Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grangers' Bank of California

Here's an example of a late nineteenth century California bank letterhead. This letter from the Grangers' Bank in San Francisco was sent to William Shipsey on January 6, 1892.

William Shipsey was an attorney and notary in San Luis Obispo. He served as mayor from 1898-1901. Later, in 1912, he became president of the public library.

Grangers' Bank of California was incorporated in April 1874, as indicated on the letterhead. From the Grange history reported on the Web site of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley:
In April, 1874, [Charles] Wood and John Chrisman met with delegates of the other 130 subordinate (local) Granges and California Grange officers to found the Grangers' Bank of California.

A Harvard University Press publication in 1913, The Granger Movement: A Study of Agricultural Organization and its Political, Economic, and Social Manifestations, 1870-1880, by Solon Justus Buck, offers this brief history:
The bank opened its doors on Aug 1, 1874 and within a year had two million dollars on deposit and a paid up capital of about half a million dollars It seems to have had a successful career and is reported to have saved the farmers of the state a large amount of money at a time of depression in the wheat market by loaning them three million dollars and thus enabling them to hold their wheat for a rise in the market.

I got the letter with its matching envelope--great logo with the anchor, scicle, and wheat.