CHAPTER THIRTEEN: BANKING IN
WINONA, WINONA COUNTY
Pages 127-131 From the book
"History of Wabasha County" Published in 1884
Concerning Wabasha and Winona Counties in Minnesota
As is generally the case in new towns, several branches of business are conducted by the same person or firm. It was so in Winona in the banking business. The United States land office for the Winona land district, having been opened in Winona in December, 1854, land agents, money loaners and speculators in real estate followed.
The first office of this kind was opened in June in 1855, by William Ashley Jones, Charles H. Berry and E. S. Smith, under the firm name of Jones, Berry & Smith. They were succeeded by Berry & Waterman, who added to their law business that of receiving deposits and selling exchange on different points. This was done more as a convenience to others that of profit to themselves. This was continued until others engaged in more exclusive banking business.
Early in 1856 Timothy Kirk and his brother had a banking office on te corner of Front and Main streets.
John Mobley opened a banking and exchange office near the corner of Second and Main streets in 1856, and did considerable business for some two years, and retired in 1858.
J. T. Smith had an exchange and loan office, in 1856 or 1857, on Center street, between First and Second streets. He was here about three years.
Voight & Bergenthal had a banking and loan office, in 1856 and 1857, on Front street, near where Krumdich's elevator now stands.
Bennett's Bank ~ In the fall of 1855 Thomas E. Bennett opened a bank and loan office, and succeeded to the business of Voight & Bergenthal, in a building on the levee. In the winter following Taylor, Richards & Burden purchased Bennett's business, and in May, 1857, the firm was changed to Taylor, Bennett & Co., and in 1858 it was again changed to Burden, Bennett & Co., and in 1859 was dissolved and the business was continued in the name of Thomas E. Bennett until 1861.
Bank of Southern Minnesota ~ The Bank of Southern Minnesota was organized in 1861. Lemuel C. Porter, Thos. E. Bennett, Wm. Garlock and others were stockholders and directors. L. C. Porter was made president and Thomas E. Bennett cashier. This bank 2was merged in the First National bank in August, 1864.
The Bank of Winona ~ This bank was located on Center street, in the building now occupied by the Winona Deposit Bank. Bank of Winona commenced business in May, 1863, Samuel McCord and H. N. Peabody being the principal partners, and the manager was I. Voswinkle Dorselin. Subsequently the business was done under the name of McCord & Dorselin. In December, 1868, Dorselin, appearing to be the owner of the concern, closed business and went into bankruptcy. On the final winding up of business, in August, 1869, it paid its creditors about twenty-five cents on a dollar.
The United National Bank ~ The United National Bank was organized in 1865, with Thomas Wilson, Otto Troost, Charles Benson, A. W. Webster and Thomas E. Bennett as stockholders and directors, with a capital of $50,000. A. W. Webster was president and Thomas E. Bennett cashier.
This bank was located on Second street, in the building since used by the Savings Bank, and in January, 1871, was sold out by its stockholders to the First National Bank of Winona.
The Winona Deposit Bank ~ was organized and commenced business in 1868. H. W. Lamberton was president and I. J. Cummings cashier. It was a private bank, and changed to a national organization under the name of Winona Deposit National Bank, in which name the business was conducted two or three years, when they discontinued the national organization and returned to the original name of Winona Deposit Bank. Its present officers are H. W. Lamberton, president, and W. C. Brown, cashier.
Winona County Bank ~ Zaphna H. Lake and A. W. Webster organized the Winona County Bank in 1859, and they filed their organization papers and deposited Minnesota railroad bonds with the state auditor to secure the payment of their circulating notes under the then existing laws of the state. This was the first and only bank having circulation in Winona. They did a straightforward, legitimate banking business for several years, and went out of business in 1865. Mr. Webster took part in the organization of the United National Bank, and Mr. Lake engaged in other business in Winona. Their banking office was near the corner of Second and Main streets.
The Bank of St. Charles, at St. Charles, Winona county, was organized as a private bank in the spring of 1869, with a capital of $30,000. The stockholders were E. S. Youmans, of Winona; S. T. Hyde, J. S. Wheeler, J. W. Brockett, of St. Charles, and H. R. Heath, of New York city. The stockholders were directors. E. S. Youmans was president and J. S. Wheeler was cashier.
J. C. Woodard, in June, 1877, succeeded to the Bank of St. Charles, and the business is now conducted in the name of J. C. Woodard, banker.
The First National Bank of Winona (successor to the Bank of Southern Minnesota) was organized August 20, 1864, with a capital of $50,000. The original stockholders were Thomas E. Bennett, Gabriel Horton, Lemuel C. Porter, George W. Neff, William Garlock, William Wedel, each of whom was elected a director. In October, 1864, at a meeting of the directors the following officers were elected, viz: L. C. Porter, president; William Garlock, vice-president; Thomas E. Bennett, cashier. L. C. Porter has been elected president at each annual meeting of the directors since the organization of the bank to this time, a period of eighteen years. The following persons have been elected cashiers at different times since 1866: I. J. Cummings, G. A. Burbank, Herman E. Curtis, C. H. Porter and E. D. Hurlbert, who is now filling that position. William Garlock resigned the office of vice-president in 1868. C. H. Porter was elected vice-president in 1881, and is at this time filling that office.
Second National Bank ~ The Second ‘National Bank of Winona was organized April 29, 1871, with a capital of $100,000. The incorporators were Thomas Simpson, John H. Prentiss, Joseph A. Prentiss, Henry Stevens, Mark Willson, Gustavus A. Burbank and W. H. Richardson. Each of the above stockholders was elected a director, and the bank engaged in active business in August, 1871, and Mark Willson was elected assistant cashier, and in February, 1872, E. H. Bailey became cashier.
In January, 1873, Joseph A. Prentiss was chosen cashier and Mark Willson vice-president. In January, 1875, Mr. Willson resigned and Lester R. Brooks became vice-president, and in 1876 was made cashier. In 1878 Thomas Simpson resigned his position as president, which he had filled from the first organization of the bank, and was succeeded by Joseph A. Prentiss. In 1880 William H. Garlock was chosen cashier and L. R. Brooks vice-president, who, with J. A. Prentiss, president, are the present officers.
The Merchants National Bank of Winona was organized May 18, 1875, with a capital stock of $100,000, and at the first meeting of the stockholders the following persons were elected directors: Mark Willson, G. W. Bennett, N. F. Hilbert, H. D. Perkins, C. H. Berry, Conrad Bohn and C. C. Beck. Mark Willson, president; N. F. Hilbert, cashier; H. D. Perkins, vice-president.
The bank opened for business in July 1875. On April 9, 1879, N. F. Hilbert resigned his position as cashier, and was succeeded by J. M. Bell. July 1, 1879, it was voted to change the organization from a national to a state bank under the laws of Minnesota, and to transfer its entire business to the new organization.
The Merchants Bank of Winona succeeded to the Merchants National Bank, and was organized in August, 1879, with the following directors: Charles H. Berry, H. D. Perkins, J. M. Bell, Mark Willson, C. C. Beck, L. J. Allred and C. Heintz, and who proceeded to the election of officers, as follows: Mark Willson, president; J. M. Bell, cashier; H. D. Perkins, vice-president.
In December, 1879, J. M. Bell tendered his resignation as cashier, which was accepted, and Geo. F. Crise was elected in his place. The officers of the bank at this time are Mark Willson, president; Chas. H. Berry, vice-president, and Geo. F. Crise, cashier.
The Winona Savings Bank was organized July 1, 1874, and lasted five years. The depositors were notified to withdraw their deposits July 1, 1879, and were paid in full, principal and interest. The trustees were William Mitchell, W. H. Laird, H. E. Curtis, F. A. Rising, Thomas Wilson, E. S. Youmans and C. J. Camp. The officers were Wm. Mitchell, president; W. H. Laird, vice-0president; F. A. Rising, treasurer.
The bank was located on Second street, in the old United National Bank building.
The foregoing is believed to be a correct history of banks and of the banking business in W8inona county since its early settlement. It is possible that other parties and facts have been overlooked, but the writer has endeavored to include everything pertaining to this subject.
From the time the first deposits were received and the first drafts on eastern banks were drawn by Berry & Waterman, in 1855, the banking business has grown with the increased mercantile and manufacturing business of Winona in proportion until this time. We have now in this city, in successful operation, four banks, two of which are working under the national banking laws, one under state organization, and one a private bank.
The whole amount of capital invested at this time in the banking business in Winona county aggregates $250,000, not including surplus and undivided profits.
The amount of deposits in the banks in Winona is about $900,000, and bills discounted are about the same amount. The rates of interest charged by the banks are from seven to ten per cent per annum.