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Reader's Showcase: IA-Macksburg


by Peter Huntoon

I’ve had reason to look into the smallest Series of 1929 issuances from Iowa lately and found that the four smallest were Montezuma (charter 2961) at 125 notes total, Keokuk (14309) at 135, Malvern (8057) at 228 and Macksburg (6852) at 336. I then checked the National Currency Foundation census to see if any survived. I hit goose eggs as I worked through this short list—not a big surprise—until I got to Macksburg. Then I found exactly one entry, the note illustrated here. Just what is the probability that the lone survivor from the 56 sheets of $10s issued by the bank would be an evenly circulated A000001A note?

This was no banker-saved souvenir. It somehow was plucked from circulation and saved quite some time after it left the bank! I find this type of find far more interesting and thrilling than an uncirculated number 1 note. I talked to a couple of my Iowa buddies and, of course, they all knew of it because its discovery sent a bit of a shockwave through their ranks (as it should have). The note went through an April 25, 2013 Heritage sale where it brought $3,425. It had an interesting town name as well—the place was laid out in 1873 and named for Dr. Joseph H. Mack, one of the original owners of the townsite. It is located on back roads 40 miles due southwest of Des Moines out in the middle of corn country.

Incidentally, the small total number of 1929 notes issued by the bank is readily explained by its tiny circulation of $6,500 coupled with a liquidation date of May 15,1930, when it was jointly gobbled up by three nearby competitors. One circulated large size 1902 $10 also is reported from the bank.