Bryan local, Tom Reed has generously donated over 50 books to the Williams County Public Library, which mainly center on numismatics, also known as coin collecting. Tom saw a need for books on coin collecting to be available to the public, and decided to offer many books from his personal collection to the Williams County Public Library. Tom also reached out to Stack’s Bowers Galleries about possibly donating books as well, and they happily agreed. According to Mr. Reed about 60% of the books donated to WCPL are from Stack’s Bowers, and 40% are books from his own collection.
Tom dabbled in collecting as a kid, but it wasn’t until his late 20’s that he discovered his passion for collecting Civil War period coins. It was on a trip to Gettysburg that Mr. Reed found his first Civil War Store Card, which are a type of Civil War Tokens made due to a shortage of circulating coins, because of the war demand. Private engravers and minters would visit small towns, sell either designs to local businesses, and then engrave the material sold with name of the local business or town (store card), or a patriotic slogan (patriotic). Most small towns had Patriotic or Store Cards, and used them as currency, including many of the towns in all of Northwest Ohio. When Tom discovered Civil War Tokens he was hooked on finding more, as he loved the local history behind the tokens, and from then on he became a serious collector.
Years later, Tom is now the Treasurer of the Civil War Token Society. This nationwide group consists of 800 to 900 members, including some from Canada. These days, Tom mainly focuses on collecting Civil War Tokens from Northeast Indiana, where he grew up, and Northwest Ohio, where he lives now. Due to his more focused interest, Mr. Reed found many of the books he owned on coin and currency collecting were no longer getting the use they deserved, and that is when he decided to donate to the library. His hope for this donated collection is that it will bring more awareness to the local history aspect of numismatics, and generate an interest in the younger generation to start their own collections.
All of the donated books are now available to be checked out, and are on display at the Bryan Main Library, which is located at 107 E. High Street Bryan, OH 43506. The Williams County Public Library will be scheduling a presentation with Tom Reed on Civil War Tokens at a later date. Stay tuned for more details! For more information on the donated numismatics collection, please call 833-633-READ ext. 274.