Financial History of Wapello County, IA
From: History of Wapello County, Iowa
By Harrison L. Waterma, Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago 1914


The banking houses of Ottumwa are indices, as shown by statements published at the behest of the Federal Government, of the wealth and progress of the community. These institutions are in the hands and keeping of men endowed with mental equipment for the activities of their craft and are fortified by the unstinted confidence of a large clientele in their probity, conservatism and modern methods of safeguarding funds and other treasure entrusted to their care. Ottumwa may well be satisfied with the character and strength of her banking concerns. The aggregated deposits, over $6,000,000, are something to make the observing man conclude that the banks are forceful and dependable factors of the city's forwardness and increasing importance in the state. They stand as a bulwark when threatening conditions harass business, and have often proved to be in the nature of a life buoy to many in temporary financial straits.

But little data is available to support the writer in detailing early efforts at banking in Ottumwa. There were private banks here. It is known that the Temple brothers conducted a private bank in the later '40s, in the first two story brick building erected in Ottumwa. Later, W. B. Bonnifield was located in the building as a private banker, and eventually the First National Bank had its headquarters there.


On the 25th day of February, 1863, Congress passed the national banking act, under which, with numerous changes, thousands of financial institutions in the land are conducting their business. The First National Bank of Ottumwa, received charter No. 107, October 19, 1863, and was the fifth bank west of the Mississippi securing a charter under the national banking act. The first was the First National of Davenport, Iowa, its president being the noted financier, Austin Corbin. This institution's number is fifteen, and it was not only the first national bank west of the Mississippi to obtain a charter, but it also has the distinction of being the first national bank in the United States to open its doors under the new order of things. This took place June 29, 1863.

However, the First National Bank of Ottumwa was not far behind the Davenport concern. In the summer of 1863, certain prominent capitalists, among whom were W. B. and Allen Bonnifield, George Gillaspy, Carey Instep, A. D. Moss and Loten E. Gray, organized the bank and secured a charter October 19, 1863, with a capital stock of $50,000, which was shortly after increased to $60,000. The stockholders in this bank were W. B. Bonnifield, his brother, Allen M. Bonnifield, H. B. Hendershott, George Gillaspy, W. P. Cowan, Carey Inskeep, William C. Moss, Amos D. Moss, Loten E. Gray, George W. Dresper, Daniel B. Abrahams and John G. Baker. James Hawley was president, George Haw, vice president, and W. B. Bonnifield, cashier. West B. Bonnifield succeeded Mr. Hawley as president, and remained in that position until his death, August 9, 1908. W. T. Fenton, who served as cashier from May, 1886, to July, 1891, became cashier of the National Bank of the Republic, in Chicago, in the year last mentioned. He later was elevated to the vice presidency of the institution and the presidency of the Clearing House Association of that great city. Others who have served as cashier are: J. B. Field, March 4, 1864, to May 23, 1868; W. A. McGrew, May 23, 1868, to May 5, 1886; M. B. Hutchison, May 10, 1892, to April 3, 1903; and William B. Bonnifield, April 3, 1903, to January 12, 1909.

The home of the First National is at the corner of Main and Market streets. It is a four story brick structure that has stood there many years. As a financial institution, it has stood the test and stress of a half century's vicissitudes, and is today one of the most solid financial concerns in the State of Iowa. Its capital stock is $200,000; surplus, $6o,000; deposits, $865,000. The officials are: W. B. Bonnifield, son of the founder, president; H. L. Waterman, vice president; M. B. Hutchison, vice president, Union Trust and Savings Bank; P. C. Ackley, cashier; S. L. Vest, assistant cashier.


January 10, 1898, a savings department of its bank was opened to the public by the First National, under the name and title of the Union Trust & Savings Bank. This branch of the First National is capitalized at $5o,000. The last statement of its financial condition shows undivided profits of $27,000 and deposits of $496,00o.


In the year 187o, Charles F. Blake, James L. Taylor, L. W. Vale, P. Saunders, G. P. Merritt, J. M. Kibben, J. B. Vernon, Charles Snider, and Mahlon Wilkinson, with a capital stock of $100,000, organized the Iowa National Bank, whose charter is of date October 14, 1870. The first president of this institution was L. M. Vale, and cashier, A. J. Briggs. In a building erected by the corporate interests, on Main Street, near Market, the bank maintained its headquarters a number of years. While here, in 1871, A. J. Briggs resigned his office of cashier, and was succeeded by J. B. Field. E. F. Sheffield took up the duties of the office in 1873, and in the same year Charles F. Blake was elected president, having bought the stock of L. W. Vale. Mr. Blake remained as official head of the bank until 1893. Edwin Manning, now gone to his reward, became president of the Iowa National after Mr. Blake's retirement, and in 1901 he was succeeded by his son, Calvin Manning. Mr. Manning only remained in the office until 1904, when J. H. Merrill took up the duties of the position, and J. C. Jordan was elected vice president. In 1912, upon the death of Mr. Merrill, Mr. Jordan was elevated to the presidency. Others who have served as cashier are 5. W. Edgerly, who succeeded E. F. Sheffield in 1874, and retained the position thirteen years; Thomas W. Eaton, Cyrus K. Blake, Calvin Manning, W. R. Daggett, G. F. Trotter, and H. C. Chambers:

The capital of the Iowa National is today, as it was in the start, $100,000. Its last statement of conditions, March 4, 1914, indicates surplus and profits of $124,000, and deposits, $1,129,000.

About 1904 the bank moved into the Ennis Building, corner of Main and Martt, and in 1906 established a savings bank branch with a capital of $50,000. The undivided profits of this institution are $22,000, and deposits, $317,000. Present officials of the Iowa National: J. C. Jordan, president; Samuel Mahon, vice president; C. F. Rauscher, cashier. This is the same official list as of the Iowa Savings Bank.


On the 3d day of January, 1882, the Ottumwa National Bank was organized, and shortly thereafter opened its doors for business at the corner of Main and Market, which makes the third bank to have its home on the corner of these two streets. The first president was J. G. Hutchison, who served a growing clientele of this splendid institution from its organization until 1888, at which time he disposed of his stock to J. T. Hackworth and A. G. Harrow. J. B. Mowrey was the next president, who served the bank as its head from December, 1888, until in May, 1912, when he was called by death. J. T. Hackworth, the present incumbent, and A. G. Harrow, were then elected to the offices of president and vice president, respectively.

Notwithstanding it had a strong, competitive field to face, its growth has been sound and substantial, until it has come to be recognized as one of the best banking houses in the state. The capital stock is $100,000; surplus and profits, $125,000; deposits, $1,366,000.


This institution has a capital of $50,000, surplus and profits, $27,000, and deposits, $467,000. It was organized in February, 1900, by the stockholders of the Ottumwa National, and its officers are the same as those of the parent institution. Its growth has been steady and most gratifying, as the above financial statement indicates.

The officials of both banks are: J. T. Hackworth, president; A. G. Harrow, vice president; R. W. Funk, cashier; Fred Dimmmitt, assistant cashier.


The second savings bank to be organized in Ottumwa was that of the City Savings Bank, which was formed in February, 1888, and began business in the rear of the First National Bank Building, 115 South Market Street, where it has continued until this day.

The officers chosen at the time of the organization were: Samuel Mahon, president; T. D. Foster, vice president; and Carey Inskeep, cashier. The original capital stock was $10,000, which has not been changed.

One of the oldest bankers of Ottumwa in point of service is Carey Inskeep, who took an active part in the organization of the First National Bank. He is the president of the City Savings Bank; W. B. Bonnifield, vice president; and Charles Connelly, cashier. The latter gentleman has been connected with this institution over twenty years, some of which were passed as assistant cashier under Carey Inskeep.

From its last report, published on the 6th day of April, 1914, and made to the auditor of the State of Iowa, the following figures are extracted: Amount of capital stock, $50,000; time deposits, $57,600; savings deposits, $164,029.40; deposits by banks, $10,000; total deposits, $231,629.47.


The organization of the Ottumwa Savings Bank took place in 1887, with a capital stock of $5o,000. It began business at the corner of Court and Main streets, where it is today, but the building has been remodeled, both on the exterior and interior, until it has now an attractive appearance. The bank is one of the solid foundation stones of Ottumwa's financial structure, and has a large and remunerative clientele, who place every faith in the credit and probity of its officials.

The last statement of the Ottumwa Savings Bank was published April 6, 1914, from which it is gathered that the capital stock is $50,000; surplus and profits, $109,000; deposits, $1,033,741. The officers are: Frank von Schrader, president, who has held the position the past eighteen years and was the bank's first cashier; Frank McIntire, vice president; B. P. Brown, cashier; H. L. Pollard, assistant cashier.


The youngest financial institution, in Ottumwa is the Citizens Savings Bank, which opened its doors for business, May 1, 1905, at the corner of Market and Second streets. The institution was the outgrowth of a banking concern founded in 1873 by George A. Brown, known at various times as the Citizens Bank and the Citizens State Bank. The present bank is the result of a purchase made by L. A. Andrew, when he bought the banking interests of George A. Brown, in 1901.

The capital stock of the Citizens Savings Bank is $50,000; undivided profits, $8,000; and deposits, $279,000. The officers are: L. A. Andrew, president; Walter T. Hall, vice president; E. M. Anderson, assistant cashier.


The organization of the above named bank was due in a large measure to the first president, W. A. McIntire, who died in June, 1908, after serving five years as the head of the bank and of a hardware business that bore his name for many years, in South Ottumwa. The bank was organized in 1903, and with W. A. McIntire as president, B. A. Hand, cashier, and Mrs. L. B. Goldsberry, assistant cashier, opened its doors for public patronage on Church Street, where it remained until about a year ago, when a permanent home was oecupied at the corner of Church and Weller streets. The building is one story in height, with a stone front on Church Street.

In 1908, when Mr. McIntire died, Frank McIntire succeeded him in the presidency. C. D. Evans became cashier upon retirement of J. V. Curran in 1907, who at the time assumed the duties of county treasurer. It was in January, 1910, that the bank received its charter from the state as a savings institution. It began with a capital of $50,000.

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