(The Patriot and Free Press, Cuba, NY, Aug 5, 1954)

(Editor’s note:  John P. Herrick, oil historian of Olean, N.Y., founder of the Bolivar Breeze, and for more than 20 years a resident of Allegany County, has written a story of “A Century of Banking in Allegany County.”  A personal acquaintance with the bankers and banks of the county during the past half century makes possible for him to write a new chapter in the history of the county.)

A Century of Banking – Part 9, Final

By John P. Herrick


The Citizens National Bank of Wellsville was chartered March 12, 1895, with a capital of $50,000.  A banking office was opened in the quarters formerly occupied by the defunct Bank of Wellsville in the Baldwin Block.  A liberal portion of the capital subscribed was furnished by citizens of Belmont.  The first officers were Theron P. Otis, president; Elmore A. Willets, vice president and C. W. Curtis, Jr. cashier.  The directors were the officers named and Dr. William K. Paul, William J. Richardson, L. W. Rockwell, Charles Day, A. E. Cowles and William C. Farnum.

In March 1923, a modern two story brick building was completed at No. 99 Main Street, as a permanent home for the bank.  Mr. William J. Richardson served as president of the bank from 1905 to the close of his life in 1929.  The growth of the bank in deposits during the past quarter of a century has been steady and satisfactory.

On December 31, 1952, the capital, surplus and undivided profits of the Citizens National Bank were $453,219.85 and total deposits $4,849,262.56.  The officers at year end were Denton A. Fuller, president; Ellis J. Hopkins, vice president; Theodore M. McClure, cashier; James E. Searle and Margaret E. Springer, assistant cashiers.  The directors were John C. Bradley, William B. Chenault, Maynard D. Church, Edwin F. Comstock, Paul M. Davie, Denton A. Fuller, George W. Holbrook, Ellis J. Hopkins, and William H. MacKenzie.  Denton A. Fuller is rated as a most capable banker.



The charter of the First National Bank of Whitesville, the first banking office in the town of Independence, was dated July 30, 1905 the capital stock $25,000.  The first officers were G. H. Chapin, president; D. M. Rollins, vice president and Fred Mather, cashier.  The directors were G. H. Chapin, C. L. Crittenden, L. H. Fortner, A. D. Howe, P. W.. Lawrence, L. H. Jones, Elmer Parker, L. G. Probasco, William J. Richardson and D. M. Rollins.

A large percentage of the stock of the bank was originally subscribed by Wellsville residents and William J. Richardson was active in promotion of the bank.  Through the years the stock of the bank has gradually been lodged in the safe deposit boxes of Whitesville citizens.  The bank building was completed in 1907, and the cost of the building, furniture and fixtures has been charged off.  There has been no addition to or change in capital and all the surplus has been earned.  Mr. H. L. Bloss has been actively connected with the bank for 30 years.

The capital, surplus and undivided profits of the First National Bank of Whitesville on December 31, 1953, were $165,648.87, and deposits $985,852.11.  The officers of the bank are D. C. Chapin, president; H. J. Stadelman, vice president;  H. L. Bloss, cashier and R. E. Clark, assistant cashier.  The directors are D. C. Chapin, H. J. Stadelman, H. L. Bloss, Arling Cobb, H. H. Richmond and George W. Probasco.  The population of Whitesville is 700 and the elevation 1700 feet, highest of any bank in the county.   END