ZUG, JOHN

Copyright 2000-2019 John N. Lupia, III

Fig. 1. Portrait of John Zug published in his obituary in The Numismatist, December 1949, page 731. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

John Zug (1869-1949), was born on May 1, 1869, Washington, District of Columbia, son of John Edgar Zug (1842-1915), and Frances "Fannie" Hallis Ege Zug (1843-1913). His family estate Tanglewood is located in Bowie, Prince George's County, Maryland.

In 1877, the eight year old John Zug began stamp collecting.

In 1892, he graduated Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, with a Civil Engineering degree.

He worked as a civil engineer, and was a stamp and coin dealer on the side.

In 1892, he worked for the United States government relocating to 322 Occidental Block, Seattle, Washington, to work on harbor dredging there. While there he became the first stamp dealer in the Pacific-Northwest.

Fig. John Zug's advertisement selling postal stationery in The Post Office, November 1895.Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

On September 20, 1899, he married Katheryn Ella Davey (1880-1953), at Montesano, Lewis County, Washington. They had a daughter Frances. The couple were divorced in Alaska sometime after November 1917.

Fig. John Zug's advertisement selling postal stationery in The Metropolitan Philatelist, October 7, 1899. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

From 1905 to 1920, he was sent to work on highway and road construction in Alaska.

Fig. John Zug suffered serious internal injuries in an auto accident. Fairbanks Daily Times, Friday, February 20, 1914, page 1

In 1907, at Boston, John Zug sold his stamp collection at auction.

In 1909, he is reported by some to have purchased 25,000 1909-S VDB Lincoln cents from the San Francisco Mint.

The 1917 Seattle, Washington, City Directory, lists him living at 931 20th Street.

In 1920, he returned to his family estate Tanglewood is located in Bowie, Prince George's County, Maryland. There he and his sister Anna (1876-1967) traded as stamp dealers. Benjamin Hudson Collins (q.v.), suggested he become a coin dealer.

Beginning November 1920 until October 1949 he published a full-page inside back cover advertisement in The Numismatist.

From 1920 to 1946, John Zug sold coins and stamps from his family farmhouse "Tanglewood", Bowie, Maryland. He was known to carry a wide assortment of gold coins.

Fig. John Zug correspondence  sending bids with Henry Chapman, Jr., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, postmarked Bowie, Maryland, January 24, 1922, franked with Scott #546. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.


In 1923 he became ANA Member No. 2123.

In 1927, the Washington Coin Club was founded and charter member John Zug was elected Vice President.

Fig. John Zug correspondence with Percy J. Look, M.D., Andover, Massachusetts, postmark Baltimore, Maryland, 1934, franked with Scott #730a uprated on postal stationery Scott #U312 green on amber. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

In 1935 he was a charter member of the Baltimore Coin Club.

In 1948, at the the ANA Convention, San Francisco, California, he was awarded the 25 year member silver medal.

Among the coin rarities he owned were : an 1876 proof-like Type I Trade Dollar, an MS67 Red 1909-S VDB Cent. 


He died on October 23, 1949 at his daughter Frances' home in Towson, Maryland. He is buried in Holy Trinity Methodist Cemetery, Bowie, Prince George's County, Maryland. Zug was a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner.

Bibliography ;

The Post Office, July, 1895
The Post Office, November, 1895
The Metropolitan Philatelist, October 7, 1899
Evening Star, Wednesday, October 26, 1949, page 13
The Numismatist, December (1949)
Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographie (2017) : 334

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