Iowa Bank Note History

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Featured Bank Note: $20 Series 1902 Plain Back, issued by the First National Bank of Clarence, IA with pen/stamped signatures of R. O. Hoyer, Cashier (1906-1924) and M. B. Cottrell, President (1906-1922).

The Iowa Bank Note History home page consolidates historical information on the National/Obsolete Banks, Bankers and Banking History of Iowa. It also highlights What's New, along with National Bank Stats & Graphs, Famous Banks & Bankers, and helpful Research Resources.

Iowa County home pages

County Bank Note History home pages provide information on the Banks, Bankers and Bank Notes for that county during the National Bank Note Era (1863-1935), and also the Obsolete Bank Note Era (1782-1866) (if applicable for that county). All of the county's National & Obsolete Banks are listed with links to their Bank History pages. Prominent Bankers are also listed with links to their Banker Bio pages. Several Bank Notes are featured, as well as bank postcards and other bank related ephemera.

If you have a local County Historical Society/Museum, they may be interested in adding a link on their website to their County's Bank Note History home page in our wiki.

The following Iowa counties have a home page set up:

Cedar County

What's New in Iowa Bank Note History

  • Banker Bios:
  • Other Articles:

Iowa National Bank Stats & Graphs

  • # Issuing Banks: 496
  • # Non-Issuing Banks: 46
  • # Small Size Issuers: 249
  • # Territorial Banks: 0
  • # Towns with Issuing Banks: 301
  • # Counties with Issuing Banks: 99
  • NBN Geo. Letter: M
  • State Capital: Des Moines
  • Statehood Date: December 28, 1846
  • Iowa National Bank Graphs & Lists
    • # of Iowa National Banks Chartered By Year
    • # of Iowa National Bank Failures (Receivership) By Year
    • # of Iowa National Bank Closures (Receivership/Liquidation/Closed) By Year
    • # of Iowa National Banks In Operation By Year
    • List of 40 Iowa National Banks with Lowest # of Notes Issued

Famous Iowa Banks & Bankers

One of the eight Midwestern "jewel-box" banks designed by Louis Sullivan, legendary American architect and mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Toy, James F. (Sioux City, IA)

Iowa Obsolete to National Bank Conversions

Iowa Bank History Index

The Iowa Bank Histories are organized by Town, then by Bank CharterDate/OpenDate. To find the Bank you are looking for, select from the following Index list, which is based on the Town name.

Iowa (A-H) –– Iowa (I-P) –– Iowa (Q-Z)

Banker Biography Index

The Banker Bios are organized alphabetically by Last Name. To find the Banker you are looking for, select from the following Index list (which includes Bankers from All States).

Banker Bio Index

Iowa Banking History

(This could be a brief overview here, or link to a separate page, for Iowa Banking History, covering both the Obsolete and National Bank Note Eras).

Iowa Research Resources

  • James C. Ehrhardt & Steven J. Sweeney, Iowa National Bank Notes (Okoboji, IA: Higgins Foundation, 2006).
  • Dean Oakes, Iowa Obsolete Notes & Scrip. A Revision of the Original 1982 Book (Okoboji, IA: Dean Oakes, 2015).
  • The Higgins Museum in Okoboji, IA has a Currency Related Research Library, as well as major collections of Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska National Bank Notes on display.
  • 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).
  • The National Bank Note Census,
  • OCC Annual Reports 1863 – 1935 (U.S. Treasury Dept: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency).
(The OCC Annual Reports are available online at the Currency Club of Chester County (PA) website).
  • The Bankers Magazine 1846 – 1922 (New York: various publishers over the years).
(The Bankers Magazine volumes are available online at the Currency Club of Chester County (PA) website).
  • Rand McNally Banker's Directories 1879 – 1935 (Chicago: Rand McNally & Company).
  • Polk's Banker's Encyclopedias 1895 – 1935 (Detroit and New York: Polk Bankers Encyclopedia Co.).
  • James A. Haxby, United States Obsolete Bank Notes 1782-1866 (4 volumes) (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1988).
  • Paper Money Journal, 1962-present (Published by the Society of Paper Money Collectors, Many articles over the years about the history of National & Obsolete Banks and Bankers. An archive of all back issues with search capabilities is online for SPMC members at
  • FDIC, Bank Find History website.
  • Iowa County Historical Societies (?)
  • Any other on-line research links? (,,