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The E-Sylum (9/1/2013)

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We had several responses from readers regarding the attribution of Lloyd Wagner's "mystery barbershop" token. Thanks! There was a lot of duplicate information, but I've edited it down for presentation here. -Editor

CROOKSHANKS Shave token obverse CROOKSHANKS Shave token reverse

John Mutch writes:

Ace L. Crookshanks is listed as a "barber - own shop" in the 1910 Census for the Jefferson District of Nicholas County, WV. Per the header on the Census page, he was living on "Twenty Mile Road" and not in an incorporated place. The 1900 Census lists an Add L. Crookshanks in the Grant District of Nicholas County, but he is shown with no occupation. Both of these listings appear to be for the same person as he was born about 1880 in WV.

The WV Death Index shows Asa L. Crookshank, a retired barber, who was born 13 Jul 1880 in Nicholas County, WV and died 3 Jul 1963 at Belle, Kanawha County, WV and was buried at Charleston, WV.

The WV Marriage Index shows Asa Lee Crookshanks was married in Nicholas (County), WV in 1909.

Asa Lee Crookshanks registered for the draft in 1918 and said that he was a self-employed barber in Chelyan, Kanawha County, WV.

The 1948 Charleston, WV City Directory shows Asa L. Crookshank working as a barber in Rose's Barber Shop.

As you can see, there are any number of variations in the spelling of his name, but I do believe that it was Asa Lee Crookshanks - that matches his signature on the draft registration.

It is entirely possible that he had this token purposely made as a maverick, knowing that he might be moving from place to place. It looks to me to date from 1900-1925, give or take. I'll defer the attribution of this token to David Schenkman, the WV Cataloger, but I'd think Chelyan would be a good choice.

And, Lloyd Wagner might be interested to know that there are several organizations (Token and Medal Society, National Association of Token Collectors, etc.) that have maverick lists. And, it would be a good thing for the hobby if he would post the pics of this token to

Eric Schena and Jerry Schaeper Jr also pointed out Richard Greever's site. -Editor

Jerry Schaeper Jr writes:

I should note that this is not listed in Dave Schenkman's fairly new catalogue West Virginia Merchant Tokens, so possibly he wasn't confident of the attribution, or the token info came to light very recently.

Richard Greever writes:

This is Asa Lee Crookshanks. Some information, including his occupation as barber, can be found here:

Born July 13, 1880 in Nicholas County, West Virginia

The 1900 Census shows him living in Nicholas County, West Virginia - no occupation is shown.

The 1910 Census shows him living in Nicholas County, West Virginia - barber/own shop.

His 1918 Draft Card shows him living in Chelyan, Kanawa County, West Virgina. He is a barber, working for himself.

Unable to locate in the 1920,30 or 40 census. His 1943 Draft Card shows his name as Ace L. Crookshanks and he is living in Belle, Kanawa County, West Virginia - place of employment is shown as Barber Shop

The West Virginia Duns would be the best option to trace where he was during which years. He obviously moved around as a barber between Nicholas and Kanawa Counties.

Asa passed away in 31 May 1963 in Belle, West Virginia.

Kay Olson Freeman writes:

Asa Lee Crookshanks was a barber in Nicholas County and Kanawha County, West Virginia.

  • Asa born July 13, 1880, Nicholas County, WV. Died May 31, 1963, age 82, Belle, Kanawah County, WV. Buried Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes, WV.
  • Asa was one of 9 children of William Madison Crookshanks (1852-1932) and Nancy Eveline Fitzwater (1856-1937).
  • Father was farmer and worked saw mill as did Asa's siblings. Everyone in family born West Virginia.
  • Asa married 1909, Nicholas County, WV - Sadie Mae/May Keith. They had 6 children.
  • 1900 US Census - Asa, age 19 - farm hand Grant District, Nicholas Ciunty, WV.
  • 1910 US Census, Asa, age 29, is barber with own shop Jefferson, Nicholas County, WV.
  • 1918 WWI Draft Registration: Asa is barber Chelyan, Kanawha County, WV.
  • 1920 US Census - barber in East Bank, Kanawha County, WV,
  • 1930 US Census - barber in Malden, Kanawaha County, WV.
  • 1942 WWII Draft Registration - barber living Belle, Kanawha County, WV.
  • 1948 Charleston, WV Directory - Rose's Barber Shop.
  • Crookshanks is a surname most commonly found in WV of all the States. Kanawha County is where the capital of WV, Charleston, is located; but Asa Lee Crookshanks always lives south of Charleston, WV.
  • Nicholas County neighbors Kanawha County.

I may have misplaced the email, but someone wrote to correct my statement that "a name like "A. L. Crookshanks" is likely to appear in one and only one town." Since merchants like Asa could reside in multiple towns over the course of their careers, although their name maybe unique, they could be associated with multiple towns. I stand corrected. Thanks. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: AUGUST 25, 2013 : Attribution Sought for Crookshanks Barbershop Token (

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