Old Citizens National Bank, Zanesville, OH (Charter 5760)

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The former Citizens National Bank of Zanesville, OH building as it appeared on March 28, 2019.

The Old Citizens National Bank Zanesville, OH (1901 - 1979) was one of two national banks serving the city of Zanesville for the majority of the twentieth century. The bank was the continuation of the Citizens National Bank (Charter 2529) whose charter expired in 1901. With resources peaking at $9M during the national bank period after the consolidation of four Zanesville banks, it was a substantial banking institution. It survived until 1979 when the BancOhio bank holding corporation ceased operating multiple distinct business units and rebranded as a single institution.

Early History

The Bank's early history can be traced back to the C. W. Potwin bank whose buildings and assets were purchased by the Citizens National Bank (Charter 2529) at its incorporation in 1881. The Citizen's National Bank was a very successful institution which paid out a 6% dividend regularly and accumulated a surplus reflecting 80% of the capital stock by the end of its 20 year charter. Upon expiration of the Citizens National Bank charter on May 13, 1901, it was succeeded by the Old Citizens National Bank (Charter 5760) with no interruption of business and no change in officers or directors or facility location. [1]

Bank History

Within 2 years of the title change, Old Citizens National Bank had grown enough to open a Savings Department, which was repeatedly advertised in the Zanesville Times-Recorder for several months. [2]

In December, 1908 then Assistant Cashier Henry Knoedler and Cashier H. A. Sharpe foiled a check forgery attempt in the amount of $25. A stranger presented the forged check to Mr. Knoedler at his window. Although Knoedler recognized the name of the person who made out the check, it was suspicious because the same handwriting endorsed. Mr. Sharpe called the gentleman via phone who confirmed that he had not made out the check. The check presenter left the bank during this time but the local police were given a good description of the man.[3]

In 1921, the bank extended its charter for an additional 20 years.[4]

In 1925, the bank opened its trust department, which was headed by Henry Knoedler. The trust department gave the bank the ability to act as executor or administrator of estates.[5]

In 1930, several Zanesville banking institutions agreed to swap shares to join the BancOhio bank holding company. At this time, BancOhio already included the following banks from around the state: First Citizens Trust Co., the Ohio National Bank, Bancohio Security Co., the Fifth Ave. Savings Bank, the Morris Plan Bank, the First National Bank and Trust Co. of Springfield, the First National Bank of Chillicothe, and the Valley Savings Bank Co. Four Zanesville institutions combined to form one entity owned by BancOhio but operated as an independent business unit: the Old Citizens National Bank (largest of the four), the Peoples Savings Bank, the Guardian Trust and Safe Deposit Co. and the Zanesville Bank and Trust Co. The combined resources of the Zanesville unit would exceed $9,000,000 and of all BancOhio units would exceed $106,000,000. [6]

As a result of the consolidation, Henry Knoedler was named President of the Citizens National Bank, which was the name the combined Zanesville business unit would be operating under. Its cashier and vice president would be V. C. LeFevre the Old Citizens National Bank cashier for 3 years prior to the merger and formerly of the First National Bank and Trust of Springfield. The physical offices of the new bank would be consolidated into the former building of the Peoples Savings Bank on North Fourth Street after it underwent renovation. [7]

In November 1930, the last of the banking consolidation was completed when valuables were moved from the vault of the old Main St. building to the new headquarters on North Fourth St. This move included over $250,000 in cash, $2,500,000 in securities and the contents of hundreds of safety deposit boxes. The transfer was made on a Sunday afternoon under guards armed with machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, pistols and rifles. The formal reopening of the building as the new headquarters was December 12, 1930.[8]

In April 1937, the bank announced a home improvement loan program.[9]

The bank closed at noon on February 4, 1948 in observance of the funeral of Henry Knoedler who had been associated with the bank for 56 years prior to his death. [10]

Downtown Zanesville suffered a horrible fire in December, 1950 that affected the bank in multiple ways. It's headquarters building burned and it was estimated to have sustained over $500,000 in damages. [11] The bank was closed only for a single day as a result of the fire; this day necessitating the relocation of banking operations to temporary facilities. The bank reopened in enlarged facilities with a new elevator in September, 1951. [12] Later, in 1954 the bank would purchase the site of the former Bailey Drug Co. which burned in the fire. This property became a parking lot for the main banking building.[13]

In November 1955, the Citizens National Bank would become the first bank in Zanesville to establish branch banking with the opening of its north office. That branch was so well received that a south office was opened in 1957[14]

The end of the Citizens National Bank effectively came in 1979 when BancOhio ceased operating multiple distinct business units and rolled all of them under the single BancOhio National Bank brand.[15][16]

Bank Notes Issued

1929-T1 $10 note signed by William D. Murphy, Cashier and Henry J. Knoedler, President. This note is from the second title.

A total of $3,589,050 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1901 and 1935. This consisted of a total of 264,584 notes (188,268 large size and 76,316 small size notes).

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

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s Sheet Comments
1: 1882 Brown Back 3x10-20 1 - 5520
1: 1882 Brown Back 50-100 1 - 2160
1: 1882 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 11600
1: 1882 Date Back 50-100 1 - 200
1: 1882 Value Back 3x10-20 11601 - 18113
1: 1902 Plain Back 3x10-20 1 - 22254
1: 1929 Type 1 6x10 1 - 2756
1: 1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 936
2: 1929 Type 1 6x10 1 - 4454
2: 1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 1338
2: 1929 Type 2 10 1 - 15302
2: 1929 Type 2 20 1 - 4110

Official Bank Title(s)

  • The Old Citizens National Bank of
  • The Citizens National Bank in (09/20/1930)

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

First National Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1889 - 1935): [17]


  • Willis Bailey, 1901 – 1904
  • H. C. Van Voorhis, 1905 – 1927
  • Henry J. Knoedler, 1928 – 1947
  • William D. Murphy, Jr., 1947 - 1965


  • H. A. Sharpe, 1901 – 1926
  • Henry J. Knoedler, 1927
  • V. C. Le Fevre, 1928 – 1930
  • William D. Murphy, Jr., 1931 – 1947

Other Bank Note Signers

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

Wiki Links


  • 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