History of the Banks of Keene, New Hampshire

Cheshire National Bank.-The Cheshire Bank was chartered with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, by the state of New Hampshire in 180„ for a period of twenty years, or till 1824,-then till 1844,-and again till 1864, inclusive. The original corporators were judge Daniel Newcomb, Noah Cooke, Esq., and Elijah Dunbar, Esq. John G. Bond, Judge Newcombs sonin-law, procured most of the stock subscriptions, among which are the names of Samuel and Nathan Appleton, Eben Francis, Stephen Salsbury, John Bellows, Josiah Knapp and several others of Boston, Daniel Newcomb, John G. Bond, William Lamson, Moses Johnson, Alexander Ralston, Stephen Harrington, Eben Stearns, Joseph Hayward, and Foster and Luther Alexander of Cheshire county, with fifty-five others on the list. The first building for the bank was of brick, two stories high, and was taken down in 1847, to make way for the Cheshire railroads passenger station. Daniel Newcomb was president from 1804 to 1811. when he resigned, and in the “war period,” soon after, the bank struggled against insolvency till November, 1813, when Samuel Grant was chosen president, and Nathaniel Dana, cashier, in place of Arba Cady (who was elected February, 1806, and whose predecessor was E. Dunbar,) and a revival of credit and business secured. Mr. Grant was president till July, 1829, and Salma Hale, his successor, till March, 1842, at which time Levi Chamberlain was made president, and steps were taken to reorganize the bank under its amended charter available from 1844 to 1864 inclusive. In this reorganization John Elliot was chosen president,-was succeeded in 1856 by Levi Chamberlain and in 1861 by John Henry Elliot, under whom, at the expiration of its charter, the bank was made National with a capital of two hundred thousand dollars. James Henry Williams was cashier from 1841 to 1847, then Zebina Newell till 1855, then Royal H. Porter, when the banks state charter expired. He continues to be cashier at this writing, with John Henry Elliott as president. In the first two or three decades of the bank and before the outset of the “Suffolk Bank System,” its affairs in Boston were confided to personal curacy, and among those employed in this trust were Joseph Bellows, Jr., John Bellows, Nathan Appleton and William Appleton, successively. For thirty years Aaron Appleton was moderator at meetings of stockholders, with two exceptions, when the chair was occupied by Ithamer Chase (the father of Chief Justice Chase). The Banks present granite building, at the corner of Main street and Diphthong alley, was erected in 1847 and has all the modern defences against invasion. In 1864 the bank began business as a National institution, with a capital of $200,000.00 and the privilege of increasing the same to $250,000.00. A statement of its standing May 6, 1885, was as follows :


Loans and discounts $182,984.54
Overdrafts 1 r 1.73
U. S. Bonds to secure circulation 200,000.00
Other stocks, bonds, and mortgages 88,700.00
Due from approved reserve agents 38,284.00
Due from State barks and bankers 12,900.00
Current expenses and taxes paid 845.74
Checks and other cash items 2.380.00
Bills of other banks 1,824.00
Fractional paper currency, nickels, and pennies 93.66
Specie 2,111.25
Legal tender notes 1,000.00 Redemption fund with U. S. Treasurer (5 per cent. of cir culation) 9,000.00
Total $540,234-59


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Capital stock paid in $200:000.00,
Surplus fund 50,000.00
Undivided profits 35,526.36
National bank notes outstanding 177,200.00
Dividends unpaid 200.00
Individual deposits subject to check 64,049.o&
Demand certificates of deposit 1,348.21
Due to other National banks 5,537.55
Due to State banks and bankers 6,373.39
Total $540,23459

The Cheshire Provident Institution was established in 1833. Dr. Amos Twitchell was the first president, followed by Salma Hale. Levi Chamberlain. Samuel Dinsmore, Jr., William P. Wheeler, Francis A. Faulkner, George Tilden, Edward C. Thayer, and George A. Wheelock, the present incumbent, with Oscar G. Nims, secretary and treasurer. This is the oldest savings bank in the state, next to the New Hampshire Savings bank at Concord. The institution first did business in Tildens book-store, which was in an old building where the Cheshire National bank now is. About 1845 they moved with Tildens book-store to the Gerould block, and in 1870 to their present fine quarters in the Bank block. The first deposit in this bank, $100.00, was made by Ashley Spaulding, on the 10th day of September, 1833. When Jotham A. French was an infant, his father, Abijah, made a deposit of $100.00 in his sons name, January 1, 1835. This has been allowed to remain up the present time. On the 1st of October, 1884, the accruing interest and dividends had increased the deposit to $1,543.37. The statement of the banks condition on January 1, 1885, was as follows :


Market Value. Value on Books.
Loans on real estate $940,959.47 $940,959.47
Loans on personal security 107,219.88 107,219.8&
Loans on collateral security 95,016.00 95,016.00
County, city and township bonds 319,260.00 294,44404
Bank stock 8J.540 00 81,469.13
Railroad stock 90,570.00 81.495.00
Railroad bonds 182,100.00 171,088.33
Other investments 127,238.58 126,838.5&
Real estate, Bank block 50,000.00 50,000.00
Real estate acquired by foreclosure 35,035 17 41,035.17
Deposited in National banks 19,1142.95 119,142.95
Cash 8,378.56 8,378.56
$2,058,460.61 $2,017,067.II


Due depositors $1,888,192.70
Surplus 28,87441
Guaranty fund 100,000.00
$2,017,067. I I

Amount of surplus as shown by above statement..$ 28.874.41 Amount of guaranty fund as shown by above statement 1100,000.00

Excess of market values over values on books…. 41,393.50

Total surplus strength of the institution $170,z67-92

The Ashuelot National bank. – The Ashuelot bank incorporated January 2, 1833, charter for twenty years, and commenced business early in the same year. The corporators named in the charter were John H. Fuller, Samuel Dinsmoor, Jr., Phineas Fisk, John Elliot, and Justus Perry, and the first meeting was held at Stephen Harringtons hotel, on February 19, 1833, when forty-five additional members were admitted to the corporation, making fifty in all. The first board of directors consisted of Samuel Dinsmoor, John H. Fuller, Thomas M. Edwards, William Buffum, George S. Root, Phineas Hardman, and Benjamin I. Adams. The present bankinG.house was built in 1833, at a cost of $2,998-24. The first president was Samuel Dinsmoor, who served until his death in 1835. Samuel Dinsmore, Jr., succeeded his father as president in 1835, and continued in office until 1853, when he resigned. Thomas M. Edwards was chosen president in 1853, and held the office until elected to Congress in 1859, when he resigned. William Dinsmoor succeeded him in office and was annually re-elected until he resigned in 1869, when Thomas M. Edwards was again chosen, and held the office until his death in 1875. George A. Wheelock was chosen president in 1875, and has been annually re-elected since. The cashiers have been Samuel Dinsmoor, Jr., from March, 1833, to Tune, 1835; Henry Seymour. from June, 1835, to August, 1836; Thomas H. Leverett, from August, 1836, to June, 1869; and Henry 0. Coolidge, from June, 7869, to the present time. The bank was re-chartered, December 17, 1852, and was converted into a national organization February, 17, 1865, and the corporate existence has been extended to February 17, 1905. The original capital was $700,000.00, and in July, 1875, it was increased to $150,000. The present board of directors consists of George A. Wheelock, president; Caleb T. Buffum, Charles J. Amidon, John M. Parker, Alfred T. Batchelder, Henry O. Coolidge, and Christopher Robb. There were paid under the state organization sixty-seven dividends, from February 25, 1834, to January 3, 1865, aggregating $198,000.00, an average each year of 64 per cent. There has been paid under the National organization, forty-one dividends, from July, 1865, to January, 1885, aggregating $239,000.00, an average each year of 93 per cent.

The Keene National bank – The Cheshire county bank was chartered July 13, 1855, to George Huntington, William Haile, Samuel Woodward, Elisha Stebbins, Lawson Robertson, Frederick Vose, Caleb Carpenter. Amos A. Parker, and Asa Brewer, with a capital of $100,000.00. The first meeting of the corporation was held August 11, 1855, when seventy-two stockholders were admitted. At this meeting, also, seven directors were chosen, and Zebina Newell elected president. Business was begun October 10th, in the bankinghouse still occupied, on Main street. February 7, 1865, the bank was rechartered as a national institution, under its present name, the charter to remain in force twenty years, and February 7, 1885, it was renewed for another twenty years. It has an authorized capital of $300,000.00, and a paid-up capital of $100,000.00. Zebina Newell, the first president, died in 1858, and was succeeded by Frederick Vose, on March 29th, of that year. Mr. Vose was succeeded, at his death, by the present officer, Edward Joslin, November 24, 1871. The first cashier, George Tilden, held the office till his death, February 8, 1879, and was succeeded by J. R. Beal, February 10th, who still retains the office. A statement of the banks condition on May 6, 1885, was as follows :


Loans and discounts $128,767.23
Overdrafts 2,721.90
U. S. Bonds to secure circulation 100,000.00
Other stocks, bonds and mortgages 67,850.00
Due from approved reserve agents 33,601.95
Checks and other cash items 10.558.98
Bills of other banks 960.00
Fractional paper currency, nickels and pennies r.88
Specie 4,49332
Legal tender notes 205.00
Redemption fund with U. S. treasurer, 5 per cent. of circulation. 4,500.c5

Total $353,660.26 LIABILITIEs.

Capital stock paid in $100,000.00
Surplus fund 20,000.00
Undivided profits 36,238.93
National banks notes outstanding 90,000.00
Dividends unpaid 720.00
Individual deposits subject to check 59,486.85
Demand certificates of deposit 18,222.21
Due to State banks and bankers 20,482.27
Notes and bills re-discounted 10,510.00

Total $353,660.26

The Citizens National bank was established September 18, 1875, with a capital of $100,000.00, and with 0. G. Dort, president, and H. S. Martin, cashier, who still holds the same office. The bank does business in Balls . block, at the head of the Square. The cashiers sworn report on the close of business for May 6, 1885, was as follows;


Loans and discounts $101,850.67
Overdrafts 774-40
U. S. bonds to secure circulation 100,000.00
Other stocks, bonds and mortgages 57,597.85
Current expenses and taxes paid 1,429,39
Checks and other cash items 1,420.23
HIS of other banks 4,375.00
Fractional paper currency, nickels and pennies 61.49
Specie 996.80
Legal tender notes 1,700.00
Redemption fund with U. S. treasurer, (5 per cent_ of circulation), 4,500,00

Total $274705.83


Capital stock paid in $100,000.00
Surplus fund 20,000.00
Undivided profits 11,133.72
National bank notes outstanding 90,000.00
Dividends unpaid 722.50
Individual deposits subject to check 41,571.69
Demand certificates of deposit 1,020.00
Due to other National barks 653.57
Due to State banks and bankers 9,604.35

Total $274,705.83

The Keene Five Cent Savings bank, was organized January 1, 1869, the first deposit, $10.00, being made by Nellie I. Rowell, January 1, 1869. Its first officers, John H. Fuller, president, and 0. G. Dort, secretary and treasurer, are still in office. The banks statement on the 17th of January, 1885, was as follows:


Market Value. Value on Books.
Loans on real estate $976,982.50 $976,982.50
Loans on personal security 106.952.03 106,952.03
loans on collateral security…: 48,445.00 48,445.00
County, city, town and district bonds 275,676.65 265,106.65
Bank stock 99,684.00 90,692.00
Railroad stock 57,080.00 50.020.25
Railroad bonds 56,075.00 57,808.75
Other investments 176,317.62 171,817.62
Real estate acquired by foreclosure 12,283-30 12,283.30
Balance in hands of investing agents 7,327.01 7,327.01
Deposited in National banks 44,350.88 44,350.88

Cash 7,380.00 7,380.00

Totals $1,868,553.99 $1,839,15499

Liabilities. $1,744,134-52

Due depositors
Guaranty fund 90.000.00
Undivided earnings 5,020.47

Total $1-839,154-99

As shown above the market value of securities exceeds the value on books by $29,399.00, which, added to the guaranty fund and undivided earnings, makes a total surplus of $124,419.47 after payment of the January dividend.

The Keene Guaranty Savings bank, having its office in the Citizens National bank, began business October 1. 1883, with James Burnap, president, and O. G. Dort, treasurer. Its statement on January 15, 1885, makes a very fair showing as follows:


Loans and securities $244,275.75
Cash on hand 11,309.39

Total $255,585.14


Due depositors $2G2,040-II
Guaranty fund 50,000.00
Surplus earnings 3,545.03

Total $255,585-14

The deposits in the Guaranty Savings bank now reach a full quarter million dollars, which is a net gain of more than $50,000 in the last six months.

Insurance Company.

The Cheshire Mutual Fire Insurance Company was established in 1825, and has made no assessment since 1867. This company, a co-operative fraternity, has for more than half a century, afforded its members, the insured, the best financial protection against fire, and has saved, and still saves, the wise and prudent from a drain of their means to far-off companies. The condition of the company on January 1, 1885, was as follows:

Amount now insured $2,967,934.00
Premium notes subject to call 47,128.97
Cash surplus at date 3.881.05

The officers of the company are John Henry Elliot, president; William H. Elliot, secretary and treasurer; L. Wellington, agent.


Hurd, Duane Hamilton. History of Cheshire and Sullivan counties, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis. 1886.

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