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Waldo C. Moore: Passionate Check Collector  

     Waldo C. Moore was a rare breed of collector.  He knew what being a serious check collector was all about.  Serious check collectors are passionate about their hobby.  Many of them think and breathe check collecting, and Waldo C. Moore diligently amassed one of the largest check collections in the history of the hobby.

     Waldo C. Moore was born in a small town called West Baltimore, Ohio, on July 23, 1874.  The town is now known as Verona.  His father and grandfather were construction workers.  His mother, Mary E. Snorf, married his father in 1872.  Waldo excelled in school, ranking second in the county for academic achievement.  Waldo attended Dayton Normal School and the Miami Commercial College in Dayton, Ohio.  In 1910, Waldo took a series of examinations and became a successful bookkeeper.  Moore and his Imogene operated a stock farm in Preble County, Ohio.  His 200-acre farm was one of the finest in the county.  Waldo worked as a banker for the Peoples Banking Company in Lewisburg, Ohio.

     Waldo C. Moore was an avid numismatist and philatelist.  His collections of rare coins, currency, and stamps were some of the largest and finest in America.  He specialized in memorabilia related to Ohio financial history.  Waldo also loved to share the extensive knowledge that only a serious collector accumulates.  He wrote over 130 articles and many poems regarding his collecting hobbies that appeared in The Numismatist.

     Many associations recognized Moore for his collecting interests.  In April 1915, Moore was appointed a trustee of the Ohio State Archeological and Historical Society by then Governor Willis.  In 1919, Waldo Moore was elected for a three-year term as president of the American Numismatic Association.

     His greatest fame is based on the autographed checks he received from a variety of famous people.  Moore sent famous people a request for an autographed bank check for one cent that was accompanied by his signed one-cent bearer note drawn on The Peoples Banking Company, Lewisburg, Ohio.  Moore sent this request to hundreds of celebrities and his appeal received a surprisingly large number of affirmative replies.  The one-cent bearer notes signed by Waldo C. Moore occasionally appear at auctions.  Some celebrities, including sharpshooter Annie Oakley, told Moore that she kept one of his one-cent checks in her scrapbook.

     Checks made out to Waldo C. Moore that were autographed by famous individuals are bought and sold among dealers and collectors.  For many collectors these checks remain one of the few reliable sources of a celebrity’s authentic autograph.  Check collectors find Moore’s style of check collecting especially appealing because autographs he received from celebrities were signed on the face of their own checks.  Checks with his most famous celebrity autographs are coveted by check collectors.  In 1999, an uncashed check made payable to Waldo C. Moore for one cent from Herbert Hoover sold at Christie's auction house in New York for $6,900.

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     Waldo Moore’s amazing and successful efforts to collect autographs on checks could never be duplicated in modern times for a number of reasons that include privacy concerns and the sheer number of autograph requests that are received by celebrities.  In the meantime, many check collectors are indebted to Waldo C. Moore for his dedication to check collecting and his celebrity-autographed checks that have been enjoyed and passed from one generation of check collectors to the next.

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