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Genealogy Trails - Jersey County, Illinois

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First Banks

First Bank

The first bank opened in Jersey County was that established at Jerseyville in 1854 by A.M. Blackburn. For more than forty years subsequent to the first settlement in Jersey County there were no banks within the present limits of Jersey County. During the greater portion of this time, there had been little demand for banking privileges. The early settlers were not blessed with any amount of money. What they had they hoarded in secret places until they had enough to go to the land office and pay the entry fee on government land. As soon as their little hoard amounted to fifty or one hundred dollars, they made a trip to the land office and secured either forty or eighty acres of land.

First National Bank of Jerseyville

In 1859 the Bank of D'Arcy, Tesse & Cheney was organized. The firm was composed of Dr. E.A. D'Arcy, and Tesse and Prentiss D. Cheney, the latter both sons-in-law of Dr. D'Arcy.This bank continued in operation until 1866, when it was taken over by Hugh N.Cross and George R. Swallow, and was operated under the firm name of Cross & Swallow until 1872, when Swallow retired, and the firm became Cross, Carlin & Co. In 1876, this bank was merged into the First National Bank of Jerseyville, with the following as its first directors: Hugh N. Cross, A.W.Cross, W.E. Carlin, J.C.Barr, James A. Locke, Dr. George S.Miles, and J.N. English. Hugh N. Cross died Novemeber 21, 1883, and his son, A.W. Cross, succeeded him as president of the bank.

National Bank of Jerseyville

In 1894, the National Bank of Jerseyville, was incorporated, succeeding the First National bank, with A. W. Cross as president; Edward Cross, cashier, until 1899, when Daniel J. Murphy became cashier, and held that position until 1906, when A.H. Cochran succeeded him. The present officers of the bank are as follows: D.J.Murphy, president; A.H.Cochran, vice president; F.D. Heller, cashier; and D.J.Murphy, A.H.Cochran, F.D.Heller, P.M. Hamilton, Fred Scheffer, Daniel Sutherland, are directors, and Lloyd Spangle is assistant cashier. This bank is the legitimate successor of the first bank started in Jerseyville in 1854 by A.M. Blackburn.

State Bank of Jerseyville

In 1866 William Shephard opened a bank at Jerseyville under the firm name of William Shephard & Co., changing the style in 1867 to that of William Shephard & Son. In 1875 Stephen H. Bowman and George W. Ware, under the firm name of Bowman & Ware, purchased the bank of Shephard & Son. John A. Shephard & Co. organized a bank in 1883, and in 1890 this bank and that of Bowman &Ware were consolidated, and the State Bank of Jerseyville was organized, with a capital stock of $50,000.00 and a surplus of $5,000.00. The first officials were as follows: S.H.Bowman,president; John A. Shephard, vice president; and Henry A. Shephard, cashier. On June 29, 1915, there was a reorganization of this bank, and a new charter was obtained. The directors for the new bank were as follows: Stephen H. Bowman, president; Patrick J. Fleming and Harriet C. Bowman, vice presidents; and George W. Campbell, cashier. The board of Directors were composed of the following: S.H. Bowman, Harriet C. Bowman, Patrick J. Fleming, Elias Cockrell, and Thomas F. Ferns.

Jersey State Bank

On September 6, 1881, Walter E.Carlin and Marcus M. Bagley opened a bank under the firm name of Carlin & Bagley,from which Walter E. Carlin retired March 1, 1885, and Mr. Bagley became the sole proprietor, with Jett A. Kirby as cashier. During the panic of 1893, this bank suspended and Jett Kirby the assignee of the bank, closed out the assets in 1896 and 1897. Theodore S. Chapman purchased the safe, furniture and fixtures of this bank, and in 1903, he associated with Judge A.M. Slaten, Charles S. White, George H. Doughtery and others, opened the Jersey State Bank, with a capital stock of $25,000.00. Theodore S. Chapman was president; A.M. Slaten was vice president; Charles S. White was second vice president; and R.W. Greene was cashier. In 1904 Mr. Greene retired, and C.G. Reddish was made cashier, which position he still holds. On December 22, 1908, the capital stock was increased to $50,000.00. President Theodore S. Chapman died December 14, 1914, and A.M. Slaten was elected his successor to the presidency of the bank, and retained that office until April 1, 1916, when Charles S. White became president and is still the chief executive of the bank.

The Grafton Bank

The Grafton bank was opened by William H. Allen and Edward A. Pinero in 1869. In 1873 Mr. Pinero retired, and Mr. Allen operated the bank until July 5, 1883, when Ernest Meysenburg and C.P. Stafford became associated with Mr. Allen. The new bank had the following officials: William H. Allen, president; C.P. Stafford, vice president; and Ernest Meysenburg, cashier. Later Ernest Meysenburg became president, and he still retains that office, his son, Robert Meysenburg being cashier. The capital stock of this bank is $22,000.00. The buidling in which the bank was opened was burned, but was rebuilt and is now an entirely fire proof structure. This bank has had a very prosperous history, and has been of great convenience to the people in the southern part of the county, and to those of Calhoun County. It has been associated with the business interests of Grafton, and has kept legitimate connection with them, and it rightly deserves the patronage which is accorded it.

Bank of Fieldon

The Bank of Fieldon was organized as a state bank on November 19, 1910, with William Weighard as president; Louis Krueger as vice president; and Frank Rowden as cashier. The bank has a capital stock of $25,000.00 and a surplus of $500.00.

Bank of Fidelity

The Bank of Fidelity was organized in 1913, with a capital stock of $11,000.00, of which John Ewin is president; Charles E.Lewis is vice president; and Ralph R. Smith is cashier. This bank is located at Fidelity, in a very rich agricultural country, and its officials posses the confidence of the entire community. The above named banks are all within the limits of Jersey County. They are all of them stable and paying institutions, which hold the confidence of the people of the communities in which they are located, and they are in the hands of careful,capable, and diligent officials.