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PAGE 28

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By Jerry Adams

Copyright 1998, all rights reserved

The token:

Good for One Dollar / on Any / Suit Bought of / The / A. B. Miller / Tailoring / Co. / 908 Main St. , Fort Worth, Tex.

The Whitehouse / (north elevation of Whitehouse) / Pres. of U. S. Residence

Aluminum –round – 44mm (circa: 1907, estimated value: $60)

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Simple research in Fort Worth city directories has shown this business to have been listed in 1907, at 112 West 9th Street. The proprietor’s name was Adrian B. Miller. Why Mr. Miller chose to have the Whitehouse (the residence of the President of the United States) shown on the reverse of his token, can never be known for sure. Perhaps he was politically active. A more likely explanation, however, is that he was smitten by the heroic charisma of President Teddy Roosevelt.

President Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to visit Fort Worth, on the morning of April 8, 1905, President Roosevelt stopped in Ft. Worth and gave a speech in front of the MKT depot, and planted a tree in front of the library. He was returning from a reunion with the Rough Riders in San Antonio when this stop was made.

A Brief History of the White House

The original design of the White House dates to 1792, when James Hoban (a Charleston architect) won a competition for the design, which netted him a gold medal worth $500. Thomas Jefferson had submitted a design anonymously, but lost. Construction on the White House began immediately, but it was still unfinished in November of 1800, when President Adams and family moved in. In 1807, Jefferson added a low combination terrace-pavilion on either side of the main building.

In 1814, the invading British army set fire to the White House, but a drenching rain from a thunderstorm put out the fire before the structure was consumed. In 1815, while President Madison lived in the Octagon House, the White House was restored, and legend has it that the charred ruins were painted white at this time, and thus the White House name. It is also said, that the White House name pre-dated 1812, and no one is quite sure which is correct.

Other improvements to the White House occurred, in 1829 when the north portico was added, and in 1848 when gaslight was added. By 1853, city water was supplied to the house, and about 1878, bathrooms were added. Electrical service was provided about 1890, and in 1902, extensive remodeling occurred.

During the Truman administration, between 1949 and 1952, much of the house was found to be structurally unsound, and with the exterior walls left standing, the interior was removed and structural steel framing was used to replace the original wood.

Epilogue

The collecting of trade tokens, which show historical buildings, led me to acquire this token. Regardless of your political persuassion, the importance of the office of the President, and the history of the residence of the President of the United States stirs emotions of patriotism.  The collecting of tokens which show historic buildings, is one specialty collection of trade tokens which may lack wide appeal.  However, your own personal experiences can lead you to form your own specialty collection of tokens, which reflect your interests.

 

References: "A guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C." by the American Institute of Architects, 1965; "Fort Worth Texasmost" by Ron Tyler.

 

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updated 5 feb 2000