Encyclopedia Of Arkansas Minute: Matt Rothert Sr.

Jul 2, 2019

A Camden furniture merchant was responsible for a phrase we see every time we open our wallets. Matt Rothert, Sr., was born in Indiana in 1904 and moved to Camden twenty years later. He founded the Camden Furniture Company, serving as its president until he retired in 1975. But his true love was coin collecting, a passion he developed when he found his father’s old coins.

Rothert was active in the American Numismatic Association, serving as its president from 1965 to 1967. He wrote three books, including the award-winning Arkansas Obsolete Notes and Scrip. But it was at church one day in 1953 that he first noted that only coins were marked with “In God We Trust,” leading him on a personal crusade to see the phrase added to paper currency. Rothert gave speeches and wrote letters in support of his plan, leading Congress to pass legislation that President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law on July 11, 1955.

To learn more, visit Encyclopedia of Arkansas.net