Jim attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the Naval Academy, was commissioned an officer in 1947; he retired from the Navy in 1969. He served as a division director for the State Air Pollution Control Board taking early retirement in 1984.

"And I thought I was retired," Reuhrmund said, laughing as he listed his current involvements.

He has just started his second year [1987] as president of the Virginia Numismatic Association, a statewide coin collector's organization with approximately 400 members.

His office includes planning the annual state coin show, held the [last] weekend of September.

"Getting ready for these shows is a major operation," he remarked, beginning to settle down again after what he called a hectic, but successful weekend.

Since his retirement, he has also been working one day a week at the Museum of the Confederacy, trying to catalogue and inventory the Confederate currency in their collection. His wife Elsie is a trustee of the museum.

He also belongs to the Richmond Rotary Club, the Civil War Round Table and Sons of Confederate Veterans. He gave talks at the United Daughters of the Confederacy and various chapters of the state coin club. He helped start the Tidewater Chapter in 1956.

His interests ranged from ancient coins to paper money to Confederate Naval and military subjects.

"I was fascinated with the war even as a little boy," he said. "I'd get my mother to walk me down to where some of the old vets lived, the area where the Virginia Museum is now. They'd sit on benches on the central walkway and whittle sticks and chew tobacco. Occasionally, I'd have a chance to talk to them.

He started laughing. "My children act like I talked to Hector and Agamemnon, the heroes of the Trojan War. It's that remote to them."

"But it's something I treasure having done – a link with long ago."

Thank you - sorry to hear the news. -Editor

To read the original article on NNP, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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