So-Called Dollars


Purpose: to celebrate 100th anniversary of Butterfield Overland Stage, which carried mail and passengers from Tipton, MO, then rail's end, to San Francisco; celebration included Tipton's own centennial.

Organization: Tipton Centennial Committee organized locally; financed by private contributions, sale of medals, souvenir programs and many centennial novelties. No direct governmental subsidies but U.S. Post Office Department and Missouri Pacific Railroad cooperated per Comments below.

Dates, Attendance: Sept. 13-20, 1958; attendance over 50,000.

Comment: It was on Sept. 16, 1858, for first time that old Pacific R. R., predecessor of present Missouri Pacific, brought mail from St. Louis and East to Tipton for handling to San Francisco via Butterfield Overland Stage. This 1958 week-long celebration included usual parades, ball, crowning of "Miss Centennial" and professionally staged pageant, "Tipton Overland Stage Days." With U.S. Government and Missouri Pacific cooperating, highlight was reenactment on Sept. 16 of transfer of mail from St. Louis train to "stagecoach" and departure of latter via old mail route to San Francisco. U.S. Post Office Department rebuilt mail bus for that purpose, designated same "H PO-1" (Highway Post Office No. 1); agreed to 24 overnight or "corral" stops en route; accompanied by Butterfield Stage, bus picked up mail in 200 towns, arrived San Francisco Oct. 10, 1958.

Medals: Official Medals authorized and sponsored by Centennial Committee; designed by G. L. Zimmerman; sold by S. T. Zimmerman. Issue limited to 1,000 oxidized Silver-plate and 2,500 "golden" Bronze; sold for $1.25 and $1, respectively.

Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Tipton, Missouri / 1858 / "From Train to Stage" / September 13-20 / 1958 / Centennial
Rev. Across center "Where the West Began"; above is an early model train proceeding l.; above Pacific Railroad (MOPAC); below center line is a stagecoach proceeding l., below Butterfield Overland Stage

HK-513 Silver-plate, oxidized. 33mm.
HK-514 Bronze.

HK-510 to HK-512