American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this
article on Bob Hendershott. Thanks!
Robert Hendershott was born in the nineteenth century and died in the twenty-first century. His
birth was in St. Louis on August 7, 1898. His parents were Chalmers Doran Hendershott and
Cordelia Bartlett Hendershott. Intending a career in banking, he attended Washington University
in St. Louis and the Glen City Business College at Quincy, Illinois.
Robert married Marguerite Hamilton on June 6, 1922, and had a daughter, Jeanne. His first wife
died on February 18, 1981. His second marriage was to Marjorie Owen in 1983.
Marjorie was born as Marjorie Holmes in 1924. She married Lowell Owen in 1941 and had four
children. Lowell died in 1976 and she remarried Robert L. Hendershott in 1983. She served as
the first woman president of the Central States Numismatic Society for 1990-1992. Marjorie
outlived Robert and died in 2013.
As a six-year-old child, he walked with his father to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition and
World's Fair. Some time later he wrote the book on 1904 St. Louis World's Fair Mementos and
Memorabilia published in 1994.
His first job prior to college was a bank janitor. He was promoted to bank clerk for the Bank of
Hawk Point at Lincoln, Missouri. Once out of college, he worked for a bank in Macomb, Illinois.
He moved to Florida and briefly sold real estate before joining The Exchange National Bank in
Tampa. He bought the bankrupt Mirasol Hotel on Davis Island and made it profitable. With that
success he expanded to buy up several other hotels in the area. He became president of the
Sarasota hotel owner's association. He was Director of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce
convention bureau, retiring in 1975.
He was founder of the Tampa Coin Club. He was also founding member of Florida United
Numismatists (FUN) in 1955, served as first president and as general chairman for the club's
shows for decades. He wore an orange jacket and was known as
Mr. FUN. Also he was
convention chairman for the successful 1974 ANA convention in Bal Harbor, Florida.
Robert received an ANA Medal of Merit in 1986 and the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award in 1993.
This was followed by a lesser award, the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 1995, a Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1997 and Numismatist of the Year in 1998. He was inducted into the
ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Hendershott celebrated his 100th birthday during the 1998 ANA convention in Portland, Oregon.
He signed and passed out
Round TUIT's to convention visitors.
Robert died in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 23, 2005, after a life span of 106 years, seven
months and fourteen days. By comparison, Eric P. Newman, also born in St. Louis, lived for 106
years, five months and twenty-one days.
His name was listed as R. L Hendershot when he joined the ANA in 1931 as member 3867,
making him a member for 74 years. Eric P. Newman joined in 1935 as member 4624 and was a
member for 82 years. Smarty-Pants question of the week: Who was the ANA member for the
longest period of time? Bonus question: Who will be the topic for my next article?
Bob Hendershott's Birthday Wooden Nickel
Pete Smith adds:
"I also have a Round TUIT signed by Robert Hendersott on August 7, 1998. What last week's article failed to mention was that it was signed on Hendershott's one hundredth birthday.
I recall that NBS president Michael Sullivan called for a breakfast meeting of the board at the hotel during the 1998 ANA convention. Robert and Marjorie Hendershott came into the restaurant and I was able to wish him a happy birthday that morning."
Great story! It may have been the 1996 Denver convention when I shared a Colorado Springs tour with Bob. He was quite spry for his age, walking up and down every flight of steps with the rest of us as we took in sights around town. Nice guy.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY: NOVEMBER 21, 2021 : Bob Hendershott's Wooden Nickel
Wayne Homren, Editor
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