Fig. 1. Photograph of Harold E. Whiteneck at his coin shop, Court Coin, Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield Union, Sunday, March 12, 1972, page 3

Harold Everett Whiteneck (1914-2002), was born the son of John, a farmer, and Flossie Williams Whiteneck, both natives of Maine, on January 31, 1914 at Caribou, Aroostook, Maine. He graduated high school in 1932, and attended Suffolk Law School but was forced to leave after the death of his mother in 1933. According to his interview by Dennis Williams, "Collector Becomes Dealer," Springfield Union, Sunday, March 12, 1972, page 7, he lived in Chicopee and began collecting coins in 1935 as a cashier at Charles Restaurant in Boston, when he lived at 9A Falmouth Street with his brother Lloyd and their three sisters Marjorie, Gladys and Arline. The following year he became a coin dealer. However, according to his advertisement in 1963 in The Numismatist he claims he was in the coin business since 1935. Many years later, in the 1970's, his brother Lloyd would also become a coin dealer.

He was ANA Member No. 11683, and LM 329. In 1944 he married Elva and they had a son David (d. circa 1995). In 1945, Harold E. Whiteneck was the manager of Sheraton Coin Company, 68 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, with a mailing address at the Sheraton Building, 10 Post Office Square. In 1948 he bought out the Stock of the Sheraton Corporation of America, trading as Sheraton Coin Company.

Fig. 2. Whiteneck's Announcement of buying out all the Large Cents of the Sheraton Coin Company and advertisement in The Numismatist, January, 1948, page A29.

Fig. 3. Whiteneck's Announcement in The Numismatist, February, 1948, page 129.

He held twenty-six coin auction sales from February 6, 1945 until November 22, 1949. He published his first full page advertisement in The Numismatist in September 1945 on page 1032. From 1945 to 1947 he owned what is now called the Million Dollar Cent, a 1799 S-189 MS 62 Brown. He attended the ANA Convention of 1946. He was the Secretary of the Boston Numismatic Society. In 1947 he was considered the foremost expert on U. S. Dimes having nearly a complete set and he issued a fixed price list of them.

The Newman Portal has some invoices scanned of coins sold to Burdette G. Johnson of St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.

In the January through March issues in 1948 of The Numismatist he ran a series of full page coin advertisements. In March 1948 he was elected president of the New England Numismatic Association (NENA). He and his wife Elva had exhibits of coins in the 1948 ANA Convention.

It is purported by Gene Gardner (ANA 1176004) that after the death of Wayte Raymond in 1956 that Harold Whiteneck acquired many coins from his collection.

Arthur Conn partnered with Harold Whiteneck in 1960 conducting the ANA Annual Convention Coin Auction sale on August 24. In 1961 he was elected second vice president of the Professional Numismatists Guild.

Fig. 4. Whiteneck elected second Vice-President of the PNG. Newspaper clipping courtesy of Rilla Whiteneck.

He was a contributor to the 1965 18th edition of R. S. Yeoman's, A Guide Book of United States Coins.

Fig. 5. Whiteneck's advertisement in The Numismatist, November, 1963, page 1611

In 1963 he opened Court Coin Company, 101 Worthington Street, Springfield, Massachusetts. Sometime about 1971 he divorced Elva. He was a steady advertiser in The Numismatist, and also in the Numismatic Scrapbook. In October 31, 1971 he married Rilla Ellsworth a descendent of Oliver Ellsworth, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1972 they moved from Boston to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Fig. 6. Whiteneck's advertisement in the Springfield Union, Sunday, March 12, 1972, page 114.

Harold's wife Rilla M. Whiteneck joined the ANA in May 1975.

Fig. 7. Harold Whiteneck circa 1975 with his wife Rilla and their daughter Lisa. Photograph Courtesy Rilla Whiteneck.

Whiteneck and his wife Rilla moved to his native state Maine, where they ran Court Coin Company from the Post Office Box at St. Francis from 1975 to 1977.

Fig. 8. Whiteneck's advertisement in The Numismatist, September, 1975, page 2119

He is believed to have carried the largest stock of Canadian coins in the United States.

He was arrested with his license as a coin dealer operating Court Coin Company at Springfield, Massachusetts revoked by police detectives Donald LaDue and Raymond Gebo in April 1982 since evidence supported he acted as a fence for stolen coins and jewelry. After that his full page ads in The Numismatist ceased the last being published in August, page 2117. Later he declared his innocence and sued the police for false arrest. However, the Federal Courts upheld the city charging Whiteneck. It seems as though Harold Whiteneck was a victim of unfortunate circumstances since his record seems to reflect that he was always a reputable dealer. He did not allow this set back to dissuade him as a coin dealer. In 1991, he and his wife Rilla moved to 16 Summer Street, Northfield, New Hampshire and opened Concord Coin Company at Concord, New Hampshire which he ran until November 2000. Gary Gossland bought Concord Coin Company. He died about six months short of becoming 89 on June 27, 2002, Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire. He was survived by his second wife Rilla M. Sommer Whiteneck (1934-), his daughter Lisa Florence Whiteneck-Haines(1965-), and two stepsons, James Douglas Sommer and John Christian Sommer (1953-2015).


Many thanks to Rilla Whiteneck and her daughter Lisa Whiteneck-Haines for their telephone interview adding invaluable information. Special thanks to Lisa Whiteneck-Haines for send two photos for this biographical sketch of her late father.

Coin Auctions

[01] February 6, 1945

[02] July 10, 1945

[03] November 12, 1946

[04] December 10, 1946

[05] January 14, 1947

[06] February 11, 1947

[07] April 8, 1947

[08] May 13, 1947

[09] June 11, 1947

[10] September 9, 1947

[11] October 14, 1947

[12] November 18, 1947

[13] December 16, 1947

[14] January 20, 1948

[15] February 17, 1948

[16] May 18, 1948

[17] June 23, 1948

[18] July 20, 1948

[19] September 21, 1948

[20] October 19, 1948

[21] November 16, 1948

[22] December 14, 1948

[23] January 11, 1949

[24] September 20, 1949

[25] October 18, 1949

[26] November 22, 1949

Bibliography :

The Numismatist, August, 1945, page 885

The Numismatist, September, 1945, page 968, 1032

Boston City Directory, 1946 : page 1927

The Numismatist, November, 1946, page 1286

The Numismatist, March, 1947, page 256, and A194

The Numismatist, October, 1948, page 678

Dennis Williams, "Collector Becomes Dealer," Springfield Union, Sunday, March 12, 1972, page 7

The Numismatist, May, 1975, page 1060

Springfield Union, Friday, April 9, 1982, page 15.

Springfield Union, Friday, April 16, 1982, page 10.

'Federal Court Upholds City in Coin Dealer's License Suit," Springfield Union, Wednesday, January 1, 1986, page 4.

Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies, page 241

The Numismatist, March, 2002, page 90

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (2002) : 194 lists Rilla M. Whiteneck

The Numismatist, March, 2003, page 90 "NOTE : not accessible at ANA online since page was never scanned."

The Numismatist, October, 2003, page 14