Most of us find the Oregon Trail half dollar one of the best in the entire early commemorative coin series. I've probably owned two or three thru the years. This is one I just purchased: Here is how it all began: 1930 Association Logo. Courtesy of the “Idaho State Historical Society, Museum Collections.” ing the city of Washington. The three above are the "Articles of Incorporation." Courtesy of the “Idaho State Historical Society, Museum Collections.” Association "Prospectus." Courtesy of the “Idaho State Historical Society, Museum Collections.” A letter dated January 27, 1928 over the signature of Ezra Meeker in his capacity as president of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association. The letter details Meeker's commitment to preserving the history of the Oregon Trail, and it also served as a venue for promoting the sale of Oregon Trail Memorial Halves. Courtesy Stacks Bowers Galleries. Ezra Eliza Meeker in 1921. American Oregon Trail pioneer and Writer (1830-1928). Oregon Trail Memorial Association, Inc. Bulletin No. 4 “On May 17, 1926, President Coolidge signed the Bill authorizing the minting of 6,000,000 fifty-cent Oregon Trail Memorial silver coins. These are to be sold at $1 each, the difference between their face value and selling price to be used to carry out the objects of this Incorporation, which are briefly stated as follows: To search out, identify, suitably and permanently mark the line of the Oregon Trail, in so far as possible at this time, with or without visible marks of the old tracks. To erect suitable monuments or memorials on or nearby the sites of historical forts, trading posts or other important landmarks along the Trail, such as Fort Kearney, Fort Laramie, Fort Hall, Fort Bridger, and any others of distinct historical interest. to restore the Whitman Mission in the County of Walla Walla, State of Washington, as the same existed at the date of the massacre, November 27, 1847; to establish, or promote the establishment of, a park or other memorial to appropriately commemorate the sacrifice of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, and the other victims of that historic tragedy; also to identify other localities where massacres are known to have taken place, and to suitably mark them. to promote, encourage or portray in moving pictures, vividly recording the historic scenes on the great emigration over the Oregon Trail, with a reproduction of the characteristic scenery along the route, for the purpose of teaching exact and truthful history to the schools of the nation. to collect and preserve written accounts, objects of interest and other things pertaining to the history of the winning of the Pacific Northwest; to deposit same with the historical societies, preferably in the States where found, or to designate a museum or museums to preserve such records, relics or objects of interest as may be donated or otherwise acquired; and erect a suitable memorial to the Pioneers, most appropriately in the City of Washington. Among the men who have become personally identified with this movement are Ezra Meeker, Edmund Seymour, Caspar W. Hodgson, Rev. David G. Wylie, D.D., LL.D., Charles H. Davis, president of the National Highways Association, Palmer Rogers, M.S. Garretson, Chauncey M. Depew, Guthrie Y. Barber, Rev. H.L. Bowlby, D.D., Robert W. de Forest and several United States Senators and members of the House of Representatives. After a through investigation, both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the Bill, which, with the signature of the President, stamped the approval of the government on the objects of this Association and the methods to be employed. All interested in the success of the great work thus undertaken are requested to file their orders for coins, either with the Association, 18 Old Slip, New York City, or (preferably) with their local banks, at the earliest convenient date. The first move after the signing of the Bill was to select a design, and provide for making the dies, all of which are now under contract at of cost of about $2,800, preliminary to minting the coins. We have been fortunate in securing two of the most eminent sculptors and medalists in the United States, Mr. J.E. Fraser and his wife, Laura Gardin Fraser, a no less distinguished medalist than her husband. Never before has a coin been the joint product of a man’s idea and handiwork on one side, and a woman’s design and craftsmanship on the obverse-something which appeals to the imagination! A covered wagon of the period of 1843-58 is shown moving slowly westward, carrying a pioneer mother with child in arms; a stalwart pioneer beside the ox-team represents a phase of American history now rapidly passing from the memories of living men. On the obverse is the outline map of the Trail, and superimposed upon it, the figure of an Indian with uplifted hands as if to stay the westward progress of the white race, suggesting the tragedy the long line of emigration was to the red man.”1 1 Oregon Trail Memorial Association, Inc., Bulletin No. 4, From the Fraser Papers, National Cowboy Museum, Dickenson Research Center. Much more to follow.