Stock Certificate Story Continued….

Do you remember last week I told you about the stock certificate that I found in the cigar box?

This one…..

I have to admit…I was pretty excited when I found it.  Imagine.  $38,000 for a cigar box that I didn’t even pay a dollar for.  AH…Could it be?

I talked to a few friends.  No one really knew what to do with it.  After some talking Hubby and I decided to talk to the lawyer who was working with the estate.  We didn’t know who it was but after a couple phone calls, we figured it out.

From there the lawyer said there was no way she could help us as the name on the certificate was not the name of the person who owned the estate.  She recommended that we call a person who was on the board.

We did and started getting a bit of a run around.  The person was vague…said it wasn’t worth anything…Then I said that I would need proof in writing before I was satisfied.

I told the stock number, the name on the stock and that is was issued in 1926.

The man told me that there is no way that the stock is good as the company went through changes in 1953.  He was sure this stock was nothing.   Again, I told him that was okay…but I did feel as I had the right to see it in writing.  He told me he would check.

He called back 20 minutes later and told me he didn’t have the records at his home where he was calling from and I would need to talk to him the next day when he was in the office.

It is so hard with childcare kiddos to call anywhere.  Kalissa happened to stop over and I put her in charge of the kids and started making calls.  I passed along the info.  After a back and forth of texts and phone calls we came to this conclusion.  The stock in my possesion was bought by J.H. Pieper in October of 1926.  He paid $35 for it.

After some research the guy found this…..

It says the original certificate was lost or misplaced.  A new copy was issued in 1953 when the company went through some restructuring.

This all means my stock is worth a sum total of nothing (well actually, two good blog posts).

It was fun and interesting.  I have to say, I had already planned in my mind how I was going to spend the money.  My plan was to send a roll of batting to all the charity quilters.  Bummer.  Looks like you aren’t going to get batting and I’m no going to get to pay down my house note.  Oh well…it was fun while it lasted.

14 thoughts on “Stock Certificate Story Continued….”

  1. I really enjoyed all the story. Even shared with my husband since he used to do a lot of auctions and garage sales. I still wonder about the $38,000 paid. You might offer a significant commission to the auctioneer to get him involved in contacting the buyer and seeing if the buyer has any interest? There had to be two people at least bidding against one another to get that price so maybe?????

  2. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    I think I would have that certificate framed and hung in my sewing room, or garage, as a memory. Thanks for the journey. Speaking of charity sewers. I have a box of 12 1/2″ squares, Would anyone like them?

  3. There is an aftermarket for the certificates themselves, rather than the shares they represent. The more ornate the certificate, and the better shape the paper is in, the higher the value to collectors. An auction house that deals in things like stamp collections or autographs might be a place to ask. If it were me, I’d do my best to clean up the certificate and frame is using acid-free materials (acid degrades paper). Then hang it somewhere and smile when you see it.

  4. A wonderful story with a bit of local history. Imagine how proud the original owner was to have been able to purchase this certificate. Perhaps you could find a vintage/era frame, frame it and then put it with your items for sale. Estates generally have a variety of interesting things that tell the story of the life of the deceased. They are always filled with treasures. Some more valuable than others. All have a backstory. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Cheryl in Dallas


    Mr. Pieper paid $35 for that stock in 1926?!!!! That was a fortune in those days. You have a wonderful piece of history.

    I’m kinda glad the story turned out this way. I was worried that fame and fortune might make you forget about us little folks, all of your loving admirers.

    P. S. We demand a blog article by Karl regarding his adventures in Houston!

  6. Carol-I teach quilting to middle school kids on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. We could use the 12 1/2 inch squares.
    Hmm, I think I got a bond for high school graduation–wonder where that is and if it is worth anything now???
    Great story!

  7. I can’t read the second piece of paper that might explain it, but I’m shocked it has no value. The company is still viable and there are articles about it going solar. Both blogs were great reads, however, and I was waiting for the follow-up. I agree, get it framed.

  8. That was a great story, but sad that it didn’t have a better ending. Every time I buy a lottery ticket, in my mind the money is spent. That is, until I see the winning numbers and see that my ticket doesn’t have a one of those numbers. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Stephani in N. TX

    So, you got a piece of history from your area of the country. Wonder what is worth more, a slice of history or money (OK a great deal of money would win out.) I grew up in NJ in a Dutch farmhouse built in 1777. I would choose history every time. Just finished some shopping at Walmart for holiday food and picked up a Quilts and More. A surprise feature was a quilt designed by yourself and Kelli. Great treat. Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. Also, when going through papers of deceased parents, ALWAYS check by calling on old insurance policies. I had been holding onto some old papers if my mom and came across 2 really old Prudential insurance policies. Thonk8ng that they were worthless, I almost through them out. But then I thought “what have I got to lose?” So I called Prudential. I could have thrown away nearly $10,000. It never hurts to call. It was a wonderful surprise for me. The one was so old, my mom was paying about $1 a week from the 1950s until it was paid up. It never hurts to call.

  11. Sorry to hear your stock had no monetary value but you did right to check. My father passed away 5 years ago and Mom had Alzheimer’s so things were a bit muddled when Mom went into a nursing home where she passed last fall. My sister was power of attorney and I was the second. I was able to take the time off from work to clear out the house so ended up taking home a lock box that we couldn’t find the key to. Oddly enough, ours fit it. I found 4 out of 5 children’s original birth certificates (none of them had a copy), insurance policies papers on both parents and 3 children, and a (get this) stock certificate to the local telephone service dated in the 1930’s also. Our ending was a bit happier; one insurance policy paid a small sum and after a lot of run around; the stock certificate was worth almost $2000. The company said it was worthless, then they said some of the stock certificates had a little value but most people just donated them back to the company. By this time and a number of calls, my sister was a little peeved so she asked “just how little” was it worth. After a little more hemming and hawing, they admitted what it was worth and sister said to make the check out to the estate. It took months for them to issue them to issue the check and held up the closing of the estate for a couple of months. We just couldn’t believe the run around and hassles the company gave us.

  12. I agree with several of the others, I would smooth it out and frame it! It’s pretty and will remind you that there’s always room to dream. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs to you, Janine Baker

  13. What a wonderful adventure you have been on with that Stock Certificate! I know that local libraries can be a big help with researching old stocks and they do it for free. It might be worth a second look and yes some of them can be worth some money to those that collect old ones. Your telephone company is still in business and checking with the someone else besides the company itself might be worth the hunt. Hope Karl has a safe journey back to Texas.

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