The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 29, July 17, 2022, Article 14

DONALD G. PARTRICK (1926-2020)

American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on colonial coin collector Donald G. Partrick. Thanks! -Editor

Partrick, Donald Grove Readers of The E-Sylum may recall the mystery surrounding the death of Donald Partrick. No obituary or death notice was published and there has been little biographical information published about him. This is an attempt to correct that.

Donald Groves Partrick was born on January 6, 1926, the son of George F. (9/7/1889-7/1979) and Violet W. Partrick (1896-10/20/1952). His father was listed as an insurance broker or mortgage broker.

Partrick married Virginia Fickling (1/11/1924-1/2/2014), daughter of Walter J. Fickling of Hempstead, on December 8, 1951. His wife was a niece of Danton Walker (1889-1960), a syndicated New York City columnist. They were the parents of Douglas Partrick and Donald Partrick, Jr.

Partrick attended Poly Preparatory Country Day School in Brooklyn and McBurnie Institute in New York City. He graduated from Brown University at Providence, Rhode Island, in 1948. While in college he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and a member of the Brown University Club.

Partrick was a building contractor servicing the post-war housing boom on Long Island. He was president of Donstan Building Corp. with his partner Stanley L. Neisloss. The company was also known as Donald Stanley Builders. In 1950 they were building 50 houses in the Syosset Hills development. In 1954 they were developing 100 houses at Pinewood Hills in Huntington, Long Island. In 1955 it was part of the 1500-unit Eastwood Village Colony in Centereach. In 1956 they were building 230 houses at St. James Estates.

They did several developments under the Heatherwood name. In 1958 they were working on the 400-unit Heatherwood at Huntington development. This included an 18-store shopping center. A second 2500-unit development was at Heatherwood Village North in 1962. In 1962 they did a 507-unit development of Heatherwood in Central Islip. In 1965 it was 270 homes at Heatherwood at Stony Brook.

In 1959, Partrick was vice president of the Long Island Home Builders Institute. He was the designer of houses in his developments. Construction was speeded with the use of modular building components.

They diversified to construct apartment buildings. In 1965 they began construction on 12 buildings with 192 apartment units at Heatherwood House on-the-Lake in Patchogue. In 1966 they planned to build another 800 private homes, 700 garden apartments and a shopping center. In 1966 the company received an award for their efforts that included 7000 homes, 1000 garden

apartments and several shopping centers since 1950. In 1990 Partrick was elected president of the Long Island Builders Institute. By that time, he was one of the largest owners of rental property in his area.

His hobbies included hunting and fishing. He established a wildlife preserve in upstate New York. At the same time, he had conflicts with preservationists over building projects on undeveloped land on Long Island.

On November 12, 1974, Stack's offered at auction The Donald Groves Collection of Colonial Coins and an Additional Consignments of United States Coins. The catalog did not include a biography of the consignor. It is now known that the coins were duplicates from Partrick.

Many coins have a pedigree that traces back to Donald Partrick. In some cases this was the name he used in numismatics. Later sales were conducted under the name of Donald Groves Partrick.

Partrick joined the American Numismatic Society in 1969, became a fellow in 1987, joined the board of trustees in 1990 and served as president from 1999 to 2007. He was an important donor and driving force behind the move of ANS to a new building. He was a life member of the ANA and received a Presidential Award in 1999.

In April of 1984, an anonymous donor contributed funds to the ANS to establish the Donald Groves Fund to support research in early American numismatics. It was on December 2, 1984, that I met Don Partrick as he made a presentation at the 1984 ANS Coinage of the Americas Conference.

In 2004, the American Numismatic Society issued a medal to commemorate their move to a new building. The obverse had a bust of Donald G. Partrick but he is not named. In the background is the Donald Groves Building, also not named. The gold medal was presented to Partrick on October 23, 2004.

Partrick put together the finest cabinet of colonial coins ever assembled. On January 8, 2015, Heritage conducted the first auction of the Donald G. Partrick Collection featuring a dozen 1792 patterns. Three additional sales were planned. Heritage offered a statement on June 10.  Heritage Auctions has placed on hold the 2nd , 3rd  and 4th  Donald G. Partrick Collection Auctions at the request of Mr. Partrick's family.

  Donald Partrick Headstone

Partrick died on April 9, 2020. An elaborate headstone marks the grave at Huntington Rural Cemetery in Long Island, New York.

I found the listing of Heritage sales confusing. The Internet sales are not on NNP. This is my best attempt to list them.

  • Colonials and 1792 patterns, Signature sale #3216, January 7-12, 2015.
  • Connecticut Coppers, Internet Sale #63160, Oct 2-Nov 1, 2020.
  • Hard Times and Merchant Tokens, Internet Sale #63161, Nov 7-Dec 6, 2020.
  • Brasher Doubloons, FUN Show Platinum Night #1326, January 21, 2021.
  • New Jersey Coppers, Signature Sale #1330, Session 2, March 17-18, 2021.
  • Continental Dollar, Platinum Night, #1329, April 22-23, 2021.
  • Civil War Merchant Tokens, Internet Sale #63163, Apr 30-May 30, 2021.
  • Additional Selections, Internet Sale #63165, May 30-Jun 27, 2021.

Virginia Partrick was a volunteer at Huntington Hospital for 30 years and put in more than 47,000 volunteer hours during that time. She also served on the board of trustees. Donald gave the hospital 2.4 million dollars. Following his death, Douglas donated an additional million dollars. Douglas remains president of Heatherwood Communities and owns the Heatherwood Golf Course. Donald G. Partrick, Jr. also worked in the family business.

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
DONALD G. PARTRICK (1926-2020) (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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