Colorado College Tutt Library

Century Chest transcription 16

August 3rd 1901

To the Citizens of the City of Colorado Springs in the year 2001


The history of Banking in Colorado Springs from the founding of the town in the year 1871 is briefly told as follows. In the year 1872, Wm. B. Young opened a banking house at No. 13 South Tejon street in a small one story brick building under the name of Wm. B. Young & Co. though then was no company, with an advertised capital of $25.000.00. The $25.000.00, if he even had so much in any kind of assets, was invested in lands & lots & was not in hand in ready cash. He was doing a thriving business in a small way until the financial panic of 1873 when he was forced to suspend on account of his having cashed $18.000.00 of drafts drawn by Henry Clews & Co. of New York, who also suspended payment. Recognizing the necessity for Banking facilities in our new town, four gentlemen, by the names of J.S. Wolf, C.H. White, A.F. Goodrich and the writer Wm. S. Jackson, united for the purpose of sustaining Wm. B. Young until he could get his affairs straightened out, but it was soon discovered he would not be able to open again for business in his own name for a long time, it was thereupon determined that the wisest & safest course was for the four gentlemen, before named, to buy out the bank building & the fixtures of Wm. B. Young & Co. and open an entirely new institution which was accordingly done in the fall of 1873 under the firm named of the El Paso County Bank. The partnership being of fourth each to Wm. S. Jackson, J.S. Wolf, C.H. White & A.F. Goodrich. Wm. S. Jackson, who was then Treasurer & Vice President of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Co. was given full control & management of the new bank and was made cashier & manager. James H. Barlow who had been educated in the banking business in Omaha Nebraska, was selected as assistant cashier & these are the only officers who were entitled to draw drafts or sign checks for the Bank until the death of Mr. Barlow in February of 1900 when C.H. White was delegated to sign the name of the El Paso County Bank for cashier. In the year 1875, Wm. S. Jackson bought out the one fourth interest of A.F. Goodrich, giving him a one half ownership. In the year 1878 he also bought the one fourth interest of J.S. Wolf, one half of which interest he transferred to James N. Barlow making the firm stand Wm. S. Jackson five eighths interest, C.H. White one fourth interest & James N. Barlow one eighth interest & on this basis the firm continued until April 1900 when the El Paso National Bank was organized and took over the business of the El Paso County Bank. The business of the El Paso County Bank, was successful from start to finish, although always a private bank and doing business in competition with national banks. The deposits increased steadily from year to year so that over $ were turned over to the New El Paso National Bank April 26. 1900. The New National Bank has a capital of $150.000.00 and a surplus of $50.000.00.

The conversion of the El Paso County bank into the New National bank was effected by selling the fixtures & business at a premium & then organizing the new bank __ C.C. Hemming, C.L. Hemming his son taking a majority interest though Wm. S. Jackson & C.H. White retain interest in the new bank & Wm. S. Jackson is President and advisor though contracting not to be actively engaged in the detail work. The Bank has deservedly the confidence of the business men of this section & is every way prosperous.

The officers are Wm. S. Jackson Pres. & Director, C.C. Hemming Cashier & Director, C.L. Hemming & C.H. White asst. cashier & directors, Asa T. Jones & E.P. Shove Directors.

The First National Bank of Colorado Springs, Colorado was organized & commenced business in the fall of 1874. The incorporators were Wm. B. Young, H.A. McIntire, B.F. Crowell, F.L. Martin, Irving Howbert, O.M Saunders & A. Sutton, who composed the first board of Directors. The first officers were F.L. Martin Prest. & Wm. B. Young Cashier. The original capital was $50.000.00 which was increased July 16th 1888 to $100.000.00. J.A. Nayes was elected cashier Aug. 12th 1886 & President 1896 and A. Sutton was then made cashier. This bank did not prosper very well until J.A Hayes became connected with it from which date it has prospered & it is now the leading financial institution of the city with deposits of over $3.500.000.00. It is every way in a prosperous condition with a large & increasing surplus. The officers are J.A. Hayes Prest. & Director, A. Sutton Cashier & Director, Irving Howbert V.P. & Director, F.N. Morley, H.G. Diest [?], Wm. A. Otis & J.F. Burns Directors.

The Exchange National Bank of Colorado Springs Colorado was organized with a capital of $100.000.00 in the year 1888 with the following officers & directors: D. Herron [?] Prest. & Director, John J. Lamar Cashier & Director, F.E. Dow, George De LaVirgne, Giles Crissy, J.A. Hinnebaugh, D.B. Fairley, A.L. Lawton & Wm. S. Nichols directors. This bank had a struggling existence until the year 1897 when men of means bought the controlling interest. The new board of Directors are Wm. Lennox, Wm. S. Nichols, Wm. S. Stratton, Vernon F. Reeds, E.N. Giddings Jr., J.R. McKinnie, A.S. Holbrook, A.L. Lawton and Wm. R. Barnes, J.R. McKinnie President & A.G. Sharp Cashier. The bank is now in strong hands financially & is every way prosperous with deposits of over $2.500.000.00.

There are also two other banking institutions in this city at this time.

The one called the Assurance Savings & Loan Association located No. 109 East Kiowa street, which does a kind of building & loan business in a small way & is so far as can be ascertained under careful management. Francis B. Hill is Prest. & Director, Walter C. Frost Vice Prest. & Director Edgar J. Ensign Treasurer & Director, Willis R. Armstrong Secretary & Director.

The other is a firm, called The Colorado Springs Bank with an advertised capital of $100.000.00. They opened for business May 15th 1901. The officers & owners are Wm. P. Bonbright, W.F. Fisher, Irving Bonbright, George W. Bonbright with Frederick Stahr Cashier.

Their business is yet undeveloped. They are located at the South West corner of Tejon & Kiowa Streets.

Summary of Banking Institutions now in Colorado Springs, Colo. Aug. 4, 1901.

The First National Bank of Colorado Springs, Located at North West Corner of Tejon street & Pikes Peak Avenue with capital & surplus of $

The El Paso National Bank of Colorado Springs, Located at South East Corner of Tejon street & Pikes Peak avenue, with capital & surplus of $200.000.00.

The Exchange National Bank of Colorado Springs, Located at the South West Corner of Tejon street & Pikes Peak Avenue, with capital & surplus of $203.000.00.

The Assurance Savings & Loan Association, Located at 109 East Kiowa streets, a mutual Co.

The Colorado Springs Bank, a firm Located at South East Corner of Tejon & Kiowa streets. Advertised capital $100.000.00.

The People's Bank

The history of the Banking of Colorado Springs would not be complete without mentioning a [sic] The People's Bank now closed. It was a private Bank started & carried on by James B. McFerrier who came to Colorado Springs from Chilauthee, Missouri in the year 1873. He opened the People's Bank at the south west corner of Tejon & Huerfano street in the year 1874 continuing in business until the year 1885.

When he closed his business by turning over his loans & deposits to the El Paso County Bank. He was a prosperous & safe banker dying in they year 1891 at a ripe age & leaving an honorable name & modest fortune of over $150.000.00 to his heirs.

General Remarks

No money, of any moment [?], was ever made by the Banks of Colorado Springs except by the loaning of money. Practically no charge ever having been made on exchange to the customer of the Banks.

In the year 1873 when business first began the rate of interest charged was 2% per month. By the year 1875, the rate of interest were reduced to 1 1/2% a month & by the year 1881 they were down to 1 % a month going down to 10 % per annum by the year 1891 while now the bulk of loans by the Bankers are made at 8 % per annum.

In the beginning the risks were very great. There were no securities of any kind to be used as collateral & there is not many to this date of an assured value - values of Real Estate were not well established - Chattle Mortgages were taken in many cases but it is safe to say that nearly all of the money loaned by the Banks of Colorado Springs was made on names, a large part of them being made on single named paper.

General Remarks Continued

This condition continued until about the year 1893 when mining stocks issued by the promoters & owners of the mines at Cripple Creek, began to attract some attention for security & they now furnish directly & indirectly perhaps 1/5 of the securities for loans of the various banks, though still regarded as very hazardous.

Considering the changeable character of the population here today & gone tomorrow & the unstable values of Real property of all kinds it is most surprising how little money was ever lost by the Banks although it was very difficult nay almost impossible, to collect notes when they matured. The banks were practically, for the time being, partners in the business of their customers. This condition, together with the first fact that we were so far from the eastern money customs made it imperative for the Banks to carry large reserves & the writer never allowed the use by the bank of over 50 % of the depositors money under any circumstances. This rule carried out enabled the Banks to go through all the panics without trouble, so that when the severe & terribly distressing panic of 1893 came, when five National Banks out of eight in Denver suspended never to open their doors again for general business & three of the four National Banks of Pueblo suspended, the Colorado Springs banks were scarcely disturbed.

The Exchange Nat'l Bank not so strong as now could have been compelled to close its doors, not because it was not solvent, but because it was fully loaned up and could not collect its assets or get hold of currency. The El Paso County Bank & the First Nat'l Bank came to its rescue tides it over. It is with satisfaction that I write that no depositor has ever yet lost a dollar by a Colorado Springs bank. Even W.B. Young, who in his weakness financially should scarcely be called a bank paid off all off all of his depositors within one year after his suspension in 1873. No other town of any size in the state of Colorado can truthfully claim as much.

The Banks of Colorado Springs are the underlying force of much of the business of this section, they are under safe, liberal & wise management. I venture the hope that those who read this paper one hundred years hence may find the financial institutions of the city with the then existing conditions, under as safe liberal & wise control.

Wonderingly [?] I am looking forwards, trying to forecast what manner of people you will be. How you will live, what you will be thinking about. Whether you will be stronger, truer, more helpful & less selfish than we are today.

With an enthusiastic confidence in the future for all things that make life better worth the living here.

I am sincerely yours,

William S. Jackson
Prest. El Paso County Bank

I enclose the last published statement of the Banks of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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