02/22/2011 (P1685)
Contact: Ken Martin

Bauer, Schimmer, Welch Join APS Hall of Fame

A trio of exemplars of the stamp hobby —William H. Bauer, Karl Heinz Schimmer, and William Lee Welch Jr.— have been added to the distinguished ranks of the American Philatelic Society’s Hall of Fame.

Established in 1940, the APS Hall of Fame honors deceased philatelists who have made outstanding contributions, just as the APS Luff Award honors outstanding living philatelists. The first fifteen members of the APS Hall of Fame were elected at the Society’s 1941 Convention, chosen from a list of 44 nominees drawn up by the Hall of Fame Committee. From 1942 until 1988, three members could be elected annually. In 1989 new rules allowed the election of one additional long deceased philatelist. Nominees are chosen based on their outstanding contributions to the advancement of national or international philately.

Each year the Hall of Fame Committee selects nominees, and reports its recommendations to the APS President along with documentation. The APS Board of Directors then elects the new Hall of Fame members.

William H. Bauer (1934–2009)
A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Bill Bauer obtained his Master’s Degree from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. A stamp collector since childhood, he fell in love with Colorado Postal History, which became his lifetime pursuit as a serious philatelist. He spent his working life as a geologist for the Standard Oil Company (later AMOCO), relocating many times to sites across the country.

Bauer was deeply involved in organized philately and, in the 1970s, most especially with the Crescent City Stamp Club in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he served as president and co-organizer of Nopex, the CCSC’s national stamp show. While in New Orleans, Bauer joined with fellow New Orleans collectors Henry Frenkle and Hubert Skinner to be elected as one of the three members of the American Philatelic Society Board of Vice Presidents. In 1981 and 1983, Bauer was twice elected president of the APS. In 1986, he was one of the seven members of the founding council of the newly-organized American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors. He had been one of the original group of APS accredited judges in 1971 when the accreditation program began. He was instrumental in compiling and writing all editions of the APS Manual of Philatelic Judging. He traveled throughout the world judging national and international exhibitions.

Bauer’s love of philatelic literature translated into his devotion to the American Philatelic Research Library where he was a founding member, a trustee for twelve years, and a Daniel Vooys Fellow. While pursuing his interest in Colorado postal history he became a founding supporter of the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library and the Colorado Postal History Society.

In 1987 Bauer received the John N. Luff Award for outstanding service to the APS, the highest honor given by the APS to living collectors. With close friends, Jim Ozment and Jack Willard, Bauer collaborated in publishing the definitive book, The Post Offices of Colorado, in 1971; a second edition was published in 1989. Prior to his death, Bauer had nearly completed work on an exhaustive history of the Colorado Postal System, the culmination of countless trips to past and present post office sites throughout the state.

Karl Heinz Schimmer M.D. (1922–2008)
One of the great authorities on the philately of Mexico, Karl H. Schimmer grew up in Germany where he became an anesthesiologist and, at the end of World War II, a translator for the U.S. Army. Emigrating to the United States in 1953, Schimmer became deeply involved for the rest of his life in Northern California philately.

Beginning in the early 1960s, he developed advanced collections of the stamps and postal history of the 1868 and 1872 issues of Mexico while also focusing on the Hidalgo Medallions, Large Numerals, the Mulitas, the 1899–1903 issues, and Porte de Mar. A life member and past president (1976) of the Mexico-Elmhurst Philatelic Society International (MEPSI), he wrote more than sixty articles and books, the latter including The Postmarks of Mexico 1874–1900 (1977), The Cancellations of Mexico 1856–1874 (1983), and 1895–1899 Mail Transportation Issue of Mexico (1995). Along with co-author John Heath, he wrote the monumental Mexican Maritime Mail: A Postal History from Colonial Times to the 20th Century (1997).

Schimmer received the APS John N. Luff Award for distinguished philatelic research in 1988 and was admitted to the International MEPSI Hall of Fame. Other awards include the MEPSI Distinguished Service Award, the Irwin Heiman Award for Philatelic Research, and the Heinz Messtorff Award for Outstanding Contributions to Mexican Philately. Schimmer was chairman of the MEPSI Expert Committee and its first chairman of the board (1980). He was a member and past president of the Collectors Club of San Francisco, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society, London, and a Deputy Sheriff of the Arizona Philatelic Rangers.

Schimmer also successfully exhibited many philatelic exhibits winning Gold medals at many national and international shows over a 35-year span.

William Lee Welch Jr. (1941–2009)
William L. “Bill” Welch edited The American Philatelist from 1985 to 2001, during which time he improved the magazine’s design, use of color, and diversity of articles and authors. At Capex 1996 the journal was the first one to receive a Gold medal at a comprehensive FIP exhibition. The honor was repeated at Pacific 97.

Bill was a founding member and trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library and edited its quarterly journal, Philatelic Literature Review, from 1986 to 2001. With the help of Gini Horn he organized the International Philatelic Libraries Association. He worked for many years with L.N. Williams to revise, update, and publish as a book the formerly serialized Fundamentals of Philately (1909) written by the Williams brothers. Similarly he supervised the editing, serialization, and republication in book form of The Serrane Guide: Stamp Forgeries of the World (1998).

In his own area of Central and South America collecting, Bill Welch co-founded the International Seebeck Study Group and edited its journal The Seebecker. He also founded the Peru Study Circle and edited its journal El Trencito. He helped organize the APS Summer Seminars in Philately and taught several of its courses. Welch was elected to the Writers Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Luff award for outstanding service to the APS in 2002.

After graduating from Pennsylvania State University he joined the Centre Daily Times daily newspaper where he rose to executive editor and acting general manager before retiring in 1985. Bill Welch was elected mayor of State College in 1994 and served in that office until his death.