Great Pencil Collection
in 1969, The Gonzales Inquirer ran a feature story about a man named Claude
Hinton and his somewhat unique hobby. You see, Claude collected pencils ó over
5,000 of them.|
It seems that Hinton had a lot of help accumulating pencils,
once his family and friends heard about his hobby they begin to send him the wooden
and lead writing instruments every chance they had.
I wonder what ever
became of Claude Hinton's great pencil collection?
The following article
is complete and reproduced exactly as it appeared over 40 years ago.
Gonzales Inquirer ē Feb. 20, 1969
Claude Hinton, a native of the community
of Wrightsboro but
now a confirmed 'city slicker,' has a huge collection of pencils representing
every state in the union and many foreign countries at his home in the Rivercrest
section of Gonzales.
He has followed this hobby for many years, near 30 to be exact, his first coming
from the late Jake Stahl who presented him with a pencil that a salesman had given
to him back in 1940.
"Mr. Jake gave me the pencil because he never used
any but a real short one that he could stick in his pocket," said Hinton who took
the pencil home to begin an interesting hobby lasting into the years.
collection of over 5,000 pencils has proved quite a problem for the Gonzales
man who at one time had them displayed on a card on the walls of his home.
the pencils were exposed to the light, the inscriptions on some of them began
to fade, so the pencil collector had to take them down and find another way to
keep them as he continued adding to them day by day.
"Right now I have
them in a small barrel at home," he said, going on to say that if the number keeps
growing, he's going to have to find a bigger barrel, and perhaps a bigger house.
Since he was working with the public and since many salesmen visited his
place of business, Stahl Brothers, and later his own poultry firm, these friends
began to send him pencils they thought he'd like to add to his collection.
he was displaying pencils as long as 18 inches and about an inch in diameter to
small ones about the size of a slim match and a bit longer.
prize ones are 28 pencils that he received from Germany from Joe Rivera, an employee
of Stahl Brothers, while he was serving in the army during World
"I couldn't read a word on the inscription on the pencils,"
Hinton said, describing each one as ending with the same letters.
also has saved two beautiful pencils which were tied with a shipping tag, no wrappings,
and mailed from Philadelphia, Pa. by Buster Mohrmann while he was in the service
stationed in that city.
Another treasured pencil is shaped like a cigar
and is hard to identify as anything but a cigar. This was given him by J.R. Tinsley,
Sr., who received it from a candidate for sheriff of Wharton County. He also has
pencils which are topped with corn, autos, batteries, and baby chicks. He even
has pencils depicting bathing beauties.
Another pencil with a broom in
the top was sent to him by the late Loy[e] Lauraine who lost his life while serving
his country in the European Theatre during World
Loy[e] was the son of the late Dr. L.J. Lauraine and Mrs.
Lauraine, and the families were long-time friends.
Both his granddaughters
are always on the lookout for pencils to send to their grandfather. Shelly, 14,
is the daughter of Jim and Bessie Fay Gerst, while Mary is the 10-year-old daughter
of George and Ruth Randolph, all of Austin.
"If my friends didn't help I couldn't have collected as many pencils, and I am
grateful to them for thinking of me and sending me the pencils," said Hinton.
attended the Wrightsboro
schools along with his sisters and brothers, and like nearly every other student
in the school, enjoyed the walk home in the afternoon with some 20 others who
lived in the area.
And he probably wonders what in the world he would
have done with these pencils if he'd had them while attending school.
August 1, 2010 column