2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

Donna O’Keefe Houseman

Donna O’Keefe Houseman celebrated forty-five years with Amos Media this year. During her decades of professional editing, reporting, and writing for the stamp-hobby media, she has experienced a shift from handwriting and typewriters to computers and texts. She has witnessed publishing shifts in formats and increased online outreach. Through all those changes, she has provided engaging and relevant content. As a master of the Associated Press Stylebook, she ensures integrity for the philatelic message. Her body of work has reached nearly every American stamp collector and dealer.

Currently, Donna is editorial director for the Amos Media stamp group, consisting of Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott postage stamp catalogs, which include the six-volume, worldwide Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers and the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940. She is the lead editor of the latter title. She developed and edited the Linn’s Handbook series and was instrumental in the development of Linns.com and ZillionsofStamps.com.

Among her most rewarding philatelic editing projects were serving as editor of Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbooks, Linn’s Handbook series and more than fifty books where she worked with notable philatelic writers, including George Amick, Michael Baadke, Dick Graham, Ken Lawrence, Steve Rod and others. Donna shared that she “enjoyed writing Linn’s ‘Philatelic Gems’ columns on the world’s most intriguing and rarest stamps, a compilation of the columns resulted in a five-volume set of books titled Philatelic Gems.” The pride in her work is evident as she reports that she is “privileged to serve as editor of the most respected worldwide stamp catalogs, the Scott catalogs, and to work with a team of talented and well-respected editors in Linn’s and Scott.” She is grateful to Michael Laurence, former editor-publisher of Linn’s, for his guidance and for challenging her.

Donna is a passionate collector of the stamps of Ireland, County Cork postal history and stampless covers and Great Britain stamps used in Ireland. She is married to husband Rick and enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, watching basketball and walking with her poodle.

Patricia A. Kaufmann

Patricia A. Kaufmann, a professional stamp dealer, is currently chair of the Board of Vice-Presidents of the American Philatelic Society. As an author and editor, she has excelled in promoting Confederate philately. For seventeen years, she served as co-editor and editor of The Confederate Philatelist and as editor-in-chief of the Grand Award winning Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Stamps and Postal History. Her prolific research and publications have made her an esteemed spokesperson for Confederate postal history.

To the benefit of her readers, Trish masterfully blends history and philately. A lifelong collector and storyteller, she loves to uncover the hidden stories and human interest connections from postal covers. “Human-interest stories,” she explains, “attract both Confederate specialists as well as others who simply love history and might consider taking up Confederate postal history as a new area. Serious philatelic research is very important to me as well—both stamp nuances and new discoveries in postal history. I find that being a dealer is very beneficial to that end, in that I see more material than the average collector and my network is large.” She continues, “The most seemingly mundane example suddenly comes alive, speaking to us from the past.”

Trish has been section editor of The Confederate Stampless Cover Catalog. In addition, she has contributed to the 1986 New Dietz Confederate States Catalog and annual updates of the Scott Specialized Catalogue. She has written hundreds of philatelic research articles for The American Philatelist, The American Stamp Dealer and Collector, The Confederate Philatelist, The Congress Book, Kelleher’s Stamp Collectors Connection, La Posta, Smithsonian Magazine, Way Markings, The SPA Journal, National Postal Museum’s Arago online data base collection and other publications. Trish’s definitive published research on the 3-cent 1861 Postmaster Provisionals resulted in an entirely new Confederate section beginning with the 2000 Scott Specialized Catalogue and the CSA Catalog.

She has received the August Dietz Award for research and writing twice. In 2015, she received the CP (Confederate Philatelist) Writers’ Award for the best article. She has won numerous exhibitor awards, including Grand and Reserve Grand Awards in national philatelic competitions for her Confederate and Classic Valentine collections. In 2016, she received the Elizabeth Pope Award for Lifetime Contributions to Philately.

Trish has held many positions in both professional and volunteer philately, including auctioneer, President of the Confederate Stamp Alliance, Chair of the APS Dealer Advisory Council, and member of APS committees, the CSA Authentication Service, Council of Postal Collectors and Council of Philatelists.

In addition to philately, Trish enjoys scuba diving, choral singing and church leadership roles. She is married to Capt. Darryl Boyer.

Robert Leslie Markovits

Throughout his life, Robert Leslie Markovits (1937-2015) researched and regularly published philatelic articles. He was both an attorney and stamp dealer (Quality Investors Ltd), and at one time, Bob even had worked as a newspaper sports editor. However, his exhibits and publications have immortalized him in the hobby. His love of nineteenth- and early- twentieth century stamps and postal history are well known. He focused on “back of the book” issues and their use, including special delivery issues, the ten-cent registry stamp, officials, postal stationery, and newspaper and periodical issues. He ventured to the front of the book for Bureau issues and several special interest stamps.

As an author, Bob had written over one hundred scholarly articles, the “Numbers Game” column for The Bureau Specialist and the definitive study United States: The 10 cents Registry stamp of 1911. He contributed to more than a dozen periodicals, including the Collectors Club Philatelist, First Days, La Posta, Linn’s Stamp News, Locals and Carriers Journal, United States Specialist, Postal History Journal, American Philatelic Congress Books, 1869 Times and Postal Stationery. He compiled proof and essay price lists of Clarence Brazer and contributed to other published works, including the Durland Standard Plate Number Catalog. He entered the online world with a website on U.S. special delivery issues.

As a successful exhibitor, Bob won the Champion of Champions, the top exhibiting honor in the United States, in 1999 with his “U.S. Officials 1873-1884,” which also won four large golds at the international level. His special delivery exhibit received three international large golds. His one-frame exhibit, “The Dollar Values of the U.S. State Department Stamps of 1873-84,” won the Grand Award at the first national one-frame competition in 1993; his exhibit of the 1908 Helmet of Mercury stamp won the Collectors Club single-frame competition in 2006.

In addition to exhibiting and writing, Bob served as an officer of the Collectors Club of New York and the Spellman Museum. He received recognition for his philatelic contributions during his lifetime, including the Bureau Issues Association’s Hopkinson Memorial Literature Award in 1960, the best article award of the Collectors Club Philatelist in 1989 and election to the Bureau Issues Association’s United States Stamp Society Hall of Fame in 2011.

Bob once described his passion for collecting and studying philatelic literature by noting, “With a philatelic library covering approximately 2,500 shelf feet of space, with more than 25,000 U.S. auction catalogues, and with more than twenty drawers of philatelic notes, I am a true lover of philatelic literature and the information that makes it available to the collector and professional.”

Bob contributed to future philatelic investigation through his enormous collection of research papers housed at the APRL in Bellefonte. In addition to the Writers Unit Hall of Fame, the American Philatelic Society honors this “legendary philatelist” in 2017 with induction into its Hall of Fame.

Patrick Henry Woodward

Patrick Henry Woodward (1833-1917) brought the crime detection of the United States Post Office Department to popular attention in 1876 with a runaway bestseller. Guarding the Mails, or the Secret Service, of the Post Office Department was written after Woodward had been named Chief of Special Agents, under Post Master General Marshall Jewell, after having served as an agent from 1864 to 1875 “in the detection, pursuit and capture of depredators upon the mails.”

The book was published by Dustin, Gilman & Co. of Hartford CT, Woodward’s home base, in two bindings: “in the finest imported silk-finished cloth, with elaborate design in black and gold” at $3; and “in sheep binding, library style, sprinkled edges” at $3.50. The price brought the volume within reach of most Americans, and it was sold by traveling agents (via a ‘dummy book’ and subscription list, a publishing innovation perfected in Hartford).

The ‘true detective’ nature of the incidents described by Woodward, aided by the myriad woodcut illustrations, established the postal service for much of the citizenry as a highly professional and successful police force. The book was so popular that it went through several editions, and Woodward expanded it in 1886, under a new title: The Secret Service of the Post Office Department, as exhibited in the wonderful exploits of Special Agents or Inspectors in the detection, pursuit, and capture of depredators upon the mails, with a complete description of the many means and complicated contrivances of the wily and unscrupulous to defraud the public; also, an accurate account of the Famous Star Route Frauds, published by Winter & Company in Hartford, again by subscription. Although Woodward was no longer in the POD inspection service, he acknowledged the assistance of agents’ case notebooks. The appended chapter has provided for 20th century researchers a good summation of the Star Route fraud situation that had ended with a trial in 1883.

Sanford J. Durst, publisher of philatelic references, reprinted the 1886 edition in 1978. Linn’s Stamp News announcement of the reprint credits Woodward with uncovering an entire area of postal history unknown to most collectors. “Hailed as the ‘invisible agents’ of the general post office, [special agents] were among the most highly regarded of all public officers, precursors of the private eye” (Richard John, Spreading the News, 1995). In 2010, Kessinger Publishing issued another reprint. The Smithsonian National Postal Museum in 2014 opened one of its most popular exhibits: Behind the Badge, The U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Woodward’s work was used by curators, along with James Holbrook’s 1855 book of agent tales, for interpreting the 19th century.

After 15 years with the USPOD, Woodward went on to positions of responsibility in Hartford (secretary and treasurer of the Mather Electric Co., secretary of the Hartford Board of Trade, etc.) and wrote histories of Hartford insurance and banking institutions.

We honor Woodward for having written an influential work on the inspection service of the post office that was also an early true crime bestseller.