1907: the new Grange National
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The Grange National Bank was founded in 1907 by Alvin Backus Armstrong and Dewitt Clinton Young. A. B. Armstrong also served as vice president of the bank.
Bank Here Started as Grange National Bank
The public is invited to attend the open house celebration of the golden anniversary of the Smethport National Bank all day next Tuesday and in the evening from 7 to 9 o'clock.
The program includes music on the Hammond organ by Mrs. Elaine Palmer, favors, door prizes and flowers.
The minutes of the bank, originally known as the Grange National Bank, show that a planning meeting of stock subscribers was held in the parlors of the Smethport Hose Company on Aug. 7, 1906.
W. F. Hill of Chambersburg, Pa., was nominated to act as a chairman and Attorney Guy B. Mayo acted as secretary of the preliminary meeting called to discuss the organization of a national bank in the McKean County Seat.
Among the original names of men suggested to serve on the first board of directors were following from the Smethport area: D. C. Young, John N. Apple, George Richards, A. B. Armstrong, W. C. Daly, A. A. Abbey, F. E. Baldwin and H. H. Redfield. All of these men have died.
At another meeting held on Aug. 21, 1906, the following officers of the Grange National Bank were elected:
President -- D. C. Young
At this meeting various committees were appointed and plans were made to purchase a lot. Several locations were considered and eventually the Brownell lot at the corner of Main and State Sts. was acquired.
A two-story buff brick and stone building was erected and the new bank opened with a formal celebration on July 9, 1907. Representatives of McKean County Granges were present and music was provided by Chadwick's Orchestra.
In addition to President Young and Vice President Armstrong, the banking staff on opening day consisted of J. W. Lee, cashier, and F. W. Brownell, assistant cashier.
Presidents of the bank have been Mr. Young, Mr. Armstrong, H. H. Redfield, E. A Studholme and E. J. Conwell, who is head of the bank now.
Cashiers have been Mr. Lee, E. E. Drake and A. Elmer Quirk, the present cashier. It is interesting to note that Mr. Quirk, a well-known musician was a member of Chadwick's Orchestra, which played on the day the bank opened 50 years ago.
Assistant cashiers have been Mr. Brownell, John A. Carlson, Mr. Quirk, and John W. Comes, present assistant.
On July 10, 1944, the name of the institution was changed to Smethport National Bank.
Records indicate that the local resources of the Grange National Bank on its first business day 50 years ago were $161,460.38.
When the name was changed 13 years ago, the bank's resources had increased to more than $1,500,000.
A statement issued this week shows that the resources of the Smethport National Bank at the close of business last Friday were $2,479,387.87.
In addition to setting up satisfactory reserve funds, the bank has distributed to its stockholders over $217,000 in dividends.
Present officers are:
President -- E. J. Conwell, who has been head of the bank since Jan. 1, 1943.
Vice President -- E. H. Gallup
Cashier -- Mr. Quirk, who has been associated with the bank since 1920 and has been cashier since 1930.
Assistant Cashier -- Mr. Comes
Tellers -- A. D. Ross and Virginia D. Gosney
Bookkeeper -- Constance Loucks
Stenographer - Helen A. Cole
Building Custodian -- F. E. Arthur
Members of the board of directors are Mr. Conwell, Mr. Gallup, Henry A. Satterwhite, W. J. Burns Jr., R. S. Moran, C. L. Burt and Albert W. Johnson.
The bank opened in the terrific depression year of 1907, when only men of courage would have dared to embark on the stormy financial seas. It weathered the depression of the '30s, when hundreds of financial institutions were compelled to close.
The Smethport National Bank can take pardonable pride in reviewing its accomplishments over half a century; while looking forward with confidence to the future and continued, continuous efforts to serve its many patrons in the best manner possible.
2005: Grange National Bank
Return to 1907
return to 1907: The construction
of the Grange National Bank
return to 1895 site prior to construction