First National Bank, Pipestone, MN (Charter 3982)

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Photograph showing the First National Bank Lobby as it looked in 1929

The First National Bank of Pipestone, MN (1889 - current) was the first bank in Pipestone County to be granted a National Charter. It was organized on Jan 5, 1889, received Charter 3982 on February 25, 1889, and opened for business on Thursday February 28, 1889 with an initial Capital of $50,000. The First National Bank is still in business today (2018). The bank was acquired in 1999 by Fishback Financial Corporation of Brookings, SD, and changed it's name to First Bank and Trust in January 2010. [1]

Early History

circa 1920 Postcard showing the Commerce Block (on the right), home of the Bank of Southwestern Minnesota, and Stoner & Mylius, Bankers from 1885 to 1889

The Bank's history can be traced back to around October of 1884, when two Englishmen, W.G. Stoner and Charles Mylius established a private banking firm in Pipestone, originally called the Bank of Southwestern Minnesota. Charles Mylius served as the bank's first President, with Henry E. Briggs as Cashier. The bank was located in the Commerce Block at 120 N. Hiawatha (which later became the Royal Hotel, and much later was torn down in 1961 and became the drive-thru bank and parking lot for First National). To comply with new MN regulations (which went into effect June 1, 1888) making it illegal to operate a Private bank under a Corporate (artificial) name, the bank's name was changed to Stoner and Mylius, Bankers at some point prior to January of 1888. On October 25, 1888, W.G. Stoner sold his interest in the bank to Mylius, and for a few months, the bank's business was conducted under the name of Charles Mylius and Company. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

1911 Postcard showing the Calumet Hotel, home of the First National Bank from 1889 to 1898

After the original Calumet Hotel (built by the Close Brothers in 1883) was completely destroyed by fire on December 15, 1886, Stoner and Mylius decided to build a new Calumet Hotel, which would also house their bank. Construction began in late 1887, and the Hotel's grand opening was held on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1888. The bank occupied the corner of the hotel building. [9] [10] [11] [12]

Bank History

On November 28, 1888, Charles Mylius met with several prominent Pipestone citizens to discuss organizing a National Bank. A resolution was adopted, and a Board of Directors appointed including Charles Mylius, Charles J. Cawley, Ambrose S. Dyer, William G. Martine, Henry E. Briggs, Hiram E. French and Richard W. Ashton. Charles Mylius was chosen President, C. J. Cawley V.P, and H. E. Briggs Cashier. On February 25, 1889 the organization was approved by the Comptroller of the Currency, and the First National Bank of Pipestone was granted Charter 3982. The Bank opened for business on February 28, 1889, and all accounts of the previous bank were transferred to the new bank on March 4, 1889.

The original stockholders of the First National Bank were:

Charles Mylius, C.J. Cawley (Railroad Agent), Ambrose S. Dyer (Merchant), Wm. G. Martine (Merchant), H.E. Briggs, F.A. Walker, G.C. Loomis (Implement business), Wm. Frost (Construction), E.F. Follett (Lbr? Mgr), R.W. Ashton & Oscar R. Ashton (Hardware), H.E. French (Superintendent of Public School), A.A. Bartlett (Farmer), Lewis R. Ober (Farmer), Wm F. Lange (Farmer), Orrin Ruddy (Farmer), Frazer Mackay (Miller), Sarah F. Sharpe, A.C. Billon (Jeweler), Henry D. Sanford (Farmer) and William F. Helwig (Farmer). [13] [14]

circa 1910 Photograph showing the First National Bank at 113 W. Main. The bank was at this location from 1898 to 1916


By 1898, the bank had outgrown its quarters in the Calumet Hotel. They built a new building at 113 W. Main, and moved in on July 29, 1898. Continued growth made it necessary to move again 18 years later, and in November 1916, the bank moved into its newly constructed building at 101 W. Main. 57 years later, in August 1973, the bank moved to its current location at 2nd street NW. [6]

1916 Postcard showing the First National Bank building at 101 W. Main, shortly after it was built. The bank was at this location from 1916 to 1973

To illustrate the First National Bank's growth during this period, when the bank opened in 1889, total deposits were $40,800. 20 years later on Feb 25, 1909, total deposits were $220,143, with a surplus of $10,000. In 1929, after 40 years, total deposits were $864,754, with a surplus fund of $35,000, and the bank had over 1900 accounts on its books. [13] [14]

During the National Currency Era (up to 1935), the First National Bank survived several economic crises that closed many other banks. This included the Panics of 1893 and 1907, the intense inflation followed by the drastic deflation following WWI, and the Great Depression of the 1930s. [13] [14] [6]

The First National Bank is still in business today (2018). The bank was acquired in 1999 by Fishback Financial Corporation of Brookings, SD, and changed it's name to First Bank and Trust in January 2010. [1]

1882 $5 Brown Back banknote with pen signatures of Wm. Frost, Cashier and W.C. Briggs, President

Bank Notes Issued

A total of $631,610 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1889 and 1935. This consisted of a total of 82,431 notes (66,288 large size and 16,143 small size notes).

Illustrated Overview of the bank notes Issued by this Bank

Official Bank Title(s)

1. The First National Bank of Pipestone, MN

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

First National Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Currency Era (1889 - 1935): [13] [15]

Presidents:

Cashiers:

Other Bank Note Signers

  • There are currently no other known bank note signers for this bank.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Pipestone First National Bank History", First Bank and Trust website, http://www.bankeasy.com/locations/banks/pipestone-mn/pipestone-history/.
  2. Arthur P. Rose, An Illustrated History of the Counties of Rock and Pipestone Minnesota (Luverne, MN: Northern History Publishing Co.,1911), 345.
  3. Bankers Magazine Volume 39 (July 1884-June 1885) (New York: Homans Publishing Company, 1885), 311.
  4. Rand McNally Banker's Directory January 1888 (Chicago: Rand McNally & Company), 173.
  5. Rand McNally Banker's Directory January 1889 (Chicago: Rand McNally & Company), 229.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 1889-1989 First National Bank 100 Year Anniversary brochure (on file at the Pipestone County Historical Society/Museum, Pipestone, MN).
  7. Executive Documents of the State of MN for the Fiscal Year Ending July 31,1886 (St. Paul: The Pioneer Press Company, 1887), 91,93.
  8. Eighth Report of the Public Examiner of the State of MN for the 2 Years Ending July 31, 1888 (St. Paul: The Pioneer Press Company, 1888), 24.
  9. "Days Gone By-125 Years Ago (June 24, 1887)", Pipestone County Star, June 25, 2012.
  10. "Days Gone By-125 Years Ago (September 30, 1887)", Pipestone County Star, October 1, 2012.
  11. "Days Gone By-125 Years Ago (October 28, 1887)", Pipestone County Star, October 29, 2012.
  12. "Our Story", Calumet Inn website, http://www.calumetinn.com/#!our-story/c1mcu.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Pipestone First National Bank History", internal bank document (probably) written by A.R. Stillwell, 1919,1929, (on file at the Pipestone County Historical Society/Museum, Pipestone, MN), https://s3.amazonaws.com/newslinks.currbase/MN-Pipestone-Ch3982-EarlyBankHistory-ArtStillwell.pdf.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 1889-1929 First National Bank 40 Year Anniversary brochure (on file at the Pipestone County Historical Society/Museum, Pipestone, MN).
  15. Banks & Bankers Historical Database (1782-1935), https://bbdata.banknotehistory.com.