Business owner finds a bit of unique Brookhaven history

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, December 3, 2020

A Brookhaven man has added a piece of history to his personal collection.

Guy Orr, owner of Southern Pawn on North Whitworth Avenue, collects antique money and coins. One could say it comes with the job.

He said he found a $10 bill at an estate sale about six months ago.

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“I go to estate sales sometimes and I found this at a local estate sale,” Orr said.

He saw a collection of money and coins at the sale and came across the note in question. Orr purchased the bill from the collection on its own.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’ve never seen a note like this,” Orr said. “The estate sale guy has been doing this for 34 years and he said he’s never seen one like this either.”

The bill was produced in the early 20th century. It was considered a national currency and was secured by the United States Bond. This bill has three different security numbers attached to it. American currency today generally only has one security number.

The bill appeared to have been cut out from a printed sheet by hand.

“It wasn’t automated like it is now,” Orr said.

The date reads Feb. 17, 1914. The bill features former president William McKinley on the front and a picture of a woman on the back.

It originally came from First National Bank of Brookhaven and was signed by Mr. C. S. Butterfield, the bank president at the time.

Orr said he purchased the bill because of the local ties and how it was signed by the original owner of Butterfield mansion.

“I always as a child remember the Butterfield mansion, that’s what pulled me to it,” Orr said. “I’ve never even seen one like this. I’ve seen places such as Dallas and Washington D.C. on bills like this, but not somewhere as small as Brookhaven.”

For Orr, this piece of money is personal. Orr said he knew the man who owned Butterfield mansion before the current owners.

“I got a little connection to it from him letting me go in there and look around,” Orr said. “I enjoyed exploring the passage ways and the basement of the house.”

Orr said this piece is special to him because of the local ties it has.

“I’ve always loved my little hometown, and I’ve always liked it here,” Orr said. “It’s just a neat piece of old Brookhaven and it’s important to me. I do feel a stronger bond to Brookhaven because of it.”