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Catlin History Online

First National Bank of Catlin

Bank in 1941

The First National Bank of Catlin is celebrated its first 100 years of business. September 17, 2004 was a day of celebration. The bank was full of wonderful banking memorabilia and great old photographs of community homes, business and residents. Refreshment were served and enjoyed by all those attending.

On May 24, 1904, the First National Bank was chartered. The bank's original office was in the back corner of a general store located at the corner of Sandusky and Vermilion Streets.

The First National Bank of Catlin's initial capitalization was $25,000. Its first order of business was to purchase $10,000 in U.S. Treasury bonds that it pledged to secure $10,000 in currency.

This ability to issue currency proved crucial to the success of the bank. With the purchase of each Treasury bond, the Treasury would ship currency to the bank. The bank president and cashier would sign each bill. Money was then ready to flow into the local economy.

There have been 32 directors during the bank's 100 years. Herman Douglas had the longest tenure, serving from 1908 until 1970. Today's president, John T. Douglas, is the son of John A. Douglas who served as the bank's president from 1956 to 1987.

He remembers his father disposing of crates of WWI ammunition that the Treasury Department issued the bank in the early 1920s for protection against bank robbers. The bank kept the ammunition along with handguns and rifles until the mid 1950s when it gave its arsenal to the American Legion.

Unfortunately this stockpile of weapons and ammunitions did little good on Sept. 24, 1929 when members of the Clyde Barrow gang robbed the bank, its employees and customers of $2,593,15.

As part of the anniversary celebration the bank announced a gift to the communities. A check for $1,000.00 was presented to the Georgetown School District to be used in its computer labs. A $10,000.00 gift was given to the Catlin Fire Protection District to purchase ten new fire protection suits.

The Bank should be congratulated on such a wonderful donation to our community.


Catlin Historical Society
210 North Paris
Catlin, Illinois 61817
(217) 427-5766