The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Lost Memories Found at the State Treasury

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We find lots of treasures inside the hundreds of abandoned safe deposit boxes we receive in our office every year. The coins and jewelry are sold on eBay after 8 years of abandonment,  paper is destroyed after 7.

When we come across historical documents we think might be of interest  to the museums, we  do turn that over to them; specifically, war medals and memorabilia. And, there are many times we try to locate the owners…which is what we are doing with something we found yesterday during an inventory.

The box was abandoned in 2004. It contains several scrapbooks detailing time spent in the U.S. Navy from the right after WWII through the mid-1950’s. The owner of the all these scrapbooks was a sonar man onboard the U.S.S. Queenfish after graduating from the U.S Naval Submarine School in New London Connecticut.

His journeys took him from the naval yards in the Northeast to Pearl Harbor to all the Pacific Islands and Asia. Countless photographs show how he and other submariners interacted with locals in the Philippines and Hong Kong; handing out food to little children and cigarettes to their fathers.

Beyond the photographs and newspaper clippings of his time in the Navy, we also found pictures from his childhood of his family, their first car in 1931, a Chevy, as well as pictures of his High School Prom and his varsity letter certificate. After the Navy, there were numerous pictures of his children as they grew through the years.

No value can be placed on these items. They are worth more than money to this man’s family. After doing some research, we may have found one of the sons who would be able to claim these items and save them forever.

Do you have a safe deposit box? Do your parents? Have you or they stopped paying rent on it? Once that happens, we get the contents of those boxes after 5 years sitting at the bank. Please search the unclaimed property database at and search for your relatives names. Don’t let these valuable memories disappear.


2 responses

  1. Everyone should make a list of their assets. Include information about safe deposit boxes. This should state the name of the bank, the branch, the box number and where the keys are kept. When you go to close out your loved on’e’s banking business, ask if they had a safe deposit box.
    For a free report on 9 Tips to Prevent Your Money from Going to the State go to

    April 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

  2. Pingback: Taking Care of Memories « wistatetreasury

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