DescriptionZanesville, OH- Zanesville Market-House 50¢ Jan. 23, 1816
We have not offered a note from this issuer previously. Wolka lists this small change note as an R-8, his scarcest rating. This piece is far superior to the example pictured on page 967 of Wolka's Ohio reference book. Like that example, the denomination on this example is spelled out as "FIFTTY." The text in the panel at right states, "Just weights and measures- where all are supplied for their money." This 50¢ note was printed by Putnam & Clark.
Although some have theorized that these notes were issued by a partnership between merchants Craig & Houk based on some contemporary accounts, it would appear that the Market-House was actually a creation of local government. The roles that the three signers of the piece being offered played in local government would certainly add credence to it being a public facility and a number of groups were listed as having held meetings in the building.
According to the History of Muskingum County, Ohio by Everhart and Graham published in 1848, the Town Council met on June 5, 1814 and decided it would be beneficial to build a public market house, and shortly thereafter made an application to the County Commissioners requesting permission to build such a facility on the public square. Their request was denied and they instead decided to build the one-story structure on Market Street, east of Court Alley, at a cost of $150.
The note being offered bears three signatures rather than the two seen on some of the other issued pieces. John Houck was a tailor by profession and arrived in the area circa 1800. He served as constable and deputy sheriff and was the county collector from June 1825 to June 1826.
One of the other signatories, William Craig, was a carpenter and was also very involved in local and county government, including serving as clerk to the county commissioner from June 1812 to September 1814 and county collector from June 1817 to June 1818.
The third signature is that of Christian Spangler, who moved to Muskingum County in 1803 as a blacksmith. However, he would assume a number of roles over time. He was said to have been the "dignified official" who presided at the first wedding in Perry Township in the early 1800s as justice of the peace. Additionally, he represented Muskingum County in the Ohio Legislature in 1817, served as one of the first county commissioners, and was the county treasurer from October 1813 until June 1818.
The scarce 50¢ note being offered is an evenly circulated Very Good, with areas of embossing still evident. This rare note is one of several in this auction that is difficult to estimate due to its scarcity...
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