History of Minnesota Postal History Society

The Minnesota Postal History Society, prior to April 2011, was known by the following names:

  • Postal History Society of Minnesota – 1970s to March 2011
  • Minnesota Stamp Club – 1950s to 1970s
  • Minnesota Airmail Club – 1930s to 1940s

The club was first organized in the 1930s by Carl Becken.  By 1950, it was reorganized as the Minnesota Stamp Club. The Club met monthly wherever a free room was available and featured circuit books. The meetings also featured a quiz and the winner was responsible for putting together the next month’s quiz. The Minnesota Stamp Club has over 200 members at its peak.  It was the premiere stamp club in Minnesota.

Roy Spiller made a quiz on U.S. Presidents. For example:

  1. What stamp shows John Adams and Thomas jefferson standing on their heads? (1200)
  2. What President weighed more than three times as much as which other President? (Taft weighed over 300 pounds and Madison only 97 pounds)
  3. What President grew up speaking only a foreign language? (Van Buren – Dutch).

William “Willis” McDonald, a member of the Minnesota Stamp Club, kept agitating for a St. Paul meeting location.  When he finally got the meetings setup, only about seven persons attended. After several months, attendance was down to only three, so the meetings were transferred back to Minneapolis. By 1966 the club had an annual one-frame club-member exhibit on display for several weeks on the second floor of the Minneapolis Library (now demolished).  By the early 1970s, attendance was down to a turnout of only three and the head of the club, Roy Spiller, announced there would be no more meetings.

Over the next three or four years there was a lot of talk about reorganizing. In 1973 or 1974 about a dozen philatelists met in a restaurant in the Midway Area after a Twin Cities Philatelic Society meeting. It resulted in a reorganization of the Minnesota Stamp Club as a postal history club. They met at the YWCA (now demolished). The YWCA had a restaurant where members met for supper before the meeting. Later, Dick Rudolf found a new meeting location at the Lynnhurst Community Center.

The membership of the Postal History Society of Minnesota grew in the 70’s and 80’s peaking at over 60 in the early 90’s. Since then, the membership started declining as many members either moved away or died.

In April 2010, a Constitution and By-Laws was approved and the name changed to the Minnesota Postal History Society. The emphasis was placed on the postal history of Minnesota rather than postal history generally with the club being located in Minnesota.  The organization continued to meet at the Lynnhurst Community Center until the Center was forced to cut back its hours due to budget cuts. Starting with the December 2010 meeting, President Gary Anderson found a new meeting location at the Hennepin County Southdale Library in Edina. Currently the monthly gatherings have an informal business meeting, program, auction and show-and -tell segment.