Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri • ca. 1914

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

Chapter 15
Banks and Banking

Approved by H. M. Smith

A history of the banking business of Springfield is a history of the city's commercial life, covering a period of seventy years, for it was prior to the Mexican war that the first bank was established here. From that remote period to the present many banking institutions have been established in Greene county. For a half century, or since the Civil war, the county has stood among the first few in the matter of banks among the counties of this state, surpassing possibly at all times in the history of the commonwealth all her sister counties, with the exception of Jackson and Buchanan, the city of St. Louis being a separate section from St. Louis county and therefore, the county of that name ranks far down the line in bank clearings. During the many panics and financial stringencies the banks of Springfield and vicinity have weathered the financial storms in a most creditable manner, with few exceptions; in fact, there was not a real bank failure for a period of forty-eight years after the first bank was established.


The banking business here has grown to gigantic proportions during the past few years and there are few cities in the entire West the size of Springfield that make so favorable a showing in this respect. There is at this writing (May, 1915), deposited in all the banks of Springfield approximately the sum of $8,000,000, and the clearing house report for the year ending shows the huge total sum of $50,000,000. Without making invidious comparisons, it is a fact worthy of note that the banks of Springfield do an annual business greater than the banks of Joplin, Carthage and all other Jasper county banks, notwithstanding the fact that statements from Joplin, a city equal in population to Springfield and the heart of one of the world 's great mining districts, claim a larger business than her rival, the Queen City of the Ozarks. The statements of the local banks indicate quite clearly that the business of the city proper is not only on a substantial basis but that the surrounding country is productive and prosperous. [509]


The pioneers who settled on and near what is now the site of Springfield did not do any banking for a period of fifteen years after they first established themselves here; indeed, they did not need any bank, nor much money. They raised the food for themselves and live stock, made their wearing apparel and many of their implements of agriculture. Furs of wild animals were often used as mediums of exchange.

The little frontier trading post here became of sufficient importance to require banking facilities in May, 1845, when a branch of the State Bank of Missouri was established, with James H. McBride, president; J. R. Danforth, cashier; and C. A. Haden, clerk. This bank continued in business seventeen years, the Civil war demoralizing its business in 1862, when to prevent the funds being captured by the Confederate army, the money in its vaults was taken overland to St. Louis and there deposited, at least that is the general understanding. A year or two later Charles Sheppard was appointed to wind up the affairs of this bank, and about the close of the war he organized the firm of Vaughn & Company, Bankers, the principal officers and stockholders being Charles Sheppard, James Vaughn and William Jasper McDaniel. They continued in business until they reorganized this bank into the Greene County Bank. Then they applied for a national charter, and in 1867 began doing business as the Greene County National Bank, the first national bank in this city or this part of the state. John S. Phelps was president, and the principal stockholders were William Jasper McDaniel, Charles B. McAfee, Charles Sheppard, John S. Phelps and others. Mr. Phelps remained at the head of this bank for a number of years. He was succeeded by W. J. McDaniel who was later succeeded by Charles E. Harwood, J. E. Keet and G. D. Milligan. It was liquidated, the stock paying out over one hundred and eighty per share. Then a state bank was organized by F. Heffernan and others, known as the Greene County Bank, which was conducted for several years.


The First National Bank of Springfield was the second national bank to be established in this city, its charter not having been received until a short time after the Greene County National Bank was established. Robert McElhaney and other members of the McElhaney family were principal stockholders, he having been president for a number of years. These two national banks occupied the local field for many years, and they both successfully pulled through the great panic that upset financial centers throughout the nation in 1873. [510]


A third bank entered the field in 1875 under the firm name of C. B. Holland & Son, Bankers. This institution continued as a private bank until a few years ago, when the name was changed to the Holland Banking Company, a detailed account of which will be found later in this article.

The Bank of Springfield was incorporated September 16, 1882, with a capital of $50, 000, of which fifty per cent was paid up at the start and the remainder in January following. It supplied a long felt want in what was then often known as North Springfield, now the "north side." It owned the building in which it was located, a two-story brick, at Commercial street and Robberson avenue, installing one of the largest fire-proof vaults, in which was a Herring burglar-proof safe with Yale time lock, in this locality. Its officers were C. W. Rogers, president; B. F. Hobart, vice-president; and F. E. Atwood, cashier.

Thus there were four banks in Springfield until 1885, when John B. Noland, John Holland and Lee Holland organized the Exchange Bank, which subsequently became the National Exchange Bank, under the management of John O'Day, James E. Keet and E. L. Sanford. Later it was known as the Merchants National Bank, which continued in business until it sold out to the Holland Banking Company, in 1914.

The Central National Bank was organized in 1887 by J. W. Powers, who came here from Kansas. It was operated about ten years and sold out to the Exchange National Bank.

The Commercial Bank which was organized about this period, was conducted several years, and liquidated.

The American National Bank was organized during the latter eighties, and was operated about five years.

After the Greene County National Bank liquidated the Greene County Bank was organized, about 1888, and continued in business six years.

The Bank of Commerce was organized about 1890, and failed in 1893, being the first real bank failure in Springfield. Its failure caused much excitement and quite a pronounced flurry in financial circles in this section of the state. It is alleged that its failure was due partly to mismanagement. Its depositors were never fully paid. The disastrous and widespread panic of 1893 doubtless had a direct bearing on the closing of the doors of the Bank of Commerce. Other local banks were also hard hit. There were more banks than the city could well support at this period, several having been established only a few years previously. This panic caused the American National Bank and the Greene County Bank to go out of business the following year. [511]


The name Holland has been synonymous with the banking industry of Springfield for a period of forty years, the Hollands having conducted a private bank, as before, stated in this article, up to September 21, 1896, when, under a new charter, they began doing business as the Holland Banking Company, T. B. Holland continuing as the head of the firm until his death, in the summer of 1913, when he was succeeded by William B. Sanford, who has since been president. The bank has been located at St. Louis street and the public square for over thirty years. The building was remodeled on an extensive and elaborate plan in 1914, a fine grade of marble being used to good effect, and no bank in the southern part of the state has better or more up-to-date fixtures, these being installed at a cost of nearly thirty thousand dollars. The capital stock is two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, deposits two million five hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars, total resources being at this writing Over $3,000,000. The Merchants National Bank and the State Savings Bank were consolidated with the Holland Banking Company in September, 1913. Since then officers have been William B. Sanford, president; Edward L. Sanford, J. H. Keet, G. S. Mitchell, vice-presidents; E. N. Ferguson, cashier; E. G. Rathbone, assistant cashier. The above also constitute the board of directors.


There are at present only two national banks in Springfield and Greene county, and they are controlled by the McDaniel family, which has been one of the most prominent in banking circles in southwestern Missouri for half a century. The Union National Bank at the southeast corner of the public square was organized July 18, 1899, and has occupied its present site ever since. It has a United States depository, having been a member of the Federal Reserve Bank since in December, 1914, or since the establishment of the same. It is on the roll of honor, a position given all national banks which have earned surplus in excess of their capital. It is the largest national bank in Missouri outside of St. Louis, Kansas City and St. Joseph. It has carried the largest reserve of any bank in the state in proportion to the volume of business. The capital and surplus amount to $225,000, and the deposits throughout the year average $2, 000,000, frequently exceeding that amount by a good many thousands. The present officers are H. B. McDaniel, president; W. J. McDaniel, vice-president; S. E. Trimble, cashier. The stockholders are H. B. McDaniel, W. J. McDaniel, E. E. McDaniel, N. A. McDaniel, Lizzie P. McDaniel, S. E. Trimble and Mabel Rathbone. [512]

The McDaniel National Bank, at 308 South street, was organized August 13, 1911, George D. McDaniel being the principal organizer. He was formerly cashier of the Union National Bank from the time it was organized until he left that institution, in 1911. He has been engaged in the banking business in this city for over twenty-five years, having been connected for many years in his earlier career with the old Central National Bank in Boonville. The McDaniel National Bank is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank, and is, therefore, subject to rigid examination twice each year by an examiner appointed by the United States government. This bank has no county, school or city money on deposit. It has had a substantial growth, having begun business on September 19, 1911, with resources Of $124,537. Its last statement shows that its present resources aggregate $1,119,200. The capital stock is $100,000, with deposits of over $900,000. The officers are Henry L. Schneider, president; W. T. Bruer, vice-president; George D. McDaniel, cashier; J. C. McDaniel, assistant cashier. The board of directors are Henry L. Schneider, Alvan D. Milligan, L. E. Lines, Mrs. T. B. Holland, W. T. Bruer, J. C. McDaniel, George W. Anslinger, Gertrude B. McDaniel, George D. McDaniel, Elizabeth N. McDaniel and C. B. McAfee.


Few banks of Missouri have ever had a more rapid growth than the Bank of Commerce, which started seven years ago with very little capital and whose present resources are over 31,000,000. It was organized in November, 1908, by D. J. Landers. It has a capital stock of $100,000; deposits, $960,000, with total resources of $1,100,000. Its first officers were D. J. Landers, president; John W. Williams, vice-president; W. W. Coffman, cashier. The present officers are D. J. Landers, president; H. N. Simons, vice-president; W. W. Coffman, cashier; J. C. Williams, assistant cashier; directors, John Landers, H. N. Simons, W. W. Coffman, D. J. Landers, J. H. George, J. P. Nixon, W. A. Fallin. This bank has been located at the southeast corner of South and Walnut streets from the time it was organized until June 1, 1915, when it was moved to elegant quarters in the new Landers' building, at the corner of Boonville street and the public square, on the site of the old Merchants National Bank. Its fixtures are attractive, modern and substantial, costing over $25,000; in fact, no bank in the Southwest can show more elaborate or attractive appointments.

The German-American Bank, at 326 South street, was organized February 15, 1912, and opened for business March 16th of that year, C. M. Ellis and G. H. Boehm being the organizers. It did not enjoy a rapid growth at first, but recently has made gratifying strides, its deposits now rapidly in creasing comparing favorably with other substantial banks of the city, with bright future prospects. Its capital stock is $50,000. It has very attractive fixtures. Italian Pavanazo marble was extensively used. The first officers of this bank were G. H. Boehm, president; L. Sutter, vice-president; J. L. Long, second vice-president; C. M. Ellis, cashier; Will Lohmeyer, secretary of the board of directors. The present officers are C. M. Ellis, president; L. Sutter, vice-president; A. J. Markley, second vice-president H. D. Awbrey, cashier; Buell J. Ellis, assistant cashier. Board of directors are C. M. Ellis, L. Sutter, A. J. Markley, H. R. Awbrey, J. E. Potter, Alzoa Park, Dr. F. B. Fuson, John N. Murry and G. H. Boehm. [513]


There are two banks on Campbell street which do a large business with the farmers of Greene county. However, all local banks have large deposits by those who live in the rural districts surrounding Springfield. The Farmers and Merchants Bank at the northeast corner of Campbell and Walnut streets, was organized September 21, 1893. It was the first bank ever located on South Campbell street, and it has remained the only one in this field. It has a capital stock of $25,000, an earned surplus of $25,000 and total deposits of $300,000. It is on the roll of honor, as its surplus equals that of its capital. It has declared thirty-four three per cent dividends, and one five per cent dividend since its organization. It has had a steady growth from the first. Its first president was John Y. Fulbright, who held that position until his death, in May, 1912, when he was succeeded by R. R. Ricketts, who has been president since that date; the other officers are H. M. Smith, cashier, he having held this position since the bank was first organized; W. O. Oldham was the first vice-president; he has been succeeded by D. M. Diffenderffer.

The other Campbell street bank is the Bank of Greene County, located at the northwest corner of Campbell and College streets, which has occupied this location since it was first organized, October 25, 1909. It caters to the business of the farmers of this county, and its present deposits amount to $170,000. It has a capital stock of $25,000. Its officers have remained the same from the time of its organization, namely: C. W. Smith, president; J. V. Smith, first vice-president; W. R. Self, second vice-president; H. D. Smith, cashier; directors, C. W. Smith, J. V. Smith, J. F. Vincent, C. A. Denton, W. R. Self.

The Queen City Bank, which now occupies neat quarters on the north side of the public square, where it has been located since its organization, with the exception of a year or more as a result of the disastrous fire which visited that part of the city two years ago, was organized June 14, 1911. It has a capital stock of $25,000, and its deposits total $150,000. Its first officers were G. A. Watson, president; Harry D. Durst, vice-president; T. A. Nicholson, cashier. The present officers are G. A. Watson, president; R. L. Pipkin, vice-president; T. A. Nicholson, cashier; directors, G. A. Watson, R. L. Pipkin, T. H. Gideon, James E. Sparkman and T. A. Nicholson. [514]


The north side has long been well represented in the matter of banks, a number of strong institutions having been located on Commercial street during the past thirty-five years or more. At present there are two very strong and prosperous banks there, the Peoples Bank of Springfield and the Citizens Bank. The Bank of Springfield was for a period of thirty-three years a substantial and popular institution. It has been referred to in a preceding paragraph in this chapter. It was located at Commercial and Jefferson streets. It was bought out in April, 1915, by the People's Bank. At that time it had a capital stock of $50,000 and its deposits amounted to nearly $400,000. Its Officers were E. B. Bentley, president; F. C. Bentley, vice-president and cashier; directors, A. C. Kilham, M. Kearney, R. E. Lee, E. B. Bentley, F. C. Bentley.

The Peoples Bank of Springfield was known as the Peoples Bank prior to purchasing the interests of the Bank of Springfield. It was located at Commercial and Boonville streets. It was chartered July 8, 1909. It had a capital stock of $25,000, and its deposits amounted to $260,000. The capital stock of the new concern is $50,000 with deposits aggregating $425,000. The first officers of this bank were B. J. Diemer, president; F. W. Garrett, vice-president; George T. Hine, cashier. The directors are B. J. Diemer, F. W. Garrett, O. T. Hamlin, W. W. Walker, R. L. Doling, J. W. Crank, John R. Barrett, J. H. Rathbone, Julius Seifert and George T. Hine. None of the officers and directors of the old Bank of Springfield.

The Citizens Bank, which has always occupied its present site, 220 East Commercial street, was established September 15, 1902, and has made an excellent growth. Its capital stock is $50,000, with an earned surplus of $25,000. Its deposits aggregate $400,000. There has been little change in the management of this bank, the following have been the officers from the first; Jerome O'Hara, president; E. V. Williams, vice-president; Tom Watkins, cashier; Ross Whitlock, assistant cashier. The directors are Dr. J. T. Evans, Tom Watkins, H. B. McDaniel, Jerome O'Hara, E. V. Williams, Ross Whitlock, W. J. McDaniel, C. O. Sperry, D. C. Van Matre. [515]


The Southern Missouri Trust Company located at the southwestern corner of Jefferson street and McDaniel avenue, was opened for business February 15, 1913. It has enjoyed a good growth, having gained $75,000 in deposits a little over two years since its establishment. Its capital stock is $100,000. Its present deposits amount to nearly $400,000. Its authorized capital is $200,000. Its officers remain the same as when first organized, namely: John F. Aven, president; George H. McCann, vice-president; Jesse. A. Tolerton, secretary and treasurer; G. M. Sebree, attorney; L. E. Shattuck, real estate. Directors, George H. McCann, W. W. G. Helm, John H. Parish, G. M. Sebree, H. S. Hadley, R. G. Porter, W. L. Garrett, George G. Schilling, John F. Aven, and Jesse A. Tolerton.

The States Savings Trust Company, located in a new building on the north side of the public square, was organized early in 1912 and has enjoyed a satisfactory growth. It was formerly located in the Woodruff building. It has a cash capital paid up of $50,000. It does a general trust business, but has no deposits. It has departments of fire and liability insurance, liability and surety bonds, loans on farm and city property. Its first officers were E. N. Ferguson, president; J. H. Keet, vice-president; John F. Allen, secretary and treasurer. Its present officers are E. N. Ferguson, president; J. H. Keet, vice-president; J. L. Hine, secretary and treasurer; and J. T. Long, manager insurance department. Directors, M. C. Baker, J. W. Creighton, E. N. Ferguson, George T. Hine, J. H. Keet, M. D. Lightfoot, L. S. Meyer, W. A. Rathbun, J. H. Rountree, L. W. Seaman, and F. H. Wright.

The Ozark States Trust Company, which has occupied commodious quarters in the Woodruff building since it began business in October, 1913, was organized by John T. Woodruff, who has been president of the company from its organization to the present time. It has a capital stock Of $500,000. It has had a most satisfactory growth. It does not do a banking business, but has a number of different departments, has a safety deposit vault, and handles trust estates, real estate loans, real estate, insurance, land titles, rentals and construction. [516]


The smaller towns of Greene county have long been well represented in the matter of banking institutions. The fact that there are eleven banks in the county outside of the eleven in Springfield, would indicate that this is a thriving community, especially is this fact apparent when statements show all these twenty odd banks are on a sound working basis and all enjoying a satisfactory development, despite the fact that this locality has experienced discouraging crop conditions during the past four years.

The Bank of Republic at the town of Republic, was chartered June 11, 1899. It has a capital stock of $10,000, and its deposits amount to $150,000. Its officers are Walter A. Coon, president; C. N. O'Bryant, vice-president; W. P. Anderson, cashier. The directors are C. N. O'Bryant, Walter A. Coon, W. P. Anderson and E. T. Anderson.

The Republic State Bank, located at Republic, was chartered June 28, 1911. It has a capital stock of $10,000 and its deposits amount to $60,000. Its officers are E. DeBoard, president; J. E. Decker, vice-president; Lon Edmonson, cashier. Directors, E. DeBoard, J. E. Decker, W. T. King, M. L. Crum, J. A. Gammon, W. H. Pearce and Lon Edmonson.

The Bank of Ash Grove, located in the town of Ash Grove, was chartered April 13, 1883. It. has a capital stock of $20,000, and its deposits aggregate $215,000. Its officers are W. T. Chandler, president; T. Doolin, vice-president; O. T. Perryman, cashier. Directors, W. T. Chandler, T. Doolin, O. T. Perryman, W. P. Elson, J. H. Perryman, R. T. Johns, J. F. Keblinger R. F. Trogdon. and C. B. Comegys.

The Farmers Bank, located at Ash Grove, was chartered September 4, 1891. It has a capital stock of $20,000, and its deposits amount to $132,000. Its officers are, T. J. Killingsworth, president; W. R. Watson, vice-president; J. N. Moore, cashier. Directors, T. J. Killingsworth, J. I. Rountree, William Richter, J. N. Moore, W. R. Watson, George C: Merrick and T. W. Wilkerson.

The Bank of Walnut Grove, at the town of Walnut Grove, was organized September 30, 1890. It is capitalized for $10,000. Its resources amount to $75,000. Its officers are John S. McLemore, president; W. H. Jones, vice-president; N. L. Murray, cashier. Directors, John S. McLemore, W. H. Jones, M. D. Wright.

The Citizens Bank at Walnut Grove was organized March 14, 1905. It has a capital stock of $12,000. Its resources are about $80,000. Its first officers were C. L. King, president, John McMahan, vice-president; J. S. Whitaker. Its present officers are C. L. King, president; L. M. Newlands,-vice-president; A. L. Wilson, cashier. The directors are C. L. King, L. M. Newlands, I. F. McCulley, A. L. Wilson and J. F. Carpenter.

The Bank of Fair Grove, at the village of Fair Grove, was chartered March 17, 1905. It has a capital stock of $10,000. Its deposits amount to $60,000. Its officers are W. C. Potter, president; I. W. Wingo, vice-president; J. W. B. Appleby, cashier. The directors are W. C. Potter, I. W. Wingo, B. F. Potter, J. W. B. Appleby and L. Icenbower.

The Bank of Bois D' Arc, located at the village of Bois D' Arc, was organized March 21, 1905. It has a capital stock of $10,000, and its deposits amount to $75,000. Its officers are V. C. Lambeth, president; J. M. Baker, vice-president; W. T. Jennings, cashier. Directors, V. C. Lambeth, W. T. Jennings, J. M. Baker, W. E. Redfearn, J. R. Spoon, A. M. Gloss and W. H. Turk. [517]

The Bank of Strafford, at the village of Strafford, was chartered January 7, 1911. It has a capital stock of $10,000. Its deposits amount to about $50,000. The officers of the bank are L. C. Ricketts, president; Theo. Thorson, vice-president; J. W. Hartt, cashier. Directors, L. C. Ricketts, Theo. Thorson, A. B. Grier, C. A. Womack, J. J. Foster, Jr., W. P. Camp, J. W. Hartt.

The Bank of Willard, located at the village of Willard, was organized March 16, 1906. It has a capital stock of $10,000. Its deposits amount to $90,000. Its officers are H. B. East, president; J. W. Clutter, vice-president; J. E. Cahill, cashier. Directors, H. B. East, J. W. Clutter, J. E. Cahill, D. C. Gorman, C. C. Young, J. A. Staley, S. C. Gillespie.

The Bank of Battlefield, at the village of Battlefield, was organized August 26, 1907. It has a capital stock of $10,000. Its deposits amount to $35,000. Its officers are L. E. McCroskey, president; A. M. Howard, vice-president; J. A. Walker, cashier. Directors, L. E. McCroskey, A. M. Howard, J. A. Walker, W. A. Fry and Will McElhaney. [518]

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