History of the Portland Banks and Insurance Agencies

The Bank of British Columbia is a branch of a London, England, corporation, which was founded in 1860 and has a capital of $2,425, 000. The Portland branch was established in 1866 with E. Russel as acting manager. It has been very successfully conducted and enjoys a liberal patronage. For several years, George Good, a financier of well recognized ability, has had charge of the business in this city. The bank building, at the junction of A, Front and Vine streets, was erected in 1882 and cost $65, 000.

The Oregon and Washington Mortgage Savings Bank was incorporated in 1876, with William Reid as president, and reorganized in 1881. It has done a large amount of business, principally among the farming population of the Willamette Valley, several million dollars having been loaned to this class during the first eleven years of the bank’s existence. William Reid has continued as president ever since the organization of the bank. William Lowe is cashier.

The Portland Savings Bank was organized in 1880, and for the first two years of its existence was conducted largely as a matter of experiment. From a small beginning it has grown, however, to be one of the leading banks of the city. The first location of the bank was at the corner of Ash and Front streets, but at the end of the first year the demands of the business requiring larger quarters the bank was removed to the corner of Second and Stark. Here it remained until the completion of the elegant bank building at the corner of Washington and Second, where the bank occupies most attractive quarters. The president of the bank is Frank Dekum, who was also one of the incorporators of the institution. The other officers are W. K. Smith, vice-president, and H. C. Stratton, cashier. The board of directors is composed of D. P. Thompson, W. F. Burrell, Frank Dekum, W. K. Smith, R. M. Wade, George H. Durham, S. A. Durham, C. A. Dolph, Ward S. Stevens, E. J. Jeffrey and Cleveland Rockwell. The bank has a paid up capital of $125,000, with a surplus and undivided profits of $120,000.

The London and San Francisco Bank is a branch of an English corporation, with headquarters in London. It was established in 1882, and represents a paid up capital and reserve of $2,375,000. Under the direction of W. Mackintosh, manager, this institution has had a well deserved success in Portland.

The Merchants’ National Bank is successor to the Willamette Savings Bank. The latter institution was incorporated in 1883, with James Steel as president, but, in 1886, it was changed to a commercial bank under the present name of the Merchants’ National Bank. Mr. Steel was chosen president, and has continued to retain the position ever since. His connection with the bank has largely contributed to its success. For many years he was cashier of the First National Bank and is not only a financier of acknowledged ability, but is a moving spirit in many important enterprises which have been inaugurated in Portland during recent years. Associated with Mr. Steel in the management of the bank is J. Loewenberg, the vice-president, who is prominently identified with some of the strongest financial organizations in the Northwest. I. A. Macrum is cashier. The board of directors is composed of James Steel, J. Loewenberg, H. L. Hoyt, J. K. Gill, J. F. Watson, W. C. Johnson and I. A. Macrum.

The Oregon National Bank is the out growth of the Metropolitan Savings Bank, which was incorporated in September, 1882, with a capital of $150,000. Hon. Van B. DeLashmutt was the leading spirit in its formation, and was elected president. Under his able financiering the venture proved a success, notwithstanding the depressed condition of the country which immediately followed its inception. On the foundation of the success achieved, the Oregon National Bank was organized in June, 1887, with a capital of $150,000, which later on was increased to $200,000. Mr. DeLashmutt was elected president, a position he has ever since retained. The other officers of the bank are George B. Markle, vice-president, and D. F. Sherman, cashier. The directors are: Richard Williams, George H. Williams, George B. Markle, W. W. Thayer, Van B. DeLashmutt, D. F. Sherman, J. H. Smith, H. Thielsen and C. H. Dodd. The Oregon National Bank has rapidly gained a large business and holds a place in the foremost rank among the financial concerns of the city. The officers have in contemplation the erection of a new bank building which will be an ornament to the city and furnish adequate accommodations for the growing business of this institution.

The Portland National Bank was incorporated in May, 1884, and has been in successful operation ever since. Wm. Reid is president and Wm. Lowe, cashier. The directors are: William Reid, A. Reid, J. McDougall, John McGuire and P. E. Habersham.

The Ainsworth National Bank was organized in 1885, with a capital of $100,000. This bank is located in the Ainsworth block, corner Third and Oak streets, a substantial fire proof building. In connection with the bank is a safe deposit vault for the storage of valuables, which is extensively patronized. The officers of the bank are: L. L. Hawkins, president; W. K. Smith, vice-president: J. P. Marshall, cashier. The directors are L. L. Hawkins, W. K. Smith, Preston C. Smith, J. P. Marshall and W. S. Charleston.

The Commercial National Bank commenced business January 4, 1886, with a capital of $100,000, which has since been increased to $250,000. D. P. Thompson the president of the bank is largely interested in country banks and has thus been enabled to draw around him an extensive clientage. Prank Dekum is vice-president, and R. L. Durham, cashier. The board of directors is composed of P. Thompson, Frank Dekum, R. M. Wade, E. S. Kearney, George H. Williams, R. Jacobs, L. White, Henry Weinhard, Cleve-land Rockwell, J. W. Hill, H. C. Wentman, J. B. David, W. F. Burrell, George H. Durham and R. L. Durham. This bank occupies a portion of the Portland Savings’ Bank building, corner of Second and Washington streets.

Loan and Trust Companies

The Northwest Loan and Trust Company, and the Portland Trust Company of Oregon, both do a savings bank business. The former was incorporated February 2, 1887, with a capital of $150,-000. It receives and pays interest on sums of one dollar and upwards, and also executes trusts of every description; acts as assignee, receiver, guardian, executor and administrator or in any other fiduciary capacity. The officers are George B. Markle, president; J. L. Hartman, treasurer, and W. G. Dillingham, secretary. The board of directors is composed of George H. Williams, Herbert Bradley, S. B. Willey, H. Thielsen, J. A. Sladen, C. A. Alisky, Thos. F. Osborn, D. P. Sherman, Geo. B. Markle, J. L. Hartman’, Chas. F. Beebe and J. Thorburn Ross.

The Portland Trust Company was incorporated April 22, 1887. It receives deposits in sums of two dollars and upwards. Its officers are H. L. Pittock, president; A. S. Nichols, vice-president, and Benj. I. Cohen, secretary. These officers, with A. M. Smith, C. E. Sitton, Cleveland Rockwell, W. W. Spaulding, L. G. Clarke, Charles H. Woodward and A. F. Hildreth compose the board of directors.

Insurance Companies

During the last few years four local insurance companies have come into existence in Portland, and all of them are prosperous and on a solid financial basis. The oldest of these is the Oregon Fire and Marine Insurance Company which was incorporated in 1881 and has a paid up capital of $220,000. L. White is president; H. W. Corbett, vice-president and Edward Hall, secretary.

The Northwest Fire and Marine Insurance Company was incorporated in January, 1886, but did not commence business until the fall of 1887. It has a capital of $500,000. The officers are: I. Loewenberg, president; J. McCraken, vice-president; R . P. Earhart, secretary and manager; P. M. Warren, treasurer, . and E. Everett, assistant secretary.

The Columbia Fire and Marine Insurance Company was organized in May, 1887, with a cash capital of $500,000. It engages in all the business pertaining to fire and marine insurance. The directory of the company includes: D. P. Thompson, Asabel Bush, Frank Dekum, H. Thielsen, Walter F. Burrell and John A. Child. The officers are: Frank Dekum, president; A. H. Breyman, vice-president, and Peter Outcalt, secretary.

The Pacific Pire Insurance Company of Portland was organized March, 1888, with a capital of $500,000. F. E. Beach is president; Win. McFall, vice-president; J. A. Strowbridge, treasurer, and W. F. Brownton, secretary.


Harvey Whitefield Scott. History of Portland, Oregon: with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers. Portland, Oregon. D. Mason & Company, 1890.

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