County National Bank, Clearfield, PA (Charter 855)

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This should be a contemporary postcard or photo of the bank. (Set Height x300px)

County National Bank, Clearfield, PA (Chartered 1865 - Receivership 1934)

Town History

Clearfield County national bank as it looks today.
Clearfield County national bank as it looks today.

Incorporated in 1840, Clearfield is a borough in and the county seat of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census the population was 6,215 people making it the second most populous community in Clearfield County behind DuBois.

There were many trade routes and paths for Native Americans living and passing through Clearfield County up to the 1600s. One major Indian path at the time was the Great Shamokin Path, which started near the Indian village of Shamokin (now Sunbury) on the Susquehanna River and continued west past Lock Haven, to Chinklacamoose, now the borough of Clearfield. Finally the path ended at the village of Kittanning on the Allegheny River, which is now the modern town of the same name.

William Bigler (January 1, 1814 – August 9, 1880), was born in Perry Co. and became an American politician, 12th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1852 to 1855, and later U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania from 1856 until 1861. He started a political newspaper, the Clearfield Democrat. After selling the paper he was Nicknamed "The Clearfield Raftsman" because he was the largest producer of lumber for building supplies on the West branch of the Susquehanna River. His older brother, John Bigler, was elected governor of California during the same period; this is possibly the only instance where two brothers governed two different states at the same time.

Clearfield had five National Banks chartered during the Bank Note Era, and all five of those banks issued National Bank Notes.

Bank History

  • Organized Feb 6, 1865
  • Chartered Mar 2, 1865
  • Absorbed 7334 Nov 14, 1930 (Bituminous National Bank, Winburne, PA)
  • Conservatorship Mar 23, 1933
  • Receivership Feb 26, 1934

On the night of May 12, 1869, the County National Bank of Clearfield was broken into, the door of the safe ripped open, and $15,000 in currency and $4,500 in U.S. Bonds taken.  This story is pieced together from newspaper articles of the time. Note that some reports mistakenly have the bank robbed as the First National Bank. A sizeable reward of $1,000, or possibly $5,000 was reported.  Two men were arrested near Centerville on the 19th by Deputy Sheriff Huzzard and John Defibaugh.  They took passage on the stage some distance from Bedford, and the driver being suspicious of them sent word to the Deputy Sheriff and drove slowly until he was overtaken by the official. The two were taken to Bedford and jailed and the officers of the bank were notified. Cashier D.W. Moore, Esq., arrived the next day. A third robber with over $15,000 was still at large. In the meantime, D.R. Anderson and John B. Whip of Centerville found a package containing $4,500 in U.S. Bonds and $60 in new postal currency [known better now as Fractional Currency, issued from 1862-1876] hidden in the hollow of a stump near where the two men were arrested.  A preliminary hearing was held before Justice Nicodemus and the parties gave their names as J.M. Newman and Jacob [possibly James] Wilson. District Attorney Kerr made an application to have them removed to Clearfield County for trial and Sheriff Steckman was directed to convey them to the county jail in Clearfield.  It would come out that one of the two robbers was the notorious safe-blower known as Jack Nelson, alias "California Jack" and the third man named Jeddie E. Lamoine had made his way to St. Louis.

Governor Geary of Pennsylvania made requisition to Governor McClurg of Missouri for return of Lamoine to Clearfield for trial.  Cashier D.M. Moore was dispatched to Jefferson City and with this document was able to procure an arrest warrant.  Lamoine was arrested by officers in his residence on Franklin near Garrison Ave., making no resistance.  Officers Harrigan and Tracy made the arrest.  Lamoine had previously been arrested on suspicion of having been connected with the safe robbery of the Franklin County, Missouri treasury of some $10,000, but was acquitted.  He had since been engaged in the liquor business under the firm of Lamoine & Co.  He was about 35 years of age with a wife and children.  Mr. Moore, accompanied by Officer Tracy departed St. Louis for Clearfield with the prisoner.

By July 16, 1869, two of the Clearfield bank robbers were found guilty and sentenced to four years in the penitentiary.  The third party, "California Jack," turned States evidence and escaped punishment.

In December of 1869, perhaps tiring of his duties as cashier, Daniel W. Moore purchased the Altoona Vindicator and changed the name to the Altoona Sun.  He had been associated from 1838-1865 with the Clearfield Republican as sole or part owner.  He would become best known as a prominent citizen of Clearfield County and veteran Democratic Editor.

Official Bank Title(s)

1: The County National Bank of Clearfield, PA

Bank Note Types Issued

1882 Brown Back $100 bank note with pen signatures of H.B. Powell, Cashier and T.H. Forcey, President
1882 Brown Back $100 bank note with pen signatures of H.B. Powell, Cashier and T.H. Forcey, President. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, www.ha.com
1929 Type 1 $20 bank note with printed signatures of R.I. Fulton, Cashier and H.B. Powell, President.
1929 Type 1 $20 bank note with printed signatures of R.I. Fulton, Cashier and H.B. Powell, President. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, www.ha.com

A total of $10,070,430 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1865 and 1934. This consisted of a total of 962,067 notes (843,982 large size and 118,085 small size notes).

This bank issued the following Types and Denominations of bank notes:

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s Sheet Comments
Original Series 4x5 1 - 2500
Original Series 3x10-20 1 - 1500
Series 1875 4x5 1 - 1248
Series 1875 3x10-20 1 - 1458
Series 1875 50-100 1 - 189
1882 Brown Back 4x5 1 - 8070
1882 Brown Back 50-100 1 - 3850
1902 Red Seal 4x5 1 - 12750
1902 Red Seal 3x10-20 1 - 7700
1902 Date Back 4x5 1 - 35000
1902 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 29500
1902 Plain Back 4x5 35001 - 56000
1902 Plain Back 3x10-20 29501 - 117750
1929 Type 1 6x10 1 - 14340
1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 4018
1929 Type 2 10 1 - 6848
1929 Type 2 20 1 - 1089

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

The County National Bank of Clearfield Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1865 - 1934):

Presidents:

Cashiers:

Other Bank Note Signers

  • There are currently no known Vice President or Assistant Cashier bank note signers for this bank.

Wiki Links

Sources

  • Clearfield, PA, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clearfield,_Pennsylvania
  • Don C. Kelly, National Bank Notes, A Guide with Prices. 6th Edition (Oxford, OH: The Paper Money Institute, 2008).
  • Dean Oakes and John Hickman, Standard Catalog of National Bank Notes. 2nd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1990).
  • Banks & Bankers Historical Database (1782-1935), https://bbdata.banknotehistory.com
  • Altoona Tribune, Altoona, PA, Mon. Apr. 4, 1892.
  • Clearfield bank robbery The Daily Evening Express, Lancaster, PA, Thu., June 10, 1869.
  • Bedford Inquirer, Bedford, PA, Fri., June 25, 1869.
  • Bedford Gazette, Bedford, PA, Fri., July 16, 1869.
  • The Clarion Democrat, Clarion, PA, Sat., June 5, 1869.
  • Clearfield Republican, Clearfield, PA, Wed., June 2, 1869.
  • Valley Spirit, Chambersburg, PA, Wed., May 19, 1869.