Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies
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Bob Jenkins

July 2012 Volume 59 Number 3


Central States Archaeological Societies member

Bob Jenkins
Bob Jenkins in his relic room. His collection is extensively photographically documented in the books Legends of Prehistoric Art Volume One. and Volume Two. Photo courtesy of Bobby Onkin

The collecting community lost Robert(Bob) D. Jenkins on March 8, 2012. He was 92. He is survived by one son, Michael (Marla) Jenkins, and one daughter, Cathy (Bobby, Jr.) Rhoades, both of Meredosia; three grandsons, Charles (Susan) Jenkins of West Chester, OH, William (Tammy) Craddock of Quincy and Brady (Cambrea) Brackett of Murrayville; and four great grandchildren, Logan, Chip, Storm and Paige. He had operated the Illico Service Station in Meredosia for thirty-four years.

Bob Jenkins had a keen eye for high quality artifacts and amassed one the best collections of his time of high grade flint, effigy pottery, fine axes and choice notched hoes. His passion in collecting, however, was for Jersey Bluff discoidals. He was most proud of his "Jersey Bluffs", which he considered to be the best collection of these artifacts ever assembled in one collection. Moreover, he was a true gentleman and always ready to share his knowledge and stories with new collectors. I am honored that he was one of my collector mentors.

Bob's interest in archaeology began at an early age when he found an arrowhead on his grandfather's farm in Macoupin County, IL. As a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps he relocated to Meredosia, an area where artifacts were in abundance. He joined the ISAS and attended as many meetings as possible. He indicated before then he had no idea of the plethora of archaeological information available to the amateur. Several of Bob's artifacts were pictured in the CSAJ and other books and publications. He displayed his collection frequently at meetings (shows) throughout the Midwest.

Mr. Jenkins served as Vice-President and then President of the IL State Archaeological Society from 1967 to 1969. in his "President's Page" in the CSAJ, he urged members to study archaeology and to attend as many meetings as possible to further their knowledge. This is still fitting advice for our members from Mr. Jenkins, one of the titans of the IL artifact collecting community.

ISAS member Glen Carls visited with Bob on numerous occasions while he was living in the Jacksonville Convalescence Center. Earlier visits were with him and his wife Margaret at their home. Glen also attended Bob's funeral held in Meredosia. In the concluding paragraphs Glen writes of Bob's last decade with us.

Bob's love for Indian relics was second only to that for his family. Visits to Bob and Margaret's home highlighted that. Opportunities to buy or trade for the finest relics didn't come by very often, he used to say. One must take advantage of them when they occur. It was exquisite Jersey Bluff discoidals that Bob most prized and preferred talking about. He also told of the thrill of once tracking down and buying a monster of a Dovetail in Missouri. In approximately 2006 a friend took Bob to the Collinsville show. There Bob bought a small Jersey Bluff discoidal that fit into the palm of his folded hand. That made his day as he showed it off to me and others. While at the convalescent center Bob expressed an interest in seeing some of my collection. So I dug out two of my favorite early pieces, a Clovis and a Cody Complex piece, and brought them to him. He couldn't see well by that time, but by feeling them he could appreciate the quality, etc., and his enthusiasm for relics was evident with the experience. While Margaret was still living, she each Sunday took Bob out for lunch at a restaurant. I've seen Bob anxiously waiting in the hallway for Margaret's arrival. After Margaret's death I was there once when their daughter Cathy arrived bringing some of Bob's favorite foods-Kentucky Fried Chicken and a milk shake. We had a delightful conversation. Bob continued on with life as new challenges presented themselves. Attending Bob's funeral was memorable, particularly for my again meeting his daughter, Cathy, and meeting his son, Michael. After I mentioned all that Cathy had done, she said that she was simply repaying her dad for all that he had done for her. Michael was appreciative that he had received the remaining three relics from his dad's collection: an axe and two discoidals. One of the discoidals just might be the prized one that Bob had told me about getting from B. W. Stephens. Again, the closeness of the family was evident. We will miss you Bob.

Submitted by Tommy Bryden