DOHERTY, ARCHIBALD L
Copyright © 2011-2018 John N. Lupia III
Archibald "Archie" L. Doherty, (1864-1930), was born on August 18, 1864, at Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada, son of George R. Doherty, a cabinet maker, and Lydia McPhee Doherty. In 1887 he married Elizabeth (1868-1936), also a Canadian of Irish parents at Canada. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in January 1893.
He originally began coin and stamp dealing as Archie L. Doherty & Co., Coin and Stamp Dealers in February of 1893 and became ANA Member No. 755 listed in the February, 1893 issue of The Numismatist. He began dealing with the Chapman Brothers beginning in March. Currently twenty-eight pieces of correspondence are catalogued in the Lupia Numismatic Library. When 1909 - 1930 are completed in the digital catalogue the final total shall be posted.
His publications contain the claim "Established 1873" which seems preposterous having a coin and stamp business at age 8 and a half or nine operating in Canada. What we shall find interesting is the same claim "Established 1873" and business name United States Coin and Stamp Exchange owned and operated by William O. Staab of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business name adopted by Doherty in 1894. It seems reasonable that the two men formed a partnership which has heretofore gone undetected. This notion becomes more tenable since no infringement lawsuits ever seem to have been filed by Staab.
Doherty also attended the 1893 ANA Convention.
Fig. 1. A very early specimen of Archie L. Doherty correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked March 8, 1893, franked with a Columbian 2c. This was written by someone other than Archie L. Doherty. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
Doherty's business address in the Masonic Temple designed by the architect John Root had the added advantage of being so tall it introduced the word skyscraper. The engraving of that building by J. Manz & Company became an icon he borrowed to decorate his business stationery in his second year of business. In M. H. Bolender's preface to the June 11, 1932 sale of the Archie L. Doherty estate he relates that Doherty was prominent in Masonic work at the time his firm was located in the Masonic Temple.
Fig. 2. A very early specimen of Archie L. Doherty business correspondence with the 1892 engraving by J. Manz & Company of the Masonic Temple by John Root, architect as his logo sent to the Chapman Brothers postmarked January 25, 1894, franked with a Columbian 2c. Doherty is publishing "Premium Coin List" under the company name U. S. Coin and Stamp Exchange. Note the penmanship on all envelopes are by different hands. This one is the actual hand of Archie L. Doherty. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
The use of the company name U. S. Coin and Stamp Exchange had already been in circulation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 1873 by William O. Staab. Ben G. Green's 19th Coin Auction Sale, November 11, 1905 sold some of the coin stock of that firm. Staab remained in business for many years after that sale. It seems reasonable to assume there was a conflict between Staab and Doherty if their firms were not somehow legally affiliated. Nevertheless, by May 1904, after a decade of using that name we no longer find Archie L. Doherty trading by that name, but Staab did.
Remy Bourne, Fixed Price Lists & Prices Paid for Lists of United States Coin Dealers 1850-1900, Volume 1, Addendum, pages 111-118 lists the 8-page 1893 Price List of Bargains in Coins and Stamps For Sale by The United States Coin and Stamp Exchange; and the 1894-5 Edition, 36 page, Coin Collectors' Manual and Premium Coin Catalogue .
Fig. 3. Archie L. Doherty business correspondence sent to the Chapman Brothers postmarked February 7, 1895, franked with a Columbian 2c. Doherty has eliminated his name and uses only that of the U. S. Coin and Stamp Exchange. Note the penmanship on all envelopes are by different hands. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
The Chicago Bluebook (1895) lists him living in an apartment building at 435 Belden Avenue, Chicago.
On April 1, 1895, responding to the March 31 advertisement in The Chicago Tribune, Sunday edition for discounted stamps, he sent a telegram to Hamilton, Ontario, ordering a package of stamps. That evening Western Union returned the telegram, saying they could not find the firm. The stamps turned out be counterfeit and several other dealers got caught in the scam.
In September 1895 after the revised membership numbering he was given ANA Member No. 271.
In January 1898, he witnessed Albert C. Greenleaf fall from the sixteenth floor of the Masonic Temple in a suicide jump as he fell past his window, thinking it was a bundle he never looked to see. Doherty moved out of the building shortly afterwards.
Fig. 4. Archie L. Doherty business correspondence sent to the Chapman Brothers postmarked with an early Chicago Flag Cancel May 7, 1898, franked with a Washington 2c. Doherty has eliminated his Masonic Temple address with a strike through and in a rubber stamp gave the change of address 106 Dearborn Street, Chicago, his residence. Note typewritten. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
Figs. 5 & 6. Post Card issued as a circular by Archie L. Doherty postmarked December 9, 1898, 11:30 P. M., Chicago, Illinois. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.
Fig. 7. Original New York Times story published July 10, 1899 and reprinted in Dickerman's United States Treasury Counterfeit Detector, Vol. 16, No. 8, August (1899) : 5
Fig. 8. Archie L. Doherty business correspondence sent to Henry Chapman postmarked with an early Barry Machine Cancel September 18, 1899, franked with a Washington 2c. Doherty has eliminated his Masonic Temple and gives the change of address 106 Dearborn Street, Chicago, his residence. Note he specializes in foreign money, postage stamps, and gold and silver bullion. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
In the October 1941 issue of The Numismatist, according to William G. Jerrems, Jr., “About 1900 Archie Doherty had purchased my collection of English silver coins, and he later bought a small collection of United States cents, which was complete as to dates, including the best 1793 that I have seen.”
The 1900 U. S. Census he listed as a Money Broker, with his residence in an apartment building at 550 Surf Street.
Fig. 9. Archie L. Doherty's 12th Edition of his 32-page Premium Coin Catalogue. Not listed in Remy Bourne. No date. No listing for the 1903 Louisiana Purchase Exposition commemorative gold dollars of either presidents Thomas Jefferson or William McKinley, which are typically found in Fixed Price Books of this sort suggesting a date of 1902 or earlier. Of course the book might date up to 1913 when he seems to have retired. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. Note he claims established 1873, when he was nine years old. Yeah! Obviously he is copying the claim of William O. Staab of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, or else they were affiliated and he was the Chicago branch of the firm.
In March 1903 he is listed as ANA Member No. 94, living at 106 Dearborn Street, Chicago, where he has been trading since 1898.
Fig. 10. By May 1904 Doherty began using plain envelopes in his business. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.
In September 1905 he was elected a member of the Chicago Numismatic Society.
The 1910 Census lists him as a Dealer in Coins and Stamps, with his residence in an apartment building at 550 Surf Street.
In 1911, he became a naturalized citizen.
He was present at the October 3, 1913, meeting of the Chicago Numismatic Society cited in the November issue of The Numismatist. Apparently, Doherty retired from the trade as the comment in the Bolender catalogues suggests.
The 1920 Census reports him living at 5555 Winthrop Avenue.
The 1930 Census reports him living at the Hollywood Kenmore Hotel, Chicago.
He died on June 28, 1930 and is buried at Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth.
Fig. 11. Tomb of Archie L. Doherty, Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois.
According to M. H. Bolender, Doherty's collection was sold posthumously in a series of seven auctions (see Bolender's 150th sale February 15, 1943, page 4): the first of 1,889 lots sold on June 11, 1932, notable for his collection of 170 Large Cents, Colonials and nearly 400 lots of Washingtoniana.
Fig. 12. The Bolender advertisement for the Doherty sale published in The Numismatist, June (1932) : 409. The entire catalogue is available online in the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri.
A second sale October 18, 1932, Bolender's 78th Sale.
Fig. 13. The Bolender advertisement for the second Doherty sale combined with J. Mountford published in The Numismatist, October (1932) : 674.
Fig. 14. The Bolender advertisement for the third Doherty sale.
Another 1,100 lots mainly of Large Cents sold on February 14, 1933 in the fourth sale also by M. H. Bolender.
Canada Census 1881
Chicago City Directory (1893)
“Lots of Bad Stamps,” The Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday, April 10, 1895, page 1
“Leaps to His Death,” The Tribune, Sunday, January 16, 1898, page 14
“The Dollar Coined in 1804,” New York Times, July 10, 1899
1900 U. S. Census
The Numismatist, October (1905) : 314
Mehl's Numismatic Monthly, Volume 1, No. 9, September (1908) : report on the August 1908 CNS meeting .
1920 U. S. Census
1930 U. S. Census
William G. Jerrems, Jr., “Numismatics Today and Fifty Years Ago,” The Numismatist, October (1941) : 766-767
Milton B. Pfeffer, "Half Cent Catalogue Sales : Addenda", Penny Wise, Volume 10, No. 5 (1976) : 231 cites the UNC 1809 Half Cent G-1, C-4 in the Archie L. Doherty sale by Bolender June 11, 1932, Lot 1155.
H. K. Petschel, “The Chase Begins: The 2-Cent Washington Chicago Counterfeit Q 1” American Philatelist, Vol. 97 (1983) : 62 recounting the story from “Lots of Bad Stamps,” The Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday, April 10, 1895, page 1
Remy Bourne, Fixed Price Lists & Prices Paid for Lists of United States Coin Dealers 1850-1900, Volume 1, Addendum, pages 111-118
Martin Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions ; see M. H. Bolender
John W. Adams, United States Numismatic Literature, Volume 2, see M. H. Bolender