Chapter XXIII
Banking Institutions 

The First National Bank of Brookville - The Brookville Bank - Banking House of William F. Clark & Son - The, Jefferson County National Bank - Bank of I.C. Fuller - The National Bank of Brookville - Mahoning Bank at Punxsutawney - The First National Bank of Punxsutawney - Capital, Officers and Directors of the different Banking Institutions of the County. 


The First National Bank of Brookville was organized February 14, 1865, with Philip Taylor president, and Richard Arthurs cashier, and the following stockholders: C.B. Clark, C. Rodgers, John Yeaney, Ira C. Fuller, I.G. Gordon, A.L. Gordon, Joseph B. Henderson, H.R. Fullerton, Henry Keys.

This bank had a large capital, and for nine years conducted a very large business, and realized very good dividends.

When the bank went into voluntary liquidation March 26, 1874, J.E. Long was president, and Richard Arthurs cashier.


The Brookville Bank opened its books for business May 28, 1866, with a capital of $100,000. The officers were, president, William Bigler, of Clearfield; cashier, John S. King, of Brookville. Directors, George R. Barrett, William Bigler, A.C. Finney, Clearfield; Isaac G. Gordon, R.R. Means, H.R. Fullerton, J.M. Steck, C.D. Evans, John S. King, Brookville. Stockholders, J.S. King, J.M. Steck, R.R. Means, I.G. Gordon, H.R. Fullerton, E.H. Darrah. In January, 1867, the stockholders were, J.S. King, J.M. Steck, H.R. Fullerton, S.H. Holliday, Bernard Verstine, G.R. Barrett, Hugh Dowling, David Keck, William Erdice, R.R. Means, H. Brown,* John Gatz.* In 1867 Hon. G.R. Barrett was elected president, and was succeeded by John M. Steck. Captain Steck was president, and John S. King cashier, when the bank closed out its business in October, 1874. During the eight years that this bank was open it done a very large business, and was a great accommodation to the people of the county.


In November, 1869, William F. Clark, one of the oldest and best known business men of Brookville, opened a private banking house in connection with his son, Norman F. Clark, under the firm name of William F. Clark & Son. Mr. Clark about this time built a fine commodious bank building adjoining his residence on Main street, which was elegantly fitted up with everything necessary to complete a well appointed banking house. This was one of the most popular financial institutions that Brookville has ever had, and carried large deposits; and when it was discontinued in July, 1879, the depositors were paid in full. The closing of the bank was due to the failing health of the junior member of the firm, Mr. Norman F. Clark, who died the ensuing spring.


Organized July 27, 1878. Original stockholders, T.K. Litch, Paul Darling, J.B. Henderson, Harry C. Litch, Thomas W. Litch; and these constituted the board of directors: Thomas K. Litch, president; Paul Darling, vice-president; J.B. Henderson, cashier. The bank of R. Arthurs suspended in the month of August following, and W.F. Clark and Son retired during the year. This bank was from that time until the opening of the private bank of I.C. Fuller, the only bank in Brookville. The same board of directors was re-elected annually until the death of Paul Darling, which occurred November 4, 1881. An extended biography of Paul Darling appears elsewhere in this work, and an account of his remarkable and charitable will. The minutes of the bank of which he was an officer, record a resolution by the surviving directors, adopted November 8, 1881.

"WHEREAS, Death has removed our late friend and vice-president, Paul Darling, Esq.

"Resolved, 1st. That we give this official and collective evidence of the sorrow that we all individually feel, and of the great loss we have sustained in the sad event.

"2d. That as those who have known him long and well, and intimately, we testify, that he was a true, steadfast, sympathetic and sincere friend, a man of integrity, kind, upright, just, worthy and amiable, a trusty and efficient officer, and in all relations wise in counsel, and excellent in judgment.

"3d. That the sympathy exhibited by this entire community with him in his sickness, and their sorrow in his death, he has well-merited, as they so kindly and feelingly have expressed.

"4th. That these resolutions be made known to his friends, and that they be published in the Brookville and Smethport (McKean Co.) papers, and be entered upon the minutes of the bank."

The minutes of the bank also record the following statement of the fact of his death:

"On Friday evening November 1, 1881, Paul Darling reached the end of his earthly career, passing quietly away, closing his eyes peacefully, no more to look upon the friends and associates of this life."

By his will Paul Darling bequeathed: his stock in the bank to W.H. Gray and Mary Gray, this being first change in stock. Mary Gray assigned to W.H. Gray, January 2, 1882. Edward A. Litch became a stockholder in the bank by purchase from his father.

Mr. John Butler served as clerk in the bank during the illness of Paul Darling, and after his death for a short time. On January 10, 1882, by resolution of the bank George T. Rodgers was chosen clerk, and entered upon his duties on February 1, 1882. A life-sized picture of Darling was ordered by resolution of January 10, 1882. Same day E.A. Litch was elected a member of the board of directors. Thomas K. Litch, president, died August 14, 1882.

The minutes of the bank record the following resolution:

"BROOKVILLE, PA., August 17, 1882.

"At a meeting of the board of directors of this bank, held this day, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:

"WHEREAS, Thomas K. Litch, Esq., our late president has been removed by death; therefore be it

"Resolved, That we give this testimony of the sorrow we all feel in the loss of so worthy and estimable a member of our board.

"Resolved, That in all our business relations with him we have found him to be a man of integrity, honest and just, conservative in counsel, a kind and true friend, whose loss was sincerely deplored.

"Resolved, That we tender our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family in their affliction.

"Resolved, That this preamble and resolution be entered upon the minutes of the bank, and published in the county papers.

W.H. GRAY, Directors.

August 25, 1882, Thomas W. Litch was elected a member of the board of directors to fill the vacancy occasioned by his father’s death, and the same day W.H. Gray was elected vice-president, and George T. Rodgers, assistant-cashier. January 9, 1883, Mrs. R.M. Litch was elected member of the board, vice T.W. Litch; J.B. Henderson was promoted to the presidency; W.H. Gray was re-elected vice-president; Edward A. Litch was chosen cashier, vice J.B. Henderson, promoted; and George T. Rodgers was re-elected assistant-cashier. July 3, 1883, George T. Rodgers became a stockholder in the bank by purchase from W.H. Gray, and January, 1884, he was made a member of the board of directors, vice Mrs. R.M. Litch, and at a meeting of the board was chosen cashier. J.B. Henderson was re-elected president, and W.H. Gray vice-president. The office of assistant-cashier was not refilled, and the board of directors and officers has since that time been unchanged.

In the summer of 1881, three years after its organization, the bank had deposits amounting to $615,000, and two years later its deposits were over $ 660,000, being about four times as much as had ever been controlled by any bank in Brookville. The bank invested its entire capital in government 4’s at par, and afterwards bought $46,950 of same bonds, most of them at par, all of which it now holds. It has held at times nearly $50,000 dollars in county and municipal bonds also.


January 1, 1881, Ira C. Fuller opened a bank in the bank building formerly occupied by the bank of William F. Clark & Son. He did business in this building for about two years, then moved into the room now occupied by the National Bank of Brookville, in the American House building. November 1, 1883, the bank was made a national institution under the name of "National Bank of Brookville."


The National Bank of Brookville was organized August 25, 1883, with capital stock of $50,000, with the following officers: Ira C. Fuller, president; W.D.J. Marlin, vice-president; B.M. Marlin, cashier. Board of directors: Ira C. Fuller, W.D.J. Marlin, William F. Wanner, Joseph Darr, F.X. Kreitler, Brookville; John Yeaney, Shannondale; N. Taylor, Corsica. The books of the bank were opened for business November 1, 1883, in the banking-room in the "American House" lately occupied by the "Ira C. Fuller Bank," where the bank still continues to hold forth. On November 3, 1885, E.H. Darrah was elected a director and also president to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Ira C. Fuller. At the regular meeting of the stockholders January 12, 1886, Charles Corbet, esq., and C.Z. Gordon, esq., both of Brookville, were elected directors in place of W.F. Wanner and John Yeaney. The bank at present has a surplus fund of $4,200, and is doing a steadily increasing, and profitable business.


The Mahoning Bank opened its doors for business June 24, 1870. The first meeting of the stockholders was held November 4, 1870, when the following officers were elected: President, Reuben C. Winslow, of Punxsutawney; cashier, M.J. Dinsmore, of Punxsutawney; directors, R.C. Winslow, W.A. Dunlap, W.E. Gillespie, Punxsutawney; William M. Stewart, Harry White, Indiana; Dr. R.M. McChesney, Shelocta, Indiana county. The bank did a general banking business, passing through the panic of 1872-73 with credit to itself and satisfaction to its many patrons and customers, during that trying time. The bank continued doing business with some changes in officers, etc., until July 28, 1886, when negotiations were entered into by M.J. Dinsmore, with the balance of the original stockholders, for the purchase of the bank; the arrangement for the purchase being consummated October 13, 1886, M.J. Dinsmore becoming owner of the entire stock, assets, fixtures, etc. On the 18th of December, Mr. Dinsmore disposed of the same to Dr. Joseph Shields, and retired from the business. The bank then passed into the hands of new parties, and was reorganized with the following officers: President, Dr. Joseph Shields; vice-president, Dr. S.S. Hamilton; cashier, Alonzo Pantall; assistant-cashier, R.W. Dinsmore. Directors, Dr. Joseph Shields, T. Pantall, Dr. A.P. Cox, Dr. S.S. Hamilton, D.C. McIntyre, S.T. North, William G. Lewis. The Mahoning Bank is one of the solid banking institutions of the county, and is doing a good business.


Was organized August 7, 1883, with a capital stock of $50,000, with the following officers: President, R.C. Winslow; vice-president, T. Pantall; cashier, James H. Maize. Boardof directors, RC. Winslow, Punxsutawney; T. Pantall, Young township; John R. Pantall, Oliveburg; J.B. Henderson, Brookville; Charles Corbet, Brookville. The books of the bank were opened for business on October 8, 1883, in the east room of Winslow and Calderwood’s law office on West Mahoning street, where it continued to do business until about the first of October, 1884, when it was removed to a commodious building especially erected for its occupancy, near the centre of the town, by Jacob Zeitler, esq. The great conflagration that visited Punxsutawney on the morning of October 9, 1886, laid the handsome building of the First National Bank in ruins; but with the exception of the loss of its counters and furniture, the bank lost comparatively nothing, everything in vault and safe being intact when opened. A few days later the bank resumed business in a building adjoining their old location, and ten days after the fire Jacob Zeitler, the owner of the former bank building, had contracted for the erection of a new building, which will be completed about April 1, 1888, and again occupied by the First National Bank. The new structure will be almost a fac simile of the old one. No change occurred in the officers from its organization until January, 1887, when John R. Pantall, esq., succeeded T. Pantall, esq., as vice-president, and Robert Calderwood, esq., was chosen a director in place of T. Pantall. Since its organization this bank has sustained a loss of two of its valued shareholders, in the persons of the late A.L. Gordon, and Isaac C. Jordon. The bank at present has a surplus fund of $3,000, and is doing a steadily increasing and profitable business.

* Dropped out in 1872.

Source:  Page(s) 304-308, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

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