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Better keep an eye on that Iola place
July 27, 2007

If geography means anything on the new American Numismatic Association board of governors, Iola, Wis., has it wired. This little village of 1,320 people is home to three of the nine incoming members.

The top two vote getters, Cliff Mishler and Chet Krause, have called this place home for many years. Chet was born just outside of town and Cliff moved here in 1963 to take up duties with Numismatic News that ultimately led him to become the president and chairman of the board of directors of Krause Publications, which publishes it.

But it doesn't stop there.

Vice President-Elect Patti Finner also lives here and has been active in community affairs. When she married Rollie, she moved here and dove right into community matters.

As they say in TV commercials, there's still more.

Former ANA president and executive director Ed Rochette lived in Iola for six years when he served as editor of Numismatic News. He left here in 1966 to become editor of the Numismatist when it was given its first permanent home out in Colorado Springs, Colo., as ANA headquarters was built.

That's four persons out of nine.

Fortunately, though, there are no geographical agendas in the hobby. Iola isn't vying for any favors from the ANA board and there is no reason for geographical proximity to be viewed as anything other than happenstance.

For many years Chet Krause had a large billboard just south of town calling Iola the Coin Collectors' Capital. Charles Kuralt of CBS even heard of it, but unfortunately only after the billboard had come down, so we didn't get a nice human interest story on CBS Television that might have happened had the moniker still been actively used by Iola.

Of course, perhaps there are conspiracy theorists who will could make something of this. Perhaps Iola is going to make a secret bid to move headquarters out of Colorado. After all, I was once president of the village and was always looking for economic development opportunities.

Yah think? Nah.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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