Paul Endler

“We’ve never had anything here that’s generated as much interest. We’ve had the 1804 dollar and the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, and this coin (the Mystery Cent); it got much more publicity than either of them. We didn’t even get this much publicity when we had a billion dollar display of currency with a portable press printing $1 bills.” 
-R. Paul Endler, 1987, COINage Magazine

Paul Endler of Fresno’s Numismatic Society served as officer and board member and also handled publicity for several of the Society’s coin shows. Endler also served as General Chairman of various state functions and was known for the informative stories about the Mystery Cent that he shared with Margo Russell, managing editor of Coin World.

Two of Endler’s news articles for Margo Russell about the Cent can be viewed in the Mystery Cent Museum on the panel entitled, “The Coin Shows Respond.”

Endler is the person who convinced Wilkins to unveil the Lincoln Mystery Cent at Fresno’s 1972 Coin & Stamp Show. He was also responsible for some other key elements in the Coin’s Legacy.

The “Endler Edition” is a limited edition print series, named in honor of Endler for his suggestion of canceling the stamps Wilkins had added to ten of the signed and numbered prints of the Mr. Lincoln painting. On the day the Mystery Cent officially debuted (July 15, 1972) Wilkins had bought some Lincoln postage stamps. He then affixed them to the top of ten of the signed, numbered Mr. Lincoln prints. Wilkins wanted to memorialize the day’s event by creating a collectable piece of art encompassing the Numismatic, Philatelic and Lithographic categories all in one. Impressed, Endler suggested that Richard L. Bier (a fellow club member of Paul’s who was a supervisor at the Post Office) might be willing to take them over to the post office and get the stamps cancelled with the date. Bier agreed and at 5 P.M. on July 15th the “Endler Edition” print was officially created. (In those days, the Fresno Post Office was closed on Saturdays – which made this feat all the more special)

Another Endler contribution involves a chain of events with the Director of the US Mint. Endler mentioned to Wilkins that Everett Phillips, President of the California Numismatic Society was going to San Francisco to attend a major gala dinner celebrating the reopening of the Historic San Francisco Mint. Phillips then offered to save Wilkins the seven-hour drive and pick up the Mystery Cent for him which was arriving (from Ohio) that evening at the SF Airport. During dinner that evening, after picking up the coin for Wilkins, Phillips was seated next to the Director. Upon seeing the Coin, Mary T. Brooks- Director of the U. S. Mint and Roy Cahoon-Assistant Director, voluntarily autographed the Mystery Cent’s 2” x 2” paper coin holder. However, that innocent act by Ms. Brooks and Mr. Cahoon turned into a real barn burner.

Paul Endler was a great inspiration and is an icon of the Mystery Cent’s Legacy.