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Auditor's Duck Stamp

Image1.jpgThe thing about some cinderellas is that without one, just one, piece of information, we might never know the story behind a stamp. Take the case of a stamp showing a man in hat and topcoat feeding geese by hand. The stamp is captioned "Sam G. Anderson" "Memorial" and in circles in the bottom corners, "25 cents".The artwork style reminds us of the 1930s or 40s.The stamp is in a dark blue violet color similar to stamps from that time period, but the size is not postage stamp sized, rather it reminds us of the format of duck stamps, first issued for the 1934-35 hunting season.

With cinderellas, it is wise to have clipping files. You may not have information about every stamp that comes by, but now and again, you get lucky. Digging through a banker box of unorganized clippings we have accumulated over the years, we found a newspaper clipping, undated and unnamed, telling the story of "The Auditor's Duck Stamp." The clipping appears to have come from a local newspaper rather than the philatelic press and seems to be concurrent with the date of the stamp. It tells us, incompletely since we don't have a date or a publication name for this article, the background for this fund-raising stamp.

In 1935 in Hutchinson, Minnesota, a well-known wildlife preservationist named Sam G. Anderson died. He had created a wildlife sanctuary on his property and to preserve this sanctuary an organization was founded in his name. To fund this memorial to Mr. Anderson, stamps were created and distributed to the county auditors of Minnesota to be placed on voluntary sale when hunters purchased their hunting licenses. Every county auditor agreed to sell the stamps, at 25 cents each, in order to raise the $25,000 needed to keep the sanctuary in operation.

Other sportsmen's clubs and individuals also contributed to the fund and it was apparently successful, because a web search found the Sam G. Anderson Memorial Association and the Anderson Hill Wild Life Sanctuary in Hutchinson, Minnesota, although there was no mention of the memorial stamp.If somewhere in the past seventy years, that small scrap of paper with the newspaper article, had been lost or thrown away, we might never know about a man devoted to the wild life of Minnesota and the hunters and county auditors who worked to preserve the legacy he left.

There's always a story, if you're lucky enough to have it preserved for you.

This column first appeared in Scott Stamp Monthly and has been edited for online presentation.
This page was last updated July 7, 2016.
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