MAUNOVRY, JEAN FABIEN

Copyright 2011-2018


Fig. 1. Photo of Jean Maunovry (detail) taken from the Rochester Numismatic Association photograph published in the March 1916 issue of The Numismatist, page 137.


Jean Fabien Maunovry (1878-1942), was born on June 27, 1878 at Paris, France. He immigrated to America in 1900 and settled in Denver, Arapahoe, Colorado. He claims he purchased a hoard of Lesher silver dollars while living at Denver in 1905 as reported in 1918 by Farran Zerbe. 

        Maunovry was a coin and stamp dealer who traveled and moved to at least eight cities including in chronological order: Denver and  Cascade, Coloardo, Saint Louis, Missouri, Detroit, Michigan, Akron, Ohio, Rochester, New York, Livingston, Montana, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, running newspaper ads buying collectibles, particularly coins, and was arrested for fraud doing it. It is possible he was arrested several times though we know for certain he served prison time at least once for mail fraud.  

On July 30, 1912, he married Claire Therese Grace Fenner (1877-), the recent widow of Clark C. Fenner (1855-1911), a woodman. Soon afterwards they moved to Detroit, Michigan, and then to St. Louis, Missouri. A few years later he moved to Rochester, New York where he worked as a baggageman at American Express, New York Central Station.

Fig. Maunovry's advertisement buying coins while living at Cascade, Colorado, 
Colorado Springs Gazette, Sunday, June 1, 1913, page 9

1914 was an exciting year for Maunovry and his wife. New Year's Day he captured the attention of St. Louis, Missouri with his so-called visit there and made comments about 
the newly discovered 1804 Silver Dollar found at New Haven, Connecticut. But by the close of that same year he was seen as a villain.

Fig. Story of Maunovry's visit to St. Louis and his report about the 1804 Silver Dollar recently discovered in New Haven, Connecticut. St. Louis Post Dispatch, Thursday, January 1, 1914, page 9
Fig. Maunovry's wanted to buy old coins advertisement published in the 
St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sunday, December 28, 1913, page 38, gives his St. Louis address as 524 North Vandeventer Street. Yet the report published a few days later (above) claims he is just visiting St. Louis. This is explained (below) with the report he travels to different cities runs ads for coins and typically does not pay for them.

Fig. One of Maunovry's more sensational advertisements looking for 1854-C gold dollar willing to pay $200. 
St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sunday, January 18, 1914, page 40

Fig. Maunovry arrested for mail fraud in Detroit and other cities was sent to Monroe County Jail. Democrat and Chronicle, Sunday, December 6, 1914, page 3

Fig. Photograph of the Fourth Annual Dinner of the RNA on January 18, 1916, published in the March 1916 issue of The Numismatist, page 137. Maunovry is slightly to the left of dead center.

Fig. Maunovry correspondence with Henry Chapman, Jr. postmarked July 8, 1918, Rochester, New York, East Avenue Station. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

On January 5, 1918 he is listed as a member of the ANS, Rochester, New York.  
In the Rochester City Directory (1919)  page 703, he is listed as a Coin and Stamp Dealer.

On his 1920 U. S. Census record at Akron, Ohio, he claims to have become a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1906, yet his 1918 Draft record records him as an alien under French rule. 

In 1920 Maunovry moved to 209 Milldred Avenue, Akron, Ohio, and then in a few months moved to 627 North Weber Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Fig. Maunovry advertising to sell Harvey Crude Oil Co. shares of stock at $1.00  a share. Colorado Springs Gazette, Sunday, June 27, 1920, page 17



Fig. Maunovry's advertisement in the November 1920 issue of The Numismatist, page 536

On September 21, 1921 he vanished into thin air since again he was under investigation for fraud. His last address was 422 East Kiowa, Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

The ANS Proceedings of 1922 lists him as living at Livingston, Montana.

Fig. Maunovry correspondence with Henry Chapman postmarked November 12, 1922, Livingston, Montana. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

In 1942, in the Colorado Springs City Directory page 267 he and his wife Claire are listed at 215 Pueblo Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

On May 15, 1942 Claire G. Maunovry filed a request for proof of husband's naturalization since it was required for application to receive Old Age Pension. It is unclear if the report is filed as perjury.  It is assumed he died at that time. His death and burial or cremation are uncertain at this time. 



Bibliography :

Colorado Springs Gazette, Sunday, June 1, 1913, page 9
St. Louis Post Dispatch, Thursday, January 1, 1914, page 9
Democrat and Chronicle, Sunday, December 6, 1914, page 3
The Numismatist, March 1916, page 167
Farran Zerbe, "Private Silver Coins Issued In the United States : The Lesher or Referendum Pieces," American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LI (1918) : 153-166, especially 156, 162, 166
The Numismatist, November (1920) : 536
The Numismatist, January (1921) : 28
Proceedings of the American Numismatic Society, Sixty-Fourth Annual Meeting, January 14, 1922 (1922) : 80
Colorado Springs City Directory (1922) : 258
Robert D. Leonard, Jr., Kenneth L. Hallenbeck, Adna G. Wilde, Jr., Forgotten Colorado Silver : Joseph Lesher's Defiant Coins. (Charleston, South Carolina : History Press, 2017) : 38, 48, 101

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