Featured 1921 Missouri Centennial and State Fair

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by leeg, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. leeg

    leeg I Enjoy Toned Coins

    Happy Fourth of July to all!

    Stay Safe.

    I will share a little history over the next several days.

    Missouri Centennial Exposition and State Fair

    Sedalia, Missouri, August 8-20, 1921

    “Missouri is going to have a state-wide Centennial Celebration worthy of the name.

    With the signing of the Centennial Exposition bill by Governor Hyde, and the appointment of a Commission of twenty-one members to supervise the Exposition, the machinery has been officially set in motion. The bill passed by the Fifty-First Assembly carries and appropriation of $150,000 to defray the expenses of the Celebration.

    The dates will be August 8-20, 1921. The State Fair Grounds at Sedalia were chosen as the site. Plans for a stupendous program are already underway.

    Governor Arthur M. Hyde was elected President of the Centennial Commission at the first meeting of the body held in Jefferson City, April 21. Lieutenant-Governor Hiram Lloyd was elected Vice-President, and appointed by Governor Hyde as chairman of an executive committee of seven members which will have direct charge of the Exposition, acting for the commission as a whole.

    A stupendous program is planned for Centennial Week, August 8-13. A pageant, to be called ‘The Pageant of Missouri,’ will be produced and given nightly on an open-air stage in front of the amphitheater.

    Historical relics and museum collections will be assembled from all parts of the State, and placed on exhibition in one of the principal buildings.

    A big feature of the Centennial will be the Homecoming of former Missourians. Plans for this event have been made by the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce, which has raised $25,000 for publicity purposes, and undertaken to invite Missourians everywhere to ‘come home’ for the Centennial.

    The Sedalia Chamber of Commerce has also undertaken the task of adequately housing and feeding the Centennial crowds. This will be no small task, if the experience of the Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Maine Centennials is any guide. The crowds will come in thousands; and to house them Sedalians will throw open every private residence in the city, enlarge present hotel and restaurant facilities, install cots in schools and public buildings, and outfit a free camp ground to accommodate 20,000 people.

    Wednesday, August 10, will be one of the big days of the Celebration. President Harding has been invited to attend on that date; and invitations will be sent to other high government officials and the governors of other states. Missouri was admitted to the Union on August 10, 1821. ‘Missouri Day’ at the Centennial will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the event.

    Erickso1 NGC.png

    Courtesy of erickso1, Nick, on the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) Coin Forum.

    In commemoration of the occasion the United States mint will coin 250,000 Centennial Half-dollars bearing a special Centennial design.

    These coins are to be given out at the Exposition gates, as change for money paid for tickets. A reunion of descendants of Missouri governors will provide an enjoyable and unique feature on ‘Descendants’ Day.’ A special program will be given in their honor.”1

    1. The Missouri Historical Review. October, 1920 – July, 1921, p. 449-452. Published by The State Historical Society of Missouri, Floyd C. Shoemaker, Secretary-Editor, Columbia, Missouri, 1921.

    1921Missouri_Brochure2 A.png



    From a program in my Numismatic Library.

    More to follow.

    Attached Files:

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  3. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    Nice write up...& they pulled that all together in only 3 1/2 months?!! :D

    Nice specimen of the coin...yours?

    Looking forward to the next report...:happy:;)
    ldhair likes this.
  4. Bill H.

    Bill H. Member

    As a native Missourian, I was quite interested to read this and as a collector of classic commemorative halves, I was especially pleased to read about our centennial and the beautiful half dollar which was released in 1921. Of the 144 different halves I have 33 more to go to complete my collection including both the Missouri's. I look forward to the bicentennial next year!
  5. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Great presentation thank you. Happy and safe 4th to you also...
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    Nice write up. Thanks.
  7. Silver Bull30

    Silver Bull30 New Member

    Such a night when I have lived in Missouri my whole life and I love it I'm a huge silver in particular coin collector I have always wanted one of these come under to man's yours is such a beautiful coin to this is on my coin bucket list that is for sure happy Independence Day!!
  8. leeg

    leeg I Enjoy Toned Coins

    Thanks All!

    The history continues:

    1921Missouri_Brochure 5A.png




    “When President Harding, in the White House at 10 o’clock on the morning of August 8, presses an electric button, the gates of the Centennial Exposition and State Fair at Sedalia will open wide on a gigantic celebration of Missouri’s hundredth birthday.

    Missouri, the ‘Show-me’ State, will put its famous slogan into practice and show the world the progress it has made when thousands of persons take part in ‘The Pageant of Missouri,’ the stellar event of the Centennial-Fair, August 8-20. Every important phase of the state’s picturesque history, from the time of La-Salle’s penetration into a wilderness until the present, will be graphically represented.


    An appropriation of $50,000 will be spent in producing the Pageant. The final production will be a masterpiece combining the genius of dramatist, artist and musician. Although divided into fifteen episodes, the movement of the Pageant falls into three general parts. When the lights slowly brighten on the first part, a primeval forest will form the background for a tribe of Osage Indians in camp. A miniature river at the front of the stage, representing the Mississippi, will be the highway by which La-Salle, Marquette, and Joliet, approach. The founding of the little settlement of St. Louis by Pierre Laclede and the Louisiana Purchase are the culminating events of the first part.

    The second part portrays Missouri’s struggle for statehood, the admission after years of debate, and the state’s participation in the romantic Mexican and trying Civil Wars. This is the period of struggle. It is followed by the period of the development of Missouri’s natural resources with the subsequent growth of commerce. The final phases of the Pageant will partake of the nature of the festival.

    The Pageant is only one of several hundred attractions at the Centennial-Fair. During the second week, Sinbad, Ali Baba, and all of Scheherazade’s other fascinating characters will be presented in kaleidoscopic flashes of color in the Gordon Fireworks spectacle, ‘The Arabian Nights.’ A thousand dollars’ worth of fireworks will be consumed nightly in the ‘Burning of Bagdad,’ the thrilling climax of the production.

    A premium list totaling $93,220 is one of the drawing cards of the Fair. This premium list, exceeding by more than $40,000 the prizes offered in any previous year, will be an inducement for unusual exhibits of every description. Entries have been received in great numbers during the past week. Many exhibitors have not yet been heard from.


    The Midway, with every manner of amusement device, has been enlarged for the Centennial celebration. Music lovers have not been forgotten by the planners of the Centennial-Fair. Thaviu, Poepping, and Roy D. Smith are three of a dozen band directors who will bring their organizations to the Exposition. Opera singers, vaudeville artists, and stunt musicians are also on the program. And for thrills the Centennial will have no peer. Ruth Law, the famous woman aviator, will pilot one of the several planes which will fly and perform stunts each afternoon and night during the two weeks.

    If you have a tent, take it to Sedalia and pitch it in White City, the great free camping ground adjacent to the Fair Grounds. This huge canvas city has been planned by civic experts with the result that it contains most of the advantages of a real town.

    Sedalia is ready to entertain all the visitors who do not wish to camp in White City.

    ‘Every home in Sedalia, from the most humble to the most palatial,’ declares Mayor F.F. Hatton, ‘will be thrown wide open for your comfort and entertainment.’

    The following is a schedule of lodging prices in Sedalia:

    Room with bath privilege, per day, whether occupied by one or two persons, $2.00.

    Room without bath privilege, whether occupied by one or two persons, per day, $1.50.

    Each additional person over two in room, per day, 75¢.

    Auto races at Centennial-Fair:

    Thirty of the nation’s foremost auto racing drivers will compete in the Opening day races at Sedalia, August 8. The sport is one of the chief attractions at Missouri’s birthday party at that place August 8-20.”2

    2. The Herald, Hayti (MO). Missouri to have Centennial-Fair August 8 -20. Exposition at Sedalia is planned to be Great Historical Demonstration. August 25, 1921.
  9. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    What did they charge the citizens who decided after a week of living in a room without bath privileges that you needed a bath?????
    Bill H. likes this.
  10. Silver Bull30

    Silver Bull30 New Member

    WOW $2.00 in 1921 was if I'm doing my math correctly would adjust for inflation (2.64% would = around $26.50! To say one full day! I know It was epic, especially in these times when most have not seen anything this grand in their own state at that! I am surprised a bit considering minimum wage was around .35 cents a hour! anyhow I love learning History my friend!!! Hope you have a great Independence day.
  11. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    Reading this, I envisioned someone on a phone, next to Pres. Harding, saying "OK, he just pressed the button"...then the person on the other end relaying "OK, he just pressed the button!" :hilarious::D

    ...$50k for the entire event!!! Even in those days...:jawdrop:o_O

    That's interesting! Wonder how that figured into the "Pageant of Missouri"??...the "Burning of Bagdad"??? o_O

    I wonder if they had a bank, gas station, church, 7-11, etc...? :cool:

    Yeah, someday in the future, the Cowboys will be in the SB again & coincidentally playing at Jerry's World...the Mayor of Dallas will proclaim "Every home in Dallas, from the most humble to the most palatial, will be thrown wide open for your comfort and entertainment."

    Of course, the country will be completely socialist by that time...:smuggrin::eek::nailbiting:

    ...so, what we call a "Bed & Breakfast", maybe without the breakfast? :D:joyful:

    @leeg, great follow up! :singing: I wonder if anyone did an analysis or write up on it immediately after the completion?
  12. Sunflower_Coins

    Sunflower_Coins Importer and Exporter

    As a half-blooded Missourian I found this fascinating. It's crazy to think the Missouri Bicentennial is next year. Thanks for the history!
  13. leeg

    leeg I Enjoy Toned Coins

    Thanks again all.

    Most of the early commemoratives have history such as this behind them. I love researching this also.



    Daily Program

    Monday, August 8

    Grand Opening – Press – Auto Race Day

    8:00 AM – Gates open to the Public. Admission, Adults 50 cents. Children 25 cents.

    10:00 AM – Formal Grand Opening of the Missouri Centennial Exposition.

    Parade to Centennial Arch of Officials, escorted by Missouri National Guard.

    Aerial Patrol by Flying Circus.

    National Salute.

    Band Overture by Poepping’s, Scottish-Highlander, Kroencke’s Concert, Second Regiment and for Regimental bands from the Missouri National Guard encampment.

    Invocation by Rev. A.W. Kokendoffer, Sedalia.

    President Warren G. Harding’s message officially opening the Missouri Centennial Exposition, received by Governor Arthur M. Hyde.

    Song – ‘America’ by audience.

    Address of Welcome by Hon. Arthur M. Hyde, Governor of Missouri and President of Missouri Centennial Commission.

    11:30 AM – Johnny J. Jones Mammoth Exposition Shows on the Midway.

    Passenger-Carrying Service.

    Pioneer Games and Contests in Coliseum.

    2:00 PM – World’s Championship Professional Automobile Races sanctioned by the International Motor Contest Association.

    Event No. 1

    First elimination heat, four-cornered match race, distance five miles, rolling start. Drivers finishing 1st and 2nd eligible to start in event No. 4. Purse for this heat $300.00 60 percent 1st, 25 percent 2nd, 15 percent 3rd.

    Car Driver

    Premocar Stone

    Essex Roundtree

    C.R.G. Burk

    Chalmers Costa

    Event No. 2

    Second elimination heat, four-cornered match race, distance five miles, rolling start. Drivers finishing 1st and 2nd eligible to start in event No. 4. Purse for this heat $300.00 60 percent 1st, 25 percent 2nd, 15 percent 3rd.

    Car Driver

    Wyllis Scheibell

    Peugeot Robinson

    Severin Gray

    Cyclone Searles

    Jimmy Costa in his Fiat,1921 A.png

    Jimmy Costa in his Fiat.

    Event No. 3

    Time trials for Missouri State Fair track records, distance one mile, flying start. Purse to driver making fastest time. $150.00 Entries to be announced at track.

    Event No. 4

    Third and final heat of events Nos. 1 and 2, drivers finishing 1st and 2nd in events 1 and 2 eligible to start in the final heat. Distance 5 miles, rolling start. Purse $600.00. 60 percent 1st, 25 percent 2nd, 15 percent, 3rd.

    Event No. 5

    Division ‘C’ light car class, cars eligible 200 cubic inches and under. Distance five miles, rolling start, purses $400.00. 60 percent 1st, 25 percent 2nd, 15 percent 3rd.

    Car Driver

    Essex Roundtree

    Rajo Chatburn

    Cyclone Searles

    Chalmers Costa

    Event No. 6

    Missouri Centennial Free-for-all, irrespective of motor, classification or piston displacement. Distance 10 miles, speedway style rolling start. Purse $1,500. 50 per cent 1st, 25 per cent 2nd, 15 percent 3rd, 10 percent 4th.

    Car Driver

    C.R.G. Burk

    Severin Gray

    Rajo Chatburn

    Premocar Stone

    Cyclone Searles

    Wyllis Scheibell

    Essex Roundtree

    Chalmers Costa

    Hudson Boyd

    Peugeot Robinson

    4:00 PM – Louis James, fearless daredevil, will transfer himself from a fast driven Premocar machine to a Curtis Airplane driven by Ruth Law. Exhibition takes place on the race track directly in front of the Amphitheater.”3

    3. Official souvenir program Missouri 1821-1921 Centennial Exposition and Sate Fair held in Sedalia, Missouri on August 8-20. Soft cover book containing 109 pages.

    Ruth Laws Flying Circus 1921.png

    Ruth Law's Flying Circus.

    “Jefferson City, Feb. 25. – The Missouri state fair board is ‘broke’ and without available funds to carry on the 1922 fair, following the expenditure of a total of $486,891.00 in operating the Centennial exposition and state fair at Sedalia last August. Of the amount spent $269,361.11 came out of the taxpayers’ pockets, according to an audit completed Saturday by examiners for State Auditor George E. Hackmann.

    The examiners declared in their report that $121.60 was spent for cigars; that the practice of issuing passes was grossly abused, a total of 32,560 passes being issued; that the board received nothing from the ‘Duck Me Kid’ concession, which was operated by Don Davis, publicity man for the joint celebration, and called attention to an expenditure of $610 for stenographer hire for Lieut. Gov. Hiram Lloyd of St. Louis, chairman of the executive commission of the centennial commission.

    The report declared that ‘strict economy had not been adhered to in many instances.’

    The report of the examiners was taken to the office of Governor Hyde by auditor Hackmann. The governor, who returned to his office Saturday after an absence of a week, had no statement on the report early Saturday night.

    The fair board has a deficit of $1,281, which will be increased many thousands of dollars by outstanding obligations.

    The largest expenditure of the centennial commission was $44,883.83 paid to the North American Fireworks Company. Included in the large amount of money which was ‘shot up in the air,’ was the expense for the unusual feature of displaying the pictures of Governor Hyde and Lieutenant Governor Lloyd in burning fireworks nightly before the large pavilion for the benefit of the people.

    Gold badges, costing $25 each, were bought for members of the centennial commission.

    The commission bought 100,000 elaborate souvenirs of centennial at a cost of $12,164.96, to be retailed at 25 cents each.

    ‘For some unknown reason,’ said the report of the examiners, ‘these programs did not sell ‘like hotcakes’ and consequently at the close of the fair, 93,324 copies were unsold and on the hands of the state fair board. As these programs contain some valuable historical information, we suggest copies on hand at the state fair office be offered to the school children throughout the state free of charge.’

    Apparently the commission had difficulty in differentiating between the accounts of the centennial commission and the fair board because they made the following comment in the report:

    ‘There was so much shifting of funds from one organization to the other that it is physically impossible to ascertain from the books and records at the office just how the expenses should be divided or charged.’

    The examiners sharply criticized the practice of accepting notes of doubtful value in payment of concessions while the owners of many concessions apparently paid nothing.

    ‘Every dollar lost on concessions,’ said the report, ‘will increase the deficit. In view of the fact that this department was under direct control of a supervisor and a force of clerks at a cost of $4,474.14, we cannot understand just why these concessionaires were allowed to get away without paying their obligations.’

    ‘No one connected with the state fair, to our knowledge, has made an effort to ascertain the financial standing of these people. The loose methods practiced in handling this proposition does not appeal to us as the proper way of doing business and should be discontinued in the future.’

    Commenting on the ‘Duck Me Kid’ concession, the report said:

    ‘So far as the books show, no money was ever collected for it by the state.’

    The examiners said that while the fair board was to receive a commission from all the concessions, only $21.32 was paid to it from the cigar and shoe shining concessions operated by Charles Arnold and Roy Hinkle, employes (sic) of the fair.

    A total paid admissions to the centennial and fair were 135,440, while a total of 52,560 passes were issued.

    The report of the examiners disclosed that it cost the state $2.62 to provide entertainment for each person who visited the celebration either by paid admission or with a ducat.

    Mrs. L. B. Higgins, private stenographer to Lieutenant Governor Lloyd, was paid $170 for 10 days work in preparing a report of the centennial. Forty dollars was paid to Wilbur Maring and $400 was paid to an office assistant to the lieutenant governor, according to the report.

    The charges for cigars were divided in two items.

    ‘Your attention is directed to two items of expenses for cigars, $36.10, charged to general expense, and $85.50 charged to directors dining hall,’ according to the examiners.

    The examiners set out a comparison between the expenses of the 1920 and 1921 fair, showing that each of the items was increased thousands of dollars during the first year of the administration of Governor Hyude.

    The audit was made by Otto Lanfersicck, Joe W. Diel and John Bartholomaus.”4

    4. The Butler (MO) Weekly Times, Pyro Photos of Governor help break State Fair. Fireworks display, picturing Hyde and Lloyd, cost Taxpayers huge sum. March 2, 1922.

    Ticket Front & back.png

    The End.
    mynamespat and PlanoSteve like this.
  14. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    @leeg, fabulous info, particularly the audit reports! :happy::singing:;)
  15. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    Very nice information and well researched. Thank you. I had to share it with my friend Dave, at LegendsofAmerica.com, as he lives in Missouri. He's not a coin collector, but always interested in history.
  16. mynamespat

    mynamespat Dingus

    I imagine, at this time in rural Missouri, there were plenty of people who said, "I'm not paying extra when I can just go jump in the crik."
    During the Great Depression, my grandpa and his family used to spend an entire month on a river island during the summer. They would load up a jon boat with everything they needed including the chickens. That's an entire month without a real bath.
  17. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    History is changing fast garbage in garbage out. Wow what a mistake it should be fast food in fast food in, get it sure you do. Great piece of MO History! Thank you
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