The Amon G. Carter, Jr. Family Collection, Part 2

In Part 1 of this story about the famous Amon G. Carter , Jr. Family collection, I spoke of the father, Amon G. Carter, Sr.  In this part I will tell of Amon, Jr.,  the man who maintained the collection of rare United States coins and currency — one of the finest numismatic collections formed in the 20th  century.

Amon G Carter, Jr. was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1919. His father gave him the nickname "Cowboy," as he was quick to learn and dedicated to any job he was given. Amon Jr. started collecting coins when very young, following his father’s instructions on how to build  a collection.  His father  would give him change to look through, pick out some missing dates and put them into one of several coin albums (or coin boards),  trying for a full collection of each series he collected. He learned about design, dates and mintmarks, and would improve his collection if he found a duplicate in change that was better than what he had. He would give the duplicates to his dad as "payment" for his newest finds.

Amon , Jr. began learning about work and money at the age of 10.  He started by selling newspapers (The Fort Worth Star Telegram) on a street corner in Fort Worth. It was the paper his father owned and Amon, Jr. would someday be the publisher.  He was aggressive in selling and established early morning routes about town while still maintaining top grades in school  Each night, before he would turn over the coins he got for the papers, he would go through his change to look for pieces he was missing.

He received his college education in business administration at the University of Texas from 1938 through 1941. In 1941 he entered the U.S. Army with the rank of Lieutenant with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky

In 1943 he was taken prisoner in Tunisia, shipped to Italy with other prisoners, transferred to Poland and later was a prisoner of  war in a camp outside of Berlin, remaining there till his release in 1945, a total of 27 months as a prisoner.

During this time he, as an officer, helped Allied troops who were also captured survive the life of a camp.  He started a collection to keep busy. Many soldiers kept themselves busy by accumulating currency — all devalued and . They started making "Short Snorters", by taking the notes they gathered and putting  them in rolls with paste. They liked to show off their "wealth" to other prisoners. Many were signed and autographed by their comrades, and could result in a noteworthy "collection " and souvenir from those they met during their stay.  Even in prison Amon was a Collector!

After his release, Amon Jr. received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service.

( The next part will relate to Amon, Jr.’s coming home, taking on his family responsibilities and renewing his interest in collecting.)


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