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Thread: Ft. White Florida Token?? Good for 50 cents...What is it?

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  1. #1
    us
    Digger of Dirt

    Mar 2010
    Lee county georgia
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    Ft. White Florida Token?? Good for 50 cents...What is it?

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ID:	1075178Found this little guy at an old homesite in south georgia. What kind of token is this?
    cambria09 and diggummup like this.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Diggin up TEXAS!

    Sep 2009
    Fort Worth,Texas
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    That Name JW Chiles seems to be related to Plants or something when you google it. All in the same area. North Central Florida, Georgia

  3. #3
    us
    Digger of Dirt

    Mar 2010
    Lee county georgia
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    I noticed that also! I saw Phosphate Fertilizer plants. I cannot find this token in any token website...

  4. #4
    us
    Oct 2014
    florida
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    Nice token. Fort White is in Columbia County, just North of Gainesville. JW Chiles owned and ran a large phosphate mine on his property there from as early as the 1890s up until at least 1904. The token may very well be a company store token, that would be my best guess.
    wayfas4u and diggummup like this.

  5. #5
    us
    Digger of Dirt

    Mar 2010
    Lee county georgia
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    Thanks villagenut, I find that very interesting! I dug the token at an old abandoned 2 story house that dates back to about 1890. House is still standing but falling apart.....

  6. #6
    us
    Mar 2010
    Southwest Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayfas4u View Post
    Thanks villagenut, I find that very interesting! I dug the token at an old abandoned 2 story house that dates back to about 1890. House is still standing but falling apart.....
    And, you didn't take me?! Ya hurt me big guy!
    wayfas4u likes this.

  7. #7

    Aug 2003
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    Nice token! Joseph Wiggins Chiles (1845-21 Feb 1923) did have a phosphate operation at Fort White. And, apparently, a general store in which the token was used. It is quite possible that the token was used in both of the two usual methods: in a company store scenario, workers in his phosphate mine could draw advances against their pay in the form of these tokens which they could spend at the store - the other scenario is where the store would buy butter, eggs, and other produce from area farmers and pay them in tokens which could then be spent at the store. There probably were also 5˘, 10˘, 25˘, and $1 denominations used as well. This token is not shown in the 1980 Florida Trade Tokens book and it is not on TokenCatalog.com. I'd encourage you to post your pics on that site (pm me if you'd like me to post them).
    John in the Great 208

  8. #8
    us
    Digger of Dirt

    Mar 2010
    Lee county georgia
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    Great info Idahotokens!!!!!!!!! I will post it on tokencatalog! Thanks for your help! Neat stuff huh?

  9. #9

    Aug 2003
    2,071
    1024 times
    Great! Thanks! Can you tell whether it is brass or aluminum?
    John
    Fort White, Florida, U.S.A.
    ? R 22
    [CA5]
    J.W. / CHILES / FT. WHITE, FLA.
    GOOD FOR / 50˘ / IN / M'D'SE ONLY
    Contributed by: wayfas4u

  10. #10
    us
    Digger of Dirt

    Mar 2010
    Lee county georgia
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    It's lightweight like aluminum, but strong enough that I can't bend with my hands. I'm gonna get a second opionion tomorrow at work. Interesting that I can't find a similar token like this from that timeframe.

  11. #11

    Aug 2003
    2,071
    1024 times
    How about this one?

    assuming it is the reverse design you are asking about. Or, what do you mean "similar token"? From the same issuer? Or general store tokens? Or?
    John

  12. #12
    us
    Digger of Dirt

    Mar 2010
    Lee county georgia
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    I mean from the same issuer.....this one looks just like mine. Mine is definitely aluminum. What year do you think these are? Around 1900?

  13. #13

    Aug 2003
    2,071
    1024 times
    OIC - well in the token-collecting hobby it is not at all unusual for "only one" or just a few to be known. When a specific token order was placed, the merchant and his salesman (if the transaction was done in person) usually ordered 100, 500, or maybe 1000 of a given denomination, and not all denominations were necessarily ordered. Any more than that was unusual for a general store. Then, when the business closed or changed hands, whatever quantity that was still at the store was usually destroyed. Ones that were out in circulation may or may not have been honored by the owner or his successor, and then they were destroyed. So it may be years (if ever) before another token from this particular business comes up. Since it was not listed in the standard FL token reference which involved a lot of effort by the author and his network of friends to discover every FL token, this is a case where tokens from the issuer are downright rare. But, don't necessarily confuse rarity with value. Value is based on the law of supply and demand. The supply is low, but the demand might not be too high - I don't know the "market" for FL tokens to tell.

    On when it was used - aluminum became popular for general store tokens around 1910 and, since Chiles died in 1923, I'd estimate a date of 1915 for yours. But to determine more exactly, some research in the local records would have to be done to see if the store branch of Chiles' operation could be dated. That info may be hidden in the local news section of an area newspaper. Tough to find!

    John in the Great 208
    Quote Originally Posted by wayfas4u View Post
    I mean from the same issuer.....this one looks just like mine. Mine is definitely aluminum. What year do you think these are? Around 1900?

  14. #14
    us
    Jun 2012
    Florida
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    Hello wayfas4u. Tokens are always great to find and that is a nice oldie especially since it may have doubled as company script. Hope you can go back and find more. Good luck. C9
    wayfas4u likes this.

  15. #15
    us
    Digger of Dirt

    Mar 2010
    Lee county georgia
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    Thank you for the excellent information idahotokens! I enjoy learning new stuff especially the items I dig up while metal detecting! I certainly appreciate you sir!
    idahotokens likes this.

 

 
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