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Copied from Harbaugh's 1909 History


Miami County Ohio

Chapter 16


Early Currency; Its Instability - The Old State Banks
The First National Bank of Troy Organized
The Miami County Bank and Troy National Bank
The Piqua National Bank - The Citizens' National Bank of Piqua
The Piqua Savings Bank Company - The Tippecanoe National Bank
The Citizens' National Bank of Tipppecanoe City
Banks of West Milton, Covington, Pleasant Hill, Bradford, etc
Stability of Miami County's Financial Institutions

The history of banking in Miami County may be briefly told. The banks now in operation and successfully so are the successors of the old State banks which were the first mediums of financial exchange. Prior to the establishment of the State banks the meager currency of the country was poor indeed. Before the War of 1812 the circulating medium was the almost worthless sharp-skins or cut- money, a description of which has already been given. There were no banks operating in this locality at that time, for the State banks did not come into existence till after the War. While they were a great advance in the way of monetary affairs they were, to some extent, looked upon with distrust. Before the coming of the banking institutions which flourish to day, the excellent national banks and those chartered under the present banking laws of the State, including the savings banks, the country went through the "wild-cat" regime, which is well remembered by our older citizens.

This period of poor and depreciated currency was the nightmare of every business man and those who handled money. Every merchant was compelled to keep in his desk a "detector" which, to a certain extent, kept him informed as to the value of the bills which passed over his counter. A person going from one state into another often found that his money carried him no further than the state line. There was really nothing behind the "wild-cat" banks. Half the time their issue was "up in the air" so to speak. They were fairly good today and tomorrow their currency was not worth the paper upon which it was printed. Banks failed everywhere and the holders of the bills had no recourse whatever. If a light- fingered gentleman picked a traveler's pocket he got nothing for his pains but a lot of bills whose value as stated on their face was a prevarication.

Some of the State and wild-cat banknotes were beautifully engraved and well printed. In fact, they were marvels of the engraver's skill. Counterfeits were abundant, and in many instances were as good as the genuine, owing to the instability of the prevailing banks. A merchant sending bank bills, say to the East or even into an adjoining state, in payment of goods, was apt to have his money returned with the information that the banks of issue had "gone out of business." This period was one of financial uncertainty. It kept every handler of money suspicious and consequently exercised a deleterious influence on trade.

The State banks were much better than the others, but in time the need of a better banking system than they afforded called for improvement. In 1863 the First National Bank of Troy was established as a successor to the Miami County Branch of the State Bank, which was founded in 1847. The first officers were: President, Asa Coleman; cashier, John C. Culbertson; teller and book-keeper, Daniel W. Smith. Directors-Jacob Knoop, Sr., Daniel Brown, George Smith, Asa Coleman, Lewis Hayner and H.W.Allen. In 1865 H.W.Allen was elected president and D.W. Smith cashier, positions which hold to this day. The First National in 1908 erected a new fire-proof banking house and its present officers follow: President, Henry W. Allen; vice-president, Cyrus T. Brown; cashier, D.W.Smith; assistant cashier, John H. Drury; teller, C. E. Snyder; Savings Department-Walter G.Wells; book-keeper, Roy Fish; Directors -H.W.Allen, C.T.Brown, S.K.Statler, H.M.Allen, C.J.Harr, John McClain, J.S.Coombs, A.B.Thackera, C.U.Briggs. It was the fifty-ninth National Bank to be started in the United States. Its capital is $200,000. The First National is considered one of the safest banks in the country.

The Miami County Bank was established in 1871 by W.H.H.Dye and Son and in 1879 passed into the hands of another corporation headed by H.H.Weakly. It has a capital of $50,000. Later on, in 1888, it became the Troy National Bank, with a capital of $100,000. Its first officers were: President, N.H.Albaugh; vice-president, John M. Campbell; cashier, Noah Yount; assistant cashier, Charles E. Wilson. Noah Yount was cashier of the Miami County Bank under the Weakley management. The present officers of the Troy National are: President, John M.Campbell; vice-president, D.M.McCullough; cashier, Walter E.Bowyer; assistant cashiers, Noah Yount, John K. Defrees; teller, H.E.Scott; book-keeper, V.C.Levre. -Directors- Johh M. Campbell,D. M. M cCullough, W.H.Francis, A.G.Stouder, Jacob Henne, E.F.Sayers, R.W.Saunders, W.P.Martin, A.M.Heywood. The Troy National, with the First National, pays interest on time deposits, has safety deposit boxes and does a safe banking business.

The present Piqua National Bank was incorporated as the Piqua Branch of the State Bank of Ohio in 1847 with a capital stock of $100,000, by William Scott, Jos.G.Young, H.W.Hughes, J.D. Holtzerman, Stephen Winans, Robert Young, L.R.Brownell, and J. A. Schmidlapp. William Scott was its first president and Jos.G. Young its first cashier. On March 13, 1865, it was reorganized as the Piqua National Bank, with William Scott, president, J.G. Young, cashier, and Henry B. Greenham, assistant cashier. Its capital stock was increased to $200,000. During the forty-three years of its existence its net profits have been over one million dollars, from which dividends have been paid to the amount of $855,565. A balance of more than $200,000 is still carried as undivided profits. The present official force of the Piqua National is: George H. Rundle, president; H.K.Wood, vice- president; John H. Young, cashier; George M. Peffer, assistant cashier; August S. Clouse, teller; G.E.Folk and F.H.King, book- keepers. Directors-G. H. Rundle, H.K.Wood, Jas.R.Duncan, J.W. Brown, J.H.Clark, C.N.Adlard, J.B.Sheridan, Daniel Spencer, J.W. Daniels, Joe F.Coppock and John H. Young. This bank has the confidence of the entire community and is listed as one of the best institutions of the kind in the banking business.

The Citizen's National, also of Piqua, was organized in 1866 by William and M.N.McGrew. It started business with a capital of $100,000. In 1867 the McGrews sold out to G.Volney Dorsey and Robert B. Moores. Dr.Dorsey became president and his partner cashier. The present personnel of the Citizen's National is as follows: President, W.P.Orr; vice-president, Samuel Zollinger; cashier, Henry Flesh; assistant cashier, Frank B. Zoe; teller, F.P. Irvin. Directors-W. P.Orr, S.K.Statler, Samuel Zollinger, W. McC. Dorsey, W.A.Snyder, L.M.Flesh, A.M.Orr, Joseph Wolcott and Henry Flesh. This banking house has enjoyed prosperity from its inception and is accounted a safe and sound institution. Among its older officers were C.S.Parker, vice-president, and H.C. Landis, cashier. Its present capital is $150,000 and its volume of business done in a year is approximately $5,000,000.

The Piqua Savings Bank Company is one of the best financial institutions in the county. It was organized in October, 1901, and ever since has been successfully conducted. Its present corps of officers is as follows: President, W.P.Orr; first vice president, L.M.Flesh; second vice-president, George Benkert; cashier, John L. Prugh; assistant cashier, W.B.Dubois; Directors- W.P.Orr, L.M.Flesh, George Genkert, Henry Flesh, S.K.Statler, John W. Yenney, John W. Brown, L.E.Chamberlin, W.B. Snyder, John L. Boyer, A.M.Orr. This bank is capitalized at $100,000 and does a very large banking business, having the confidence of all.

The Tippecanoe National Bank was organized March 5, 1883, and commenced business August, 27, of that year. Its first officers were: Samuel Sullivan, president; Jacob Rohrer, vice-president; A. W. Miles, cashier; Directors-Samuel Sullivan, Jacob Rohrer, G.W. Weakley, W.W.Crane, J.W.Bowman, William Ashworth, John Brown. It has a capital of $60,000 and its deposits and loans have increased from $42,000 to $250,000 during the last twentyfive years. The present officers of the Tippecanoe National Bank are: President, T.C. Leonard; vice-president, E.L.Crane; cashier, A.W.Miles; assistant cashier, E.L.Crane; Directors-T.C.Leonard, William Ashworth, J.W.Bowman, A.W.Miles, E.L.Crane, W.E.Crane, A.L.Harshbarger. Always reliable and careful, the Tippecanoe National has the entire confidence of a large and increasing clientele.

The Citizens' National Bank of Tippecanoe City was organized January 2, 1908. It has a capital of $50,000 with $12,500 of an undivided surplus. It is officered as follows: S.R.Fergus, president; S.D.Hartman, vice-president; C.O.Davis, cashier; Directors- S.R.Fergus, Jacob Coppock, S.D.Hartman, C.O.Davis, T.J.Dinsmore, A.R.Garver, J.H.Pohlman, R.M.Evans, W.E.Prill, L.C.Gissman, John Singer, George J. Smith, Henry Studebaker, Abe Studebaker, J.S.Studebaker and L.N.Agenbroad. There is a bright future before this, one of the latest, banks to be established in this couiaty, and its reliability is vouched for in its present efficient personnel.

The town of West Milton contains two banks. The first of these in point of organization is the West Milton Bank , establislied in December, 1882. In 1908 it was succeeded by the First National Bank of West Milton, with a capital of $30,000. The first officers were Robert M. Douglass, president; C.B.Douglass, vice- president; D.F.Douglass, cashier. For twenty-five years this banking house has had the same corps of officers, with the addition of Gifford Douglass, who is the assistant cashier. The deposits of the First National now amount to $175,000, an excellent showing for a bank in an interior town.

The Citizens' National Bank of West Milton was organized in 1907. It has a paid-up capital of $18,000 and an authorized one of $30,000 and its annual volume of business foots up more than half a million. The first and present elective officers are C.E.Emerick, president; Adam Pfeifer, first vice-president; A.J.Iddings, second vice-president, Noble B. Hunt, cashier; Ada M. Guagey, book-keeper. Directors- C.E.Emerick, Adam Pfeifer, A.J.Iddiiigs, J.C.Henderson, Dr.W.H.Kessler, J.C.Minnich, B.J. Ford, L.A.Pearson, G.N.Falkner. Though young in years the Citizen's National has its share of the banking business of the Stillwater region and gives good satisfaction.

The Stillwater Valley Bank of Covington commenced business in 1871, and was incorporated as a state bank in 1908. It has a capital of $50,000 and does an annual banking business of over $200,000. It is officered at present as follows: J.Kendell, president; S.W.Ullery, vice-president; J.Kendell, cashier; and A.J.Maier, assistant cashier. The Stillwater Valley Bank is regarded as a sound banking house and enjoys a large and increasing patronage.

On May 31st, 1900, the Citizen's National Bank of Covington was incorporated with a capital of $25,000. Its first officers were Henry Flesh, president; J.W.Ruhl, vice-presideiat; J.L.Goodnight, cashier; J.G.Bartness and S.B.Freshour... At present its official force is Henry Flesh, president; J.W.Ruhl, vice-president; W.Landis, cashier; Directors-J.W.Dowler, C.M. Patty, D.E.P.Faul and A.W.Landis. The average deposits amount to $100,000, showing a good financial condition, which has gained much by careful management.

Of the lesser banking institutions, of the county are the Fletcher Banking Company, which has but one officer, P.L.Carter, cashier; the Pleasant Hill Banking Company, managed by Charles F. Perkins; the Commercial Savings Bank of Troy, established with in the year, and the First National Bank of Bradford, of which William Vermillion is cashier. The Building & Loan Associations will be found mentioned in Chapter XXIII.

The Pleasant Hill Banking Company, above referred to, one of the stable financial institutions on the West Side, was incorporated under the laws of Ohio. Its authorized capital is $25,000, average deposits, $100,000, average loans, $80,000. Officers: David M. Coppack, president; C.E.Perkins, cashier.

All the banking institutions of the county. are conducted on a sound monetary basis and are carefully and intelligently managed by those in charge. Never to my knowledge has a single defalcation occurred. From the earliest dawn of Miami County banking our financial institution's have had the entire confidence of the community; they have passed through a number of panics with their attendant depressions of business, but have emerged with their confidence unimpaired, which speaks well for their man agement and stability.

The celebrated panic of 1887, the Civil War of 1861-65, the panics of 1873 and 1893 failed to shake the foundations of the banks of this country and the safe and conservative management that has always been one of their most prominent features has merited and held the confidence of the entire county. H.W.Allen and Jacob Rohrer, two of the oldest pioneers in the banking business, still survive. The former is still president of'the First National Bank of Troy, while the latter has but recently retired from active busiiaess on account of age and physical infirmity. While our banks of the present day have adopted a new system from that of the old regime, with a currency sound and good the world over, they have lost none of the integrity which was a noted feature of the first banks. All of them stand today among the trusted institutions of the financial world and with this showing, the banks of Miami County can safely face the people, secure in the reputation they enjoy.

End of chapter 16
1909 History of Miami County Ohio

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