The History of the Bank Of Burlington

 

The Bank of Burlington was organized under the name of the First National Bank of Burlington, December 14, 1871, by Jerome I. Case, Stephen Bull, R. H. Baker, B. B. Northrop and Chauncy Hall, and other prominent business men of this part of the state were among the stockholders. The bank opened its doors for business on the 26th of February, 1872. That the first years of business were not entirely along flowery paths, is evidenced by the report of Chauncy Hall, cashier, at the end of the first fiscal year, in which he says: "You are well aware of the active and persistent opposition we have encountered, from the day our first effort was made to organize our bank, to the present time." The bank, however, steadily prospered until 18S3, when its deposits reached the amount of one hundred and sixty thousand dollars; this was considered considerable for those days, and was the highest point reached as a national bank. Because of the inability to loan on real estate, and the state of Wisconsin having passed a safe and adequate banking law, the stockholders deemed it inadvisable to renew the national charter when it expired in 1891, and, by unanimous vote, agreed to "take the necessary steps to form a state bank, to succeed to all the assets, goodwill and business of the First National Bank of Burlington, to be organized under the banking laws of Wisconsin, under the name of 'Bank of Burlington'." This course was pursued and from the beginning the reorganized bank prospered. At length a number of enterprising business men of Burlington, believing that a local institution should be owned and managed by home people, on the 6th of June, 1902, purchased all of the stock owned elsewhere and have since conducted the bank for the benefit of Burlington and its residents.

Jerome I. Case, founder of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, and his business associate, Stephen Bull, were intimately connected with the early management of the First National Bank, Mr. Case serving as president and Mr. Bull as vice president for a period of over twenty years. Chauncy Hall served as cashier from the organization in 1871, until his death, in October. 1894, and bent every energy toward the development and upbuilding of the institution. He was succeeded in turn by Eugene Hall, J. C. Heddle, Roger Whinfield, F. Roberts, E. H. Schnederman and G. A. Uebele, the last named becoming cashier October 1, 1906. Mrs. Florence C. Hall served as president from 1895 until 1902. C. B. McCanna became president October 1, 1906, and so continued until his death, which occurred December 11, 1913, when his son, C. Roy McCanna, was elected his successor. The other officers of the bank at the present time are: Louis H. Rohr, vice president; G. A. Uebele, cashier; J. T. Prasch, assistant cashier, and S. D. Slade, T. J. Cunningham, H. A. Runkel and A. M. Brehm, directors.

In 1909 the present handsome bank building at the corner of Pine and Chestnut streets was erected. it is constructed of Bedford sandstone, is three stories in height and is designed especially for bank purposes, the bank occupying the first floor. The bank's equipment affords every modern convenience. Its vaults are especially large and strong and there is a safe deposit vault with a capacity of fifteen hundred boxes, all enclosed in massive walls twenty-six inches in thickness. Massive steel doors guard the entrance and a system of electric protection makes the whole as nearly burglar-proof as modern ingenuity can invent. Something of the growth of the business is indicated in the fact that the deposits on January 1, 1873, were fifty thousand four hundred and seventy-four dollars and on the 1st of January, 1916, one million one hundred and sixty thousand two hundred and fifty-eight dollars. On the 15th of November, 1902, a savings department was opened which pays three per cent interest, computed semi-annually, on all deposits in that department. On January 1, 1916, there was on deposit, in the savings department the sum of two hundred and sixty thousand dollars, which represents the small savings of a large number of depositors.


Source: Racine, Belle City of the lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement; Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1916, 1216 pgs.

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