Club History

The Society is unique among specialized philatelic societies in that it was begun not by a group of specialists, but by members of a local stamp club. The 1st meeting of The Elmhurst (Illinois) Philatelic Society was held September 25, 1935, at the home of its founder, Byron Stevens. There were twenty five people present at that initial meeting who joined the new club with an initiation fee andfirst years dues of $0.50. Until late 1942 the club was little different from any similar small town stamp club.

Society officers appointed a planning committee to discuss a country or topic that could provide the members with common collecting interests in which all members could participate. This area of specialization was to be in addition to the members individual collecting interests. The criteria were that the country chosen should be well known and feature attractive stamps; it should contain a range of types and varieties affording ample opportunity for specialization, study, and philatelic research; the country should have a clean record in that all emissions were issued for legitimate postal use; lastly, the market value, particularly of the early issues, should offer a reasonable opportunity to assemble a complete collection.

 The committee's first suggestion was the Dominican Republic, but after a brief trial period, many members voiced their displeasure and the committee reconvened. This time they recommended that the stamps of Mexico might offer an interesting challenge. This selection was met with immediate and universal approval by the members - and as they say - the rest is history.

The specialization project was so successful most members found Mexican philately all consuming and a few years later, the name of the society was amended from Elmhurst Philatelic Society to Mexico-Elmhurst Philatelic Society, International. The society grew rapidly. As other Mexico specialists learned of this project, they joined as non-resident members of Elmhurst. In the 55 years since the EPS club project decision to collect Mexico, the Society has truly become an international organization and Mexican philately has been recognized as one of the most diverse and interesting specialties in the world. There are currently 500 members in 27 countries and most states of the United States. Our contribution to Mexican philately has been recognized and acknowledged by the Mexican Postal Service. Special stamps and commemorative emissions have been issued over the years in conjunction with our annual meeting to recognize the contributions of the society. At the time MEPSI was organized, relatively little was known about early Mexican postal history. Today, as a result of studies conducted by MEPSI and its members and their writings in the quarterly society journal, MEXICANA, Mexican philately and postal history is quite well documented. The society is well known for its numerous handbooks and published studies and its primary objective of Advancing the knowledge of Mexican philately.

Services provided by MEPSI to its members include the quarterly MEXICANA, society auctions, a membership directory, an Expertization service, society awards for outstanding Mexico exhibits, a speakers bureau, slide and video presentations, and a comprehensive Mexico philatelic library. There are a number of local chapters which hold regular meetings. Meetings usually center around a particular Mexican philatelic topic presented by one of its members. If you are fortunate enough to be in an area with a local chapter, you can greatly increase your knowledge of Mexican collecting and enhanc your enjoyment of the hobby. All are welcome at local chapter meetings