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Keister printed script during Depression

E.E. Keister wrote in his book, "Strasburg, Virginia and the Keister Family," that the script system provided him with the equivalent of several thousand dollars of working capital during the Depression.

In an attempt to keep his business afloat during the 1930s, Keister gained permission from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to print a limited number of certificates, which were legal promissory notes, in the amounts of 25 cents, $1 and $5.

He used the script and cash to pay about 20 employees, and he gained the cooperation of several local businesses that agreed to accept the script as currency.

John D. "Pat" Keister, a son of E.E. Keister, said that his father was able to make the agreement in the community because of his good name. The elder Keister had a good reputation, and the other business owners were willing to work with him to keep his business going throughout the Depression.

Once the business started making money, Keister was eventually able to reimburse every business owner the money that he owed them.

-- Daily Staff Repor

Related story: In his words -- Keister solicits readers for script


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