Copyright 2011-2017 John N. Lupia, III

Fig. 1. Arthur White Westhorpe in 1903. Courtesy Erin Maslowski.

Arthur White Westhorpe (1869-1927), was born in February, 1869, in Gloucestershire, England, son of George Westhorpe (1826-), and Anne Maria Westhorpe (1829-). In 1878 at age nine he began collecting English farthings. By 1879 he already amassed an extensive collection of over 100 English and foreign coins and medals. In 1880 he collected his first brass Roman coin that sparked his interest into a specialty. He came to America in 1886. He worked in a dry goods store at Yankton, South Dakota. About 1898 he began to work for the Gazette at Yankton as city editor.

He was called the "Hobby Man of Yankton" since he was both a lepidopterist and numismatist, as well as a genealogist who often assisted Daughters of the American Revolution trace their ancestry.

Fig. 2. Arthur W. Westhorpe correspondence with the Chapman Brothers sent on scarce Spanish-American War stationery postmarked December 5, 1898, Yankton, South Dakota. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. There are several pieces of mail sent by Westhorpe as I recall cataloging them. However, the digital back up crashed and all the data on Westhorpe is now gone.

He is applied for membership in the A. N. A. and became friends with Dr. George Francis Heath (1850-1908). He became A.N.A. Member No. 127 when Dr. Heath reassigned the numbers. [1] He collected ancient Roman and Middle Eastern coins. He reapplied in May 1909.

Fig. 3. Photograph of The Press and Dakotan. Courtesy Erin Maslowski.

He worked as the city editor of a newspaper, The Press and Dakotan.

He was a member of the British Numismatic Society.

Fig. 4. Photograph of Arthur W. Westhorpe and wife with three children, left to right Edith, Dorothy, and infant Mary. Courtesy Erin Maslowski, great-great granddaughter of Arthur Westhorpe.

In 1894 he married Clara Louise Edwards (1873-1908). They had four children Dorothy Clara Westhorpe (1896-1955), Edith Westhorpe (1898-1980), and Frederick Arthur Westhorpe (1900-1900), and Mary L. Westhorpe (1903-).

His ancient coin collection was sold on February 18, 1910, by Ben G. Green, 51st sale.

He donated a collection of ancient Roman coins to Yankton College museum. The College closed in 1984 and the whereabouts of the coin collection is currently unknown. Anyone aware of them or their dispersal at auction or other sales please write to john@numismaticmall.com

During WWI, Westhorpe was a member of the Home Guard and served as secretary at Yankton.

In 1919, he was the master-at-arms, for the Maccabees of South Dakota at their annual state convention.

In December 1919 he complete the task of attributing the vast collection of ancient coins in the Conception Abbey Museum, Conception, Missouri. They were discovered in an ancient vase in an excavation at Jerusalem by a Benedictine monk and sent to the Abbey at Conception.

In 1921 he was hailed as the oldest member of the A.N.A.

He died in January 4, 1927 at Yankton, South Dakota. He is buried at Yankton Memorial Cemetery, Yankton, South Dakota.


[1] The A.N.A. Member No. 197 was originally assigned in the July 1894 issue of The Numismatist on page 147 to H. P. Bellinger of Syracuse, N.Y. In 1899 Dr. George Francis Heath reassigned A. N. A. Member Numbers and Westhorpe became A. N. A. Member No. 197.

Bibliography :

British Numismatic Journal (1904) : 387

The Numismatist, October (1905) : 304

The Numismatist, May (1909) : 150

The Numismatist, July (1909) : 214

The Numismatist, January (1910) : 28 Notice about coin auction

Aberdeen American, Tuesday, July 24, 1917, page 6

Aberdeen American, Tuesday, May 13, 1919, page 3

Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday, May 14, 1919

The Numismatist, December (1919) : 508

"List of Members of the American Numismatic Association," The Numismatist, June (1920) : 271

"When, Where and Why Did You Start to Collect Coins," The Numismatist, September (1921) : 394-95