Copyright 2011-2017 John N. Lupia, III
Fig. 1. Charles Adam Windau circa 1885-1890.
Charles Adam Windau (1860-1935), born the second of five children on March 3, 1860, in Hebron, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, son of August Ferdinand Windau (1835-1913), a merchant of Darmstadt, Germany, and Rosina C. Barth Windau (1832-1888), of Darmstadt, Germany. His parents came to America in 1860 just prior to Charles' birth. 

            Charles A. Windau was a traveling merchant in the jewelry business who also bought and sold coins and was active in numismatic organizations. He specialized in U. S. and foreign gold coinages. He was the paterfamilias of E. H. Windau and O. B. Windau who also were coin dealers. Edmund also specialized in U. S. and foreign gold coinages. 

            He appears to have married Caroline Elizabeth Hower (1855-1936), at Watsontown, Pennsylvania about 1885. They had a son Edmund Hower Windau (1886-1964), a member of the Western Reserve Numismatic Club. In 1932 Edmund Hower Windau lived at 1565 East 17th Street, Cleveland, Ohio. He was a tool & die maker who owned Windau Steel Compamy, Cleveland, Ohio and also bought and sold coins. In August 1932, he became ANA Member No. 4132. Later on he was also a coin dealer at San Antonio, Texas, trading as E. H. Windau. Edmund married Odelia Barbara Schwind (1886-1974), on August 21, 1915, she was also a coin dealer at San Antonio, Texas, trading as O. B. Windau.  Charles A. Windau divorced Caroline Elizabeth Hower sometime before 1900.

Fig. 2. In June 1900, he announced discovering a soldering compound for aluminum when he lived at Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois. "Makes Aluminum Solder," The Argus, Thursday, June 28, 1900, page 5

            In 1902, he was a pearl buyer and coin dealer and numismatic publisher at Vincennes, Knox County, Indiana

            On October 28, 1902, he married  Lillie Christine Worth  (1875-1923), of Iowa, daughter of Frederick John Worth (1840-1920), of Maryland, and Ellen Wachter Worth (1851-1924), of Germany. They had six children - two daughters Philomena Windau (1904-1985), and Josephine Amanda Lillian Windau Ptacek (1910-2006), and four sons : William Callie Corley Windau (1906-1992), Herman Heide Windau (1908-1999), Alonso "Leon" Alvin Windau (1909-1991), and Paul Ernest Windau (1915-).

Fig. 3. Windau returns to Vincennes, Indiana with a 5 month-old black wolf he caught in Jackson County, Arkansas.  
Evansville Courier and Press, Thursday, December 6, 1906

Figs 4 & 5. Charles A. Windau correspondence with Henry Chapman, Jr., on a Hartford postal stationery Thorp-Bartels #1841 uprated with Scott #357, flag cancel postmarked May 6, 1909, Vincennes, Indiana. Note the corner card reads "Buys & Sells American Pearls and Slugs"; a slug is a $50 gold-piece. On the back "Send Ten Cents Form My Coin Book" "Dealer In Gold Coins Struck In California and Rare U. S. Coins Such as Gold Dollars" Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

Fig. 6. Report of Charles A. Windau purchasing a pearl valued at $4,000. "Pearl Of Great Price," The Tribune, Friday, June 11, 1909, page 1.

            He lived at 519 South 4th Street, Vincennes, Indiana.

            In 1910, he lived in Red Wing, Minnesota, where he bought and sold coins and published his annual Fixed Price List and noted in them he did not buy 1853 U. S. Quarters with arrows at date or rays.

Fig. 7. Windau in Red Wing, Minnesota where Lyman Haynes Low also bought coins back in 1878. Here he is on a pearl buying expedition and purchased a 62 grain pearl for $465. 
Star Tribune, Saturday, July 29, 1911, page 8.

Fig. 8. Windau family at their home in Lake City, Minnesota in 1912. In the foreground Charles A. Windau sits next to his two year-old daughter Josephine, standing behind her is William Corley Windau, next to him is Herman Heide Windau,  next Philomena Charles Windau, and Alonso "Leon" Alvin Windau and his wife Lillie Christine Worth Windau.

            In 1913, he moved to Chicago.  He was a member of the Chicago Numismatic Society. Windau donated a book on New York Store Cards to the Chicago Numismatic Society. He resigned in March 1914, when he moved to Elgin, Kane County, Illinois.

Fig. 9. Photograph of 
Odelia Barbara Windau. In the winter of 1915 Charles A. Windau's son Edmund Hower Windau and new daughter-in-law Odelia Barbara Windau (married in August 21, 1915) began selling coins. This couple was famous for having the second largest collection known of old Spanish coins in the United States.

            In the 1920 U. S. Census he is reported living at 4 West State Street, Elgin, Kane County, Illinois.

Fig. 10. 
In December 1924, while on a business trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was fined for carrying a gun for security while carrying $30, 000 in precious gems, pearls and coins. Sheboygan Press, Wednesday, December 17, 1924, page 13

            In May 1931, he was a visitor to the California Coin Club.

Fig. 11. On August 30, 1931, he was a visitor to the Detroit Coin Club and brought a large quantity and variety of U. S. and Territorial gold coinages including 100 small and large size uncirculated U. S. gold dollars; an 1849 Moffat $5 gold piece; two proof 1879 Stella $4 gold pieces; a proof 1804 $5 gold piece; three 1795 U. S. Silver Dollars and one each of 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803; 1830-1842, and 1845 Russian platinum 3, 6, and 12 Rubles. The Numismatist, November (1931) : 801. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library

            On December 17, 1931,  he was a visitor to the Detroit Coin Club and brought Austrian 4 Ducat of 1886 and 1899, and Russian platinum coins, an 1843 3 Rubles and an 1830 6 Rubles. 

            On September 6, 1932, Charles Windau was a visitor at the Atlanta Coin Club and exhibited his gold coin collection and entertained the members talking about coins.

            He died on July 2, 1935 at Bellevue Hospital, Manhattan, New York.

Fig. 12. Tomb of Charles A. Windau, 
Hebron Cemetery, Hebron, Jefferson County, Wisconsin

Fig. 13. Odelia Barbara Schwind Windau, widow of Edmund Windau (died December 26, 1964) advertises the sale of U. S. and foreign silver, copper and nickel coins in Numismatic Scrapbook, December (1964) : 3495. Note the claim of coin dealing over fifty years, which necessitates 1913 or earlier. However, she married Edmund on August 21, 1915. The implication is the reference to either her husband Edmund or father-in-law Charles A. Windau as the earlier dealership since no record of her as a dealer at that time has been found so far. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Bibliography :

"Makes Aluminum Solder," The Argus, Thursday, June 28, 1900, page 5
Evansville Courier and Press, Thursday, December 6, 1906
"Pearl Of Great Price," The Tribune, Friday, June 11, 1909, page 1
Star Tribune, Saturday, July 29, 1911, page 8
The Numismatist, December (1913) : 641
The Numismatist, April (1914) : 208
The Jewelers' Circular, Vol. 75, No. 3, Wednesday, August 15 (1917) : 92
Sheboygan Press, Wednesday, December 17, 1924, page 13
The Numismatist, June (1931) : 443
The Numismatist, November (1931) : 801
The Numismatist, February (1932) : 115
The Numismatist, April (1932) : 254
The Numismatist, November (1932) : 729
"Another of the Old School Passes On," The Numismatist, August (1935) : 538 Obit
Thomas L. Elder, "Recollections of An Old Collector," Hobbies, Vol. 40, No. 10, December (1935) : 78
Numismatic Scrapbook, December (1964) : 3495 
Numismatic Scrapbook February (1965) : 342 - obit of E. H. Windau

Download 3d STL files