Peoria County, Illinois  Genealogy Trails



Early Peoria Banks


By Oliver J. Bailey.

The banking history of Peoria dates from near the middle of the last century. Previous to that date, although Peoria had been an incorporated town for some twenty years, and had a population of nearly 6,000 souls, with a large river commerce, no financial institutions of this character had been established here. The history of State banking began with the establishment of the "Bank of Illinois," at Shawneetown, by the Territorial Legislature, in 1816, which was continued under the State Government after the adoption of the first Constitution, in 1818. The first bank at Shawneetown had branches at Edwardsville and Kaskaskia, and, under a revised act passed in 1820, branches were established at Edwardsville and Brownsville, in Jackson County. In 18.35, a central "Bank of Illinois" was established at Springfield, with branches at Vandalia and Chicago—the latter being the first banking enterprise in the metropolis of the Northwest. Two years later, the late George Smith, who died in London about two years ago, became an important factor in connection with banking interests in the Northwest, first as one of the founders of the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company, at Milwaukee, but, in 1839, as the owner of a private bank in Chicago, through which, in after years, he promoted the circulation in the North of certain banks in Georgia, of which he had obtained control by the purchase of their charters. These issues, at a later period, went by the popular name of "wild-cat money." The financial reverses following the panic of 1837, and the collapse of the "internal improvement scheme", of the same year, was attended with disastrous results to the State banks, and the next ten years were occupied largely in winding up their affairs.

In October, 1847, William R. Phelps and B. L. T. Bourland, who had established themselves here as land agents and dealers, began receiving deposits and selling exchange in a private way, and also made commercial loans to some extent. They subsequently formed a partnership with Gideon H. Rupert, James Haines and Thomas N. Gill, of Pekin, and greatly extended their business, starting a banking house there under the firm name of G. H. Rupert & Co., the name of the Peoria branch being Phelps, Bourland & Co. At a later date, these two firms organized the Central Bank of Peoria, under the old State bank system, with Mr. Rupert as President, and Robert Arthur Smith as Cashier. The banking house used by the firm was built by Messrs. Phelps and Bourland, and was located at the lower corner of Main and Water Streets. The stock and fixtures of the Central Bank were afterward sold to Governor Joel A. Matteson and his son-in-law, R. E. Goodell, Messrs. Phelps and Bourland and the Pekin parties retiring. Three or four years later, the Central Bank went into liquidation, and ceased to exist. The banking firm of G. H. Rupert & Co., however, continued in business for some years at Pekin, and always maintained a high standard of business integrity.

Messrs. N. B. Curtiss & Co established themselves in a distinctive banking business here in 1851, locating at the upper corner of Main and Water Streets, and for many years conducted a large and prosperous business. For a time this concern seems to have had some connection with George Smith, the noted financier of Chicago, as they are reputed to have put in circulation large amounts of the notes of the Marine and Fire Insurance Company, of Milwaukee, and of Georgia banks (chiefly the issues of the Cherokee Bank, of Dalton, Georgia), in which Mr. Smith was interested. This bank prospered for a time, but suspended during the panic year of 1857. Out of this enterprise, however, grew the First National Bank of Peoria, the first National banking institution in the city.

Other early banking enterprises were those of J. P. Hotchkiss, established by Joshua P. Hotchkiss in the fall of 1852, which has since developed into the Second National Bank of Peoria; and of S. Pulsifer & Co., which was started about 1855 by Messrs. Sidney Pulsifer, B. L. T. Bourland and George F. Harding (the latter now of Chicago), under the management of Mr. Bourland, their office being on the east corner of Main and Adams Streets. Mr. Bourland sold out his interest, in 1857, to Erastus D. Hardin, who, in conjunction with Mr. Pulsifer, carried on a large and profitable business for many years. This enterprise ended in failure, in consequence of immense but unfortunate advances made to distillers, although this temporary disaster, in a general way, resulted advantageously to the city, in the fact that it placed upon the market a large amount of undivided real estate now comprised within the most beautiful portion of the "middle bluff" district. While some of the depositors lost heavily, others, by buying up the bank's obligations at a discount, realized the full amount of their claims.

No business interest is more important to a city, or furnishes a more infallible guide by which its standing in the commercial world is to be judged, than its banks. The clearing-house is the pulsating point by which the healthful activity of business enterprise is determined; and by this test, as well as by every other, Peoria has gained a merited reputation as one of the best, most conservative and enterprising cities of its class. A noteworthy feature of its bank history consists in the extent to which enterprises of this character have been under the management of its local business men. This, while giving evidence of a development growing out of the actual demands of the business situation, has had the effect to exclude enterprises of a mere speculative character based largely upon foreign capital and of doubtful legitimacy, thus tending to the more complete security of the business public. Thus it has happened that capital has not at any time exceeded the public demand, and has been well employed under the direction of men of character, uniformly faithful to their trusts and responsibilities, thereby insuring such community of interest between banker and depositor that the latter has been accommodated at most conservative interest rates, and, in return, has received upon his deposit balances corresponding favors. As a consequence, no city of its wealth and population has suffered so little loss, through bank-failures since the establishment of the first bank within its limits, as has the city of Peoria.

While our bankers have been among the progressive and enterprising men of the city, in aiding its philanthropy and advancing its commerce, in respect to distinctive bank buildings Peoria has scarcely kept pace with most Western cities of its size. A very conservative judgment has prevailed with reference to the investment of capital in buildings of this character. While these financial institutions have been uniformly well housed, with few exceptions it has been in rented offices. In the earlier history of the city, its bank buildings were more pretentious, in comparison with their surroundings, than now. The iron-front on Main Street and the corners of that thoroughfare and Washington Street were, when erected, models of beauty and convenience, and were themselves an advertise- ment for the occupants. While yet serving well their purpose, it is in modest and retiring appearance, under the shadow of towering business blocks, erected at a later date and a more advanced period in business architecture. The demand for more room and more convenient locations, to meet the changes of our rapidly growing city, gives assurance that, in the near future, our bank buildings will be models of architectural taste and adaptability. Already plans are in contemplation for the partial accomplishment of this end, which promises an ultimate realization of all that can be desired in this direction.

A few figures will indicate the growth of the banking interests of Peoria within a little more than twenty years— although there is a dearth of statistics at hand for instituting a complete comparison. The three National Banks in existence in Peoria in 1880, with a capital stock of $100,000 each (a total of $300,000), have grown, in 1901, to seven in number, with an aggregate capital of $1,400,000 and surplus of $595,000. Statements to the Comptroller of the Currency and State Auditor of seven National and two State banks for December 10, 1901, show resources amounting to $16,489,938.14, of which $10.170,815.43 was in loans and discounts, $2,250,800 m United States bonds, and $3,581,949.58 in cash and dues from other banks. The same banks held deposits (individual, banks and certificates) aggregating $11,418,730.92 and United States deposits of $1,575,798.84. These figures do not include two savings and one private bank which publish no statements. A conservative estimate of present deposits in Peoria banks places the sum at not less than $14,500,000.


Chronologically considered, the oldest existing banking institution in Peoria, in its present organization, was the outgrowth of conditions existing in the first years of the Civil War, and the .enactment of the National Banking Act by Congress in 1863. In 1851, Nathaniel B. Curtiss and his brother, Pliny Curtiss (under the firm name of N. B. Curtiss & Co.), opened up a private banking business at the upper corner of Main and Water Streets, and for a time did a large business, during which they appear to have put in circulation large amounts of the issues of the Marine and Fire Insurance Company, of Milwaukee, and the Cherokee Bank, of Georgia, for the redemption of which Mr. Curtiss made himself responsible. About 1857, Curtiss & Co. removed to the building now occupied by the First National Bank of Peoria, at No. 200 Main Street, which had been erected in the interim by Mr. Curtiss. Owing to the panic of the latter year, a run was made upon the Curtiss bank, which resulted in its suspension for a time, though it appears to have re-opened at a later date for a short period. About 1858 or 1859, Marshall P. Stone and Thaddeus S. Ely appear to have been doing business as bankers at the location of the Curtiss Bank, though it evidently continued for only a short time, as we find in 1860 that Marshall P. Stone, William F. Bryan and George H. Stone commenced a banking business under the firm name of M. P. Stone & Co., in the Curtiss building. Three years later the last' named firm sold out to the First National Bank of Peoria, which was organized under the National Banking Law on November 23, 1863, with a capital of $150,000, owned by forty-two stockholders. The largest individual stock-holders in the original organization were Tobias S. Bradley, Nathaniel B. Curtiss and Richard Gregg, of Peoria, and James H. McCall, of Canton, Fulton county. Mr. Bradley held 270 shares of stock, and the other three 200 shares each. The first Board of Directors, elected November 25, consisted of Tobias S. Bradley, Richard Gregg, Nathaniel B. Curtiss, Hervey Lightner, John L. Griswold, John C. Proctor, Louis Green, Thomas S. Dobbins and Robert, A. Smith, and a few days later Mr. Bradley was chosen President, and Mr. Curtiss, Cashier. The bank opened its doors for business, January 6, 1864, and has been in operation ever since. In June, 1864, the capital stock was increased to $200,000; was reduced, in 1875, to $100,000, but again increased, in 1884, to $150,000, at which sum it still remains. The original charter having expired in 1883, a new charter was secured, running for twenty years, which expires in 1903. The first Board of Directors consisted of nine members; in 1870, the number was reduced to seven, and, in 1875, to five. Mr. Bradley occupied the office of President continuously until his death, which occurred May 4, 1867. He was succeeded by the late Washington Cockle, who continued in office until 1875, when he was succeeded by Hervey Lightner. The latter held office only a few weeks, when he gave place to Mr. John C. Proctor, who has been re-elected at each subsequent election since that time. A noteworthy feature in the history of the First National, indicating its conservative and substantial character, consists in the few changes that have occurred in the Board of Directors and its officers—the record showing, with few exceptions, "no change" in either since 1885. From 1875 to the present time (1902), Mrs. Lydia Bradley, the widow of the first President, has been continuously a member of the Board of Directors—one of the few instances in which a woman has held this position in a leading banking institution. In 1895, occurred the death of William E. Stone, Sr., who had been identified with the bank from its organization in 1863, first as bookkeeper and later as its Cashier, being succeeded by his son, William E. Stone, Jr. The present Board of Directors (1902) consists of John C. Proctor, Lydia Bradley, Charles R. Wheeler, Mathew Henebery and William E. Stone; with Mr. Proctor as President, Mr. Henebery as First Vice- President, Mr. Wheeler, Second Vice-President, and Mr. Stone, Cashier. The last official statement of the condition of the First National Bank of Peoria, made to the Comptroller of the Currency, under date of December 10, 1901, shows that it then had a capital stock of $150,000, with a surplus of $250,000, and $147,900 in circulation, secured by $150,000 in United States bonds on deposit in the United States Treasury; deposits (individual and other) to the amount of $2,103,724.13, $107,095.80 in real estate, $147,900 circulation, and an aggregate of $1,865,868.53 in loans and discounts, besides $530,382.41 in cash and dues from other banks.


The history of the Peoria National Bank dates back to 1852, when the banking firm of J. P. Hotchkiss & Co. was organized, with Lewis Howell as Cashier and manager. The bank was first located in a narrow room at the west corner of Main Street and Commercial Alley, but in November, 1855, was removed to the present site of the Peoria National. Joshua P. Hotchkiss, the head of the firm, died in 1856, by his will leaving Mr. Howell in charge of the bank for the benefit of the heirs. In January, 1860, the name of the firm was changed to L. Howell & Co., the company being composed of Mr. Howell, J. Boyd Smith and J. B. Headley, and, on January I, 1863, Lorin G. Pratt succeeded to the interest of Mr. Headley, Mr. Howell continuing as manager. On January 1, 1864, another change occurred in the chartering of the bank under the National Banking Law, under the name of the Second National Bank of Peoria, with a capital of $200,000, and with L. Howell as its first President, L. G. Pratt, Vice President, and J. B. Smith, Cashier. In January, 1874, George H. McIlvaine succeeded to the Vice-Presidency, and Thomas G. McCulloh, Jr., became Cashier. Four years later (1878) Charles P. King was chosen Vice-President, and George H. McIlvaine Cashier. May 24,1880, Vice-President King was advanced to the Presidency as successor of Mr. Howell, deceased. The first charter of the Second National having expired in February, 1883, the bank was reorganized under the name of the Peoria National Bank, Mr. King and Mr. McIlvaine continuing in their positions as President and Cashier, respectively. The Board of Directors, at this second organization, were Charles P. King, George H. McIlvaine, Calvin C. Lines, Charles B. Day, Philip Zell, Charles H. Kellogg and William Jack. The Directorship for 1889 remained unchanged, except that Newton C. Dougherty and Leonard F. Houghton entered the Board as successors to Charles B. Day and Charles H. Kellogg. At the same time Mr. McIlvaine became Vice-president, Richard A. Culter succeeding him in the office of Cashier. In January, 1893, Mr. Culter became a Director, as successor to Leonard F. Houghton, and, in March following, Mr. King having died after a service of ten years, George H. McIlvaine was chosen President, to fill the vacancy. In 1897, Philip Zell succeeded to the Presidency, in place of Mr. McIlvaine, deceased, and, on April 18, 1900, Mr. Zell having died, Newton C. Dougherty was chosen to succeed him. The present Board of Directors (1902) consists of Newton C. Dougherty, Leonard F. Houghton, Calvin C. Lines, William Jack, William H. Rich, Mathias Huffman, and William H. Miller, with Mr. Dougherty as President, Mr. Houghton, Cashier, and Mr. Lines, Assistant Cashier. The report of the condition of the Peoria National, for December 10, 1901, shows that, in addition to its capital of $200,000, the bank then had a surplus of $40,000, with an outstanding circulation of $150,000, secured by United States bonds to an equal amount in the United States Treasury. The deposits (Government and individual), at the same time, were $1,065,142.34, and the aggregate of loans and discounts $829,200.31, with cash and dues from National and State Banks of $256,782.78. The Peoria National is a Government depository.


The Merchants' National Bank of Peoria is the successor of the Mechanics' National Bank, which was organized and opened for business May 20, 1865, with Isaac Underhill as President, and Samuel Coskery, Cashier. A radical change took place in the Directorate in 1866, and Horatio N. Wheeler became President, and J. Boyd Smith, Cashier. In 1880 the bank had a paid-up capital of $100,000, and a reserve of $70,000—its execu-
tive officers remaining unchanged. In 1884, the Mechanics' National reorganized as the Merchants' National, the capital stock being increased to $200,000. The first Board of Directors of the new organization consisted of Horatio N. Wheeler, Ezekiel A. Proctor, John C. Yates, Charles T. Luthy, John D. McClure, William F. Bryan and John B. Smith. H..N. Wheeler, who had been President of the Mechanics' National during most of its history, was elected the first President of the new institution, and J. B. Smith, Cashier. E. A. Proctor was elected President in 1885, continuing in office, by repeated re-elections, until 1888, when he resigned, and was succeeded by Andrew J. Hodges, his period of service continuing until 1893. A new element came into the Merchants' National, in 1896, in the absorption of the Bank of Commerce, which had been organized in 1891, under the State Banking Law, with a capital stock of $100,000, which was increased two years later to $200,000. The first Board of Directors included the names of Henry H. Fahnestock, Charles R. Wheeler, A. G. Danforth, H. B. Steward, George Emerson, B. F. Rhodehamel, C. A. Davis, James M. Morse and Fred H. Smith, with Mr. Fahnestock as President, C. R. Wheeler, Vice-President, and Homer W. McCoy, Cashier.

The bank conducted a successful business, the Board of Officers, in the meantime, remaining unchanged until the fall of 1896, when it was merged into the Merchants' National Bank of Peoria, the stockholders realizing 103 per cent on their capital stock. After the retirement of Mr. Hodges from the Presidency of the Merchants' National, in 1893, Ferdinand Luthy became President, and has so continued up to the present time (1902). The terms of other officers have been as follows: John D. McClure, Vice-president, 1885-92; Henry Sandmeyer, Vice-president, 1893-1901; Homer W. McCoy, Second Vice-president, 1897-99; John B. Smith, Cashier, 1884-89 (resigned); George H. Littlewood, Assistant Cashier, 1888-89, and Cashier from 1889 to present date; Thaddeus S. Ely, Assistant Cashier, 1885-88, succeeded in turn by Mr. Littlewood, who, in 1889, gave place to Fillmore Millard, the latter resigning in 1894; W. T. Murray, Assistant Cashier, 1894-96 (resigned) ; Walter L. Wiley, Assistant Cashier, up to 1901. .The present officers (1902) are Ferdinand Luthy, President; Henry Sandmeyer, Vice-president; George H. Littlewood, Cashier, and Walter L. Wiley, Assistant Cashier, with Messrs. Luthy, Sandmeyer, Littlewood, Wiley, Sumner R. Clark, Frederick H. Smith and George T. Page, members of the Board of Directors. Others who have held positions upon the Board of Directors, in addition to those already named, include B. Cremer, A. J. Hodges, C. S. Clarke, C. C. Clarke, Adolph Woolner, J. B. Greenhut, Samuel Woolner, Jr., and Homer W. McCoy. On May 30, 1886, a crisis occurred in the affairs of the bank in conse- quence of the discovery of the embezzlement of its funds by a bookkeeper, to the amount of $183,000. The bank went into the hands of the National Bank authorities, and, for a month, remained closed; but, its capital having been restored by an assessment of fifty per cent. upon the stockholders, it finally reopened for business. Besides an unimpaired capital of $200,000, it now has a surplus of $100,000, and, for the past two years, has paid quarterly dividends of three per cent, making a total paid to its stockholders, since 1887, of $254,000. The statement of December 10, 1901, shows a total of loans and discounts on its books amounting to $1,028,996.28, with $1,236,166.95 in individual deposits, besides $125,615.80 in Government deposits, and an outstanding circula- ion of $100,000. Its resources include cash and dues from banks aggregating $413,657.40 and $270,000 in U. S. bonds.


The German-American National Bank of Peoria is the outgrowth of the German Banking Company, a co-partner- ship banking concern, organized during the great panic in the fall of 1873. The latter opened its doors for business at the corner of Bridge and Washington Streets, on November 1, 1873, with Michael Pfeifer as its President. The following were the original partners : Michael Pfeifer, Louis Green, Bernard Cremer, Ferdinand Welte, Joseph Huber, Andrew Heppler, Erhard Kramm, William Oberhauser, Joseph Miller, Valentine Jobst and Jacob Mueller At a later date some of the partners disposed of their interests, and Valentine Ulrich, having become a member of the Company, was elected its President. The original partnership was formed for a period of ten years, and, on the expiration of this period, steps were taken to organize the German-American National Bank of Peoria, which was granted its charter (No. 3070) on October 31, 1883, and the new concern opened up its business at the old stand of the German Banking Company, at the corner of Bridge and Washington Streets, January 1, 1884, with a capital stock of $100,000. Valentine Ulrich, Samuel Woolner, Sabin D. Puterbaugh, Michael Pfeifer, Charles Gehrman, A. L. Schimpff and James Miller constituted the first Board of Directors, with Valentine Ulrich as the first President, Michael Pfeifer, Vice-president, and William Oberhauser, Cashier. The following changes in the capital stock have been made since the original organization: August, 1885, increased to $105,000 ; April, 1886, increased to $150,000; August, 1891, occurred a still further increase to $300,000—at which the stock (1902) now stands. On December 8, 1884, Mr. Oberhauser resigned the position of Cashier, and was succeeded, in January following, by Weston Arnold. In April, 1888, the bank qualified as a Government Depository. In March, 1892, Mr. Ulrich resigned the Presidency, and was succeeded in June following, by Bernard Cremer, who still retains the position. There has been but one death among the officers of the bank in the history of the institution— that of Judge Sabin D. Puterbaugh, then Vice-President, which occurred September 25, 1892. Since its organization, the bank has made two removals: In January, 1884, to No. 203 Main Street, and in January, 1891, to 208 South Adams Street, its present location. The present Board of Directors (1902) includes the following names: Leslie D. Puterbaugh, J. B. Greenhut, Joseph Miller, Samuel Woolner, A. L. Schimpff, Bernard Cremer, and Weston Arnold, with Mr. Cremer in the position of President; Mr. Woolner, Vice-president; Mr. Schimpff, Second Vice-president; Mr. Arnold, Cashier; and Peter Anicker, Assistant Cashier. The German-American also does a savings bank business by the payment of interest on time deposits, deals largely in foreign exchange, and makes a specialty of ocean steamship tickets. On December 10, 1901—the date of the last statement to the Comptroller of the Currency—the German-American, in addition to its capital stock of $300,000, had a surplus of $60,000, an outstanding bank-note circulation of $150,000, and individual deposits amounting to $1,472,- 855.10, besides $162,500 in Government funds. The aggregate of loans and discounts, at the same time, was $l,212,349.42, cash on hand and dues from National and State Banks and approved reserve agents, $528,182.74, besides a premium account of $14,000. The bank is the owner of $51,354.40 in real estate, and has $350,000 in bonds on deposit in the United States Treasury as security for circulation and Government deposits.


The Commercial National Bank of Peoria is a reorganization of the private banking firm of Callender, Ayres & Co., which began business March 12, 1881, with a capital of $75,000, the members of the firm being Columbus R. Cummings (now of Chicago), the late Gardner T. Barker, Walter Barker, Eliot Callender and the late Henry P. Ayres. The reorganized institution, under its present name, was opened for business January 13, 1885. with a capital stock of $200,000, the first officers being Eliot Callender, President, and Henry P. Ayres, Vice-president and Cashier. Two weeks later, Gardner T. Barker was elected Vice-president, Mr. Ayres remaining in the position of Cashier until April 1st of the same year, when he resigned, giving place to Henry B. Dox, who continued in office until his death, in September, 1899. Homer W. McCoy was then chosen to fill the vacancy. In October, 1894, by the death of Gardner T. Barker, who had occupied the position of President, a vacancy was created in that office, which was filled by the promotion of his son, Walter Barker, then Vice-president, to the place, John L. Flinn being chosen to the vacant Vice-Presidency. In May, 1901, Homer W. McCoy having resigned the place of Cashier, Elwood A. Cole was elected his successor, William Hazzard becoming the successor of Mr. Cole as Assistant Cashier. The members of the Board of Directors, at the present time (1902), are Walter Barker, John L. Flinn, Warren R. Buckley, J. N. Ward, Johnson L. Cole, Frank P. Lewis, John Wilson, Homer W. McCoy, and John Finley, with Mr. Barker as President; Mr. Flinn, Vice-president; Mr. McCoy, Second Vce-President; Mr. Cole, Cashier; and Mr. Hazzard, Assistant Cashier. The capital stock with which the bank began business, in 1885, remains unchanged, while the institution has a surplus of $100,000, and net profits of $38,436.75. According to the statement to the Comptroller for December 10, 1901, the bank-note circulation aggregated $150,000, and the deposits $1,866,466.91. At the same time, the amount of loans and discounts was $1,337,270.71, and of cash and sight exchange, $514,220.74. Its resources also include $450,000 in Government bonds, and $10,000 in premium accounts.


The Central National Bank of Peoria dates its organization from the year 1884, when it began business with a paid-up capital of $200,000, as the successor of the Farmers' Bank, which had been conducting a successful business at 211 Main Street. The latter institution was a partnership concern, organized in 1879, by Messrs. Martin Kingman, Benjamin F. Blossom and Frederick E. Leonard, the transition from a private bank to a National organization being in recognition of changed financial conditions and a desire to accommodate the business public of Peoria to better advantage. The first Board of Directors of the new institution were Hervey Lightner, Richard H. Whiting, Martin Kingman, Benjamin F. Blossom, Isaac Taylor, Frederick E. Leonard and Oliver J. Bailey. At the first election of officers by the Board of Directors (1884), Mr. Kingman was chosen President; Mr. Bailey, Vice-President; Mr. Blossom, Cashier, and Mr. Leonard, Assistant Cashier. Changes which have since occurred in the Directorship and management of the Central National include the following: In 1886, Samuel W. Sessions, of the Lamson & Sessions Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, was chosen a Director, in place of Richard H. Whiting; Richard W. Kempshall was elected a Director in 1889, to succeed Frederick E. Leonard, who had resigned his position as Assistant Cashier the previous year, and was succeeded, in 1890, by Frederick F. Blossom; Hervey Lightner became President, by election of the Board of Directors, in January, 1891, as successor to Martin Kingman, retaining the position until his death, in March, 1896, when the vacancy was filled by the election of Oliver J. Bailey—Richard W. Kempshall succeeding Mr. Bailey as Vice-President. At the same time, Jacob. P. Schnellbacher entered the Board of Directors, as successor to Mr. Lightner, and, in 1890, Frederick F. Blossom became a Director, in place of Mr. Kingman, retired. At the stockholders' annual meeting, in January, 1902, the following Board of Directors was chosen for the ensuing year: Richard W. Kempshall, Benjamin F. Blossom, Isaac 'Taylor, Jacob P. Schnellbacher, Henry W. Lynch, Frederick F. Blossom and Oliver J. Bailey. The officers chosen by this Board, and now in control of the affairs of the bank, are: Oliver J. Bailey, President; Richard W. Kempshall, Vice-president; Benjamin F. Blossom, Second Vice-president, and Frederick F. Blossom, Cashier. In 1893, the Central National, finding the offices which it then occupied inadequate to the needs of its growing business, removed to its present location, at the corner of Main and Adams Streets, opposite the southeast corner of the Court House Square. The statement to the Comptroller of the Currency of the bank's condition at the close of business, on December 10, 1901, shows a surplus of $40,000, in addition to the capital of $200,000, with which the bank began business in 1884. The total of deposits, at the same time, were $1,139,798.08, while the loans and discounts aggregated $1,230,454.22, with $313,724.62 in cash and dues from other banks. The circulation, for the same date, was $50,000, secured by a like amount in U. S. bonds.


The youngest of the National Banks of Peoria is the Illinois National, chartered on May 21, 1900, and which began business under its new charter, June 1, 1901. . It was based upon the foundation of the old "Bank of Illinois," which had been chartered under State law, February 21, 1891, under the name of the "Peoria Savings, Loan and Trust Company," in the year 1899, taking the name of the "Bank of Illinois." The officers of the earlier bank, at its organization, were Martin Kingman, President; A. S. Oakford, Vice-president; C. T. Heald, Cashier, and Rudolph Pasquay, Assistant Cashier; and this organization has been continued with little change to the present time. In 1897 Mr. Heald and Mr. Pasquay resigned their positions, Frank Trefzger being elected Cashier and William C. White, his Assistant. In 1899 Ira D. Buck was chosen Second Vice-president, and these officers were continued under the organization of the new corporation in 1901. The capital stock of the Illinois National Bank of Peoria, at its organization, was $150,000, and before the close of the year it had accumulated a surplus of $5,000 with undivided profits amounting to $5,311.55. The Board of Directors for the year 1902 embrace the following names: Martin Kingman, A. S. Oakford, G. H. Schimpff, E. C. Heidrich, John Wilson, W. B. Kingman, Ben Warren, Jr., C. C. Miles and Ira D. Buck. The officers for the same year are: Martin Kingman, President; A. S. Oakford, First Vice-president; Frank Trefzger, Cashier; and William C. White, Assistant Cashier. The statement to the Comptroller of the Currency for December 10, 1901, shows a total of $668,327.73 in loans and discounts, $650,000 in U. S. bonds, $1,355,536.93 in Government and individual deposits, and outstanding circulation amounting to $150,000 secured by a like amount in United States bonds. The capital stock still stands at $150,000, as at the date of organization.


The Savings Bank of Peoria, the pioneer institution of its kind in Peoria, was organized as a co-partnership for banking purposes, February 1, 1868, by John Hamlin, William A. Herron, Charles P. King, Philip Zell, Lorin G. Pratt, Lewis Howell, Zenas N. Hotchkiss and Thomas C. Moore, and continued to do business on this basis until July 1, 1894. At the latter date the partnership was dissolved and the bank was incorporated under the State law, with a paid-up capital stock of $150,000 and a surplus of the same amount. Mr. Zell was the first officer, being elected "Secretary" of the partnership association on its organization, and held office until September 1, 1870, when he resigned and Mr. Herron was elected President and Manager. On February 1, 1872, H. Hedrich was elected Cashier, and both he and Mr. Herron continued in the discharge of their respective offices until the reorganization in 1894. The first Directors of the new corporation were William A. Herron, Philip Zell, William M. Benton, Henry Hedrich and William Jack, and the first officers W. A. Herron, President; Philip Zell, Vice-Presi- dent, and H. Hedrich, Cashier, all of whom have continued in office until the present time except Mr. Zell, who died April 11, 1900, when Madison C. Horton was chosen his successor. The location of the bank is 200 Main Street. The report of the State Auditor for December n, 1901, shows resources amounting to $1,919,022.49, of which $1,460,038.70 consisted of loans and investments and $447,183.79 of cash and dues from other banks. The deposits at the same date were $1,530,669.24, with a surplus of $150,000 and undivided profits (less expenses and taxes) amounting to $88,353,25.


The banking house of Zell, Hotchkiss & Co. was organized as a partnership concern to do a private banking business in 1870, the partners being Philip Zell, Walter B. Hotchkiss and Henry C. Fursman. On the death of Mr. Hotchkiss, which occurred November 21, 1874, Mr. Zell acquired the interest of both Hotchkiss and Fursman, thereby becoming sole owner, and so continued until his death, April 11, 1900. Mr. Homer C. Lines occupied the position of Cashier continuously for a period of twenty-six years (1873- 1899). The bank is at present operated as a co-partnership composed of the heirs of Mr. Zell (Mrs. Catherine Z. Horton, Elizabeth V. Rich and Edith S. Zell), with the same responsibilities as existed during Mr. Zell's life-time—the concern during all this time retaining its original name of Zell, Hotchkiss & Co. The present owners have, by power of attorney, entrusted the position of Cashier to William E. M. Cole, who has been identified with the bank for eighteen years. The place of business of Zell, Hotchkiss & Co. is at 201 South Washington Street. Another private banking concern was that of J. B. Hogue & Co., established May 1, 1867, by James B. Hogue and Thomas L. Davis, with a capital of $50,000. On account of ill-health, Mr. Davis retired in May, 1874, Mr. Hogue becoming sole owner. In March, 1880, the concern was compelled to suspend in consequence of heavy losses resulting from the failure of a local business concern, but subsequently paid all liabilities in full. Mr. William Oberhauser started a private bank here in 1885, which continued in operation about eight years, going into liquidation in 1893. It was at first located at the corner of Washington and Bridge Streets, but afterwards removed to Adams Street at the head of Bridge Street.


The Dime Savings Bank of Peoria, intended for the accommodation of small depositors, as well as others doing a savings bank business, was organized December 7, 1886, and began business January 17, 1887—the original copartners being Eliot Callender, Henry P. Ayres, Seth W. Freeman, Frank Meyer and Oliver J. Bailey. The first Board of Officers was composed of Eliot Callender, President; Oliver J. Bailey, Vice-President; Henry P. Ayres, Treasurer, and Rudolph Pfeiffer, Cashier, which has remained unchanged except by the death of Mr. Ayres in 1894. Mr. Freeman retired from the partnership, February 15, 1888, his interest being purchased by the remaining partners. The same result followed on the death of Mr. Ayres in August, 1894—the present partners consisting of Messrs. Callender, Meyer and Bailey. The bank commenced business in the old Bartlett homestead, but almost immediately commenced the erection of a bank building on the adjoining ground (109 Jefferson Avenue), of which it took possession in the fall of 1887, and which it now occupies. The bank owns its own building, which is modern and distinctive, having been designed and constructed with reference to a Savings Bank business, and is provided with safety steel-lined vaults suited to a safety deposit business. Since its organization it has adhered strictly to its original rule to lend money only on real estate security, makes no commercial loans but has been favored with a liberal share of the savings business including both large and small deposits.


The People's Savings Bank of Peoria was organized on a co-partnership basis by Messrs. Martin Kingman, Charles A. Jamison, Rudolph Frey and E. C. Heidrich, and began business March 11, 1889, at 1329 South Adams Street, its present location. The original stock was $10,000, which was subsequently increased to $12,500. At the outset Rudolph Frey served as the active Manager and Cashier, but in April, 1890, sold his one-quarter interest to Martin Kingman, and was succeeded in the position of Cashier by George W. Zinser, whose connection in the same capacity has been continued ever since. In July, 1890, all the partners sold out their entire interest to Jacob Woolner, who then became and still continues the sole owner. The People's Savings Bank successfully passed the terrible strain of the panic of 1893 and the years of business depression which followed, and, since the restoration of public confidence and improved business conditions, in common with other institutions of like character, has felt the effect in the increase of its deposits and the number of its depositors. The offices occupied at the corner of Cedar and Adams Streets are located in a substantial three-story and basement brick and stone structure having a frontage of 50 feet on Adams Street and 100 on Cedar Street, and are handsomely fitted up with all necessary conveniences for the transaction of a banking business, including an ample steel-lined vault for the security of deposits and valuable papers. While the principal business of the bank has been in connection with the savings department, it also transacts a general banking business.


The prime mover in the organization of the Home Savings and State Bank of Peoria was Mr. Valentine Ulrich, who had been for many years President of the German-American National Bank, and who, in 1892, in connection with twenty-nine other stockholders, obtained a charter from the State of Illinois, under which they began doing business on June 2d of that year. Mr. Ulrich brought into the concern with him Mr. Frank Trefzger, who up to that time had been Assistant Cashier of the German-American National, as well as his son Charles, a member of the law firm of Ulrich & Ulrich, who had been doing a real estate brokerage business. The original stockholders were all residents of Peoria, except Mr. Fred E. Harding, President of the Second National Bank of Monmouth, and the capital stock was $120,000, at which sum it still remains. At the first meeting of stockholders, held June 13, 1892, the following Board of Directors were elected: Frederick L. Block, C. Gehrmann, Fritz Leuder, Frank Trefzger, Valentine Ulrich, Charles E. Ulrich and Charles Zimmerman. Mr. Val. Ulrich was chosen President; Charles E. Ulrich, Vice-President, and Frank Trefzger, Cashier. In 1895 Mr. Gehrmann moved to New York City and Robert Strehlow was chosen to succeed him as Director. Mr. Frank Trefzger having resigned his position in April, 1897, to accept the cashiership of another bank, Henry E. Ulrich was chosen to succeed him as both Director and Cashier. No other changes in the Directory or Board of Officers has since been made. Although the bank has always done a savings bank business, at the beginning of its career it catered largely to the demands of a commercial banking business. One of the special features in 1892 was the introduction of an Auxiliary Savings Bank for the accommodation of customers and as an encouragement to saving. While still doing a commercial business on a conservative basis, savings accounts have of late been made a specialty, interest being paid on all deposits of one dollar and upward in this department. The resources of this bank on December 11, 1901, aggregated $926,084.89, of which $628,970.67 was in the form of loans and investments and $262,988.57 in cash and dues from other banks. The deposits (individual and other) at the same date were $785,399.14. During the last year the bank changed its location from 317 to 325 South Adams Street.


This company, whose principal business is loaning money on farm property and dealing in real-estate mortgages, is the outgrowth of a business first established in Washington, Tazewell County, by Charles E. Anthony, about the year 1866. The business was for a time carried on in connection with that of the banking firm of Anthony & Denhart of that place, but in 1874 a branch house was established at Chatsworth, Illinois, under the name of Anthony, Denhart & Wilson, and placed in charge of Clifford M. Anthony. The field of operations in farm loans was much enlarged and the business grew rapidly. In 1877, Clifford M. Anthony returned to Washington as a partner in the firm. In 1882, the firm was appointed financial correspondent of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company for the State of Illinois. About this time G. W. Curtiss, who had been engaged in the banking business at Urbana, Illinois, entered the employment of the firm in connection with the loan business. Early in 1885, the Anthony Brothers severed their connection with the house of Anthony & Denhart, retaining the farm loan business, and, removing to Peoria, formed the co-partnership of C. E. & C. M. Anthony, in which Mr. Curtiss became a partner in 1888. In 1891 the firm was incorporated under the name of the "Anthony Loan & Trust Company," with C. E. Anthony, President; C. M. Anthony, Vice-President, and G. W. Curtiss, Secretary and Treasurer. In 1898, Charles E. Anthony having retired from active participation in the management of the business, C. M. Anthony was chosen President, C. E. Anthony, Vice-president, Mr. Curtiss retaining the office of Secretary and Treasurer until 1890, when he became one of the Vice-Presidents. The paid up capital stock of
the company is $164,000, its surplus $20,300, and its undivided profits $16,000. Offices are maintained at Peoria, Illinois, and Omaha, Nebraska. The loans made by this company are regarded in financial circles as safe and conservative. In connection with their other business the members of this company have organized another under the name of "Peoria Safe Deposit Company," and have erected in their place of business a fire and burglar- proof steel vault fitted up with all suitable appliances for the safe keeping of securities and other valuables.


Though not strictly a banking institution the Title & Trust Company of Peoria has an intimate relation to the financial interests of the city, and is deserving of mention in this connection. It was incorporated in 1890 by leading capitalists of the city, and, while its chief business is the investigation and furnishing of abstracts of title to real- estate, and the issuing of guaranty certificates for the protection of owners and mortgagees from loss by reason of defective titles to real-estate in Peoria County, it also conducts a loan department for the purpose of making investments in real-estate (both farms and city property), dealing in mortgages, collecting interest on loans, etc. It is empowered by its charter to act as Executor or Administrator of estates; as Guardian, Receiver, Assignee or in any other capacity assumed by a trustee in taking charge of estates. The company has a capital of'$100,000, with $50,000 deposited with the State Auditor for the security of all trust obligations. The Board of Directors is composed largely of stockholders of different banks, including Eliot Callender, of the Dime Savings Bank; Newton C. Dougherty, of the Peoria National; Oliver J. Bailey, of the Central National ; William Jack, Esq., and John E. Keene, Manager of the Aetna Life Insurance Company. The officers for the present year (1902) are: Oliver J. Bailey, President; John E. Keene, First Vice-president; Horace R. Dougherty, Second Vice- president ; Joseph P. Durkin, Secretary, and Eliot Callender, Treasurer.


On April 27, 1880, at a meeting of representatives of leading banks of Peoria, a Bankers' Association was formed to facilitate exchange and settlement of daily balances between the several banks represented. The charter members included the First, the Second and the Mechanics' National, the German Banking Company, Kingman, Blossom & Co., and Zell, Hotchkiss & Co. The first officers elected were George H. McIlvaine, President, and Benjamin F. Blossom, Secretary. In 1884 Henry Hedrich was elected Secretary, and, President McIlvaine having died in 1897, was succeeded by Philip Zell, who died in 1901, the position then being filled by Leonard F. Houghton. In January, 1902, a re-organization was effected under the name of the "Peoria Clearing House Association," a new constitution and by-laws adopted, and an entirely new system of making local exchanges inaugurated. Under, this arrangement, all balances are settled through one bank, known as the "Clearing House Agent," to whom all debit balances must be paid by 1i :30 p. m. daily, and by whom all credit accounts must be paid between 2 :30 and 3 :00 p. m. of the same day. The officers (1902) are Leonard F. Houghton, President, and Henry Hedrich, Secretary, with Messrs. Houghton, Charles R. Wheeler and Benjamin F. Blossom as Clearing House Committee. The total clearings in the past ten years (1892 to 1901 inclusive) amounted to $966,139,454, of which $88,957,505 was for the year 1892, and $123,315)075 for 1901—an increase in ten years of $34,358,570.

From Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, Edited by David McCulloch, Vol. II; Chicago and Peoria: Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1902.



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