Ask Mark Parker Section

Vol. 32 Page 12

July, 1998

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Q. Mark, I dug this token at an old home site in Florida: "W. S. FANSHAWE & CO. POST TRADERS, FORT MEAD, D.T. GOOD FOR 15 IN MERCHANDISE." Could you possibly give me some info on it- date, rarity, value, etc.?

A. Well, for starters, it's a long way from home!  Fort Meade was situated on Bear Butte Creek in Dakota Territory, near what is now Sturgis, South Dakota.  Originally known as Camp Ruhlen, the post was established in 1878 and renamed shortly thereafter.  South Dakota was admitted to the union in1889; so, that means your find (if authentic) is 110-120 years old.  I don't have any information about W.S Fanshawe & Co.; however, at least four denominations of these tokens have been attributed to them: 15,25,50, and 100. All are extremely scarce, and I would expect a collector coveting yours to offer $1,300-$1,500+.