A History of Money

The Story of Money

First National and  Westfield Saving Bank First National and Westfield Saving Bank.

First National Bank of Westfield.

        Westfield’s First National Bank dates its establishment back to the old State bank times, when it had the name of the Westfield Bank. It was chartered under the new order of things in 1864 and a year later the consolidation was consummated with a combined capital of $250,000. It has been a flourishing institution from the start, having the quarters shown in the accompanying engraving, located on Elm street, in the heart of the business part of the town. Many of the flourishing industries of Westfield owe no small part of their success to the liberality and public spirit of the First National’s officers, whose very act, while tempered with sound conservatism, has ever been characterized with a high regard for the general welfare and a desire to encourage in a substantial manner the establishment and prosecution of legitimate business enterprise. The first president of the Westfield Bank was William G. Bates, still remembered for his many acts of generosity and lofty personal character, while Cutler Laflin was the first president and G. L. Laflin the first cashier of the First National. The original capital of the first was $100,000, of the latter $150,000.
        The directors of the bank now are: M.B. Whitney, C.N. Yeamans, F.S. Egleston, Merritt Van Deusen, Henry G. Taylor, F.F. Van Deusen, S.A. Allen. The officers are: President, W.B. Whitney; vice- president, C.N. Yeamans; cashier, Henry Hooker, who succeeded G.L. Laflin, making thus but two cashiers since the organization of the present bank.

The Westfield Saving Bank.

Henry H. Hooker Henry H. Hooker.

V.W. Crowson V.W. Crowson
        The Westfield Savings Bank is located over the First National Bank. It received its first deposit July 1, 1853, and the account of that deposit was open at the time of writing, September 30, 1892. Deposits to the usual limit are received at any time, and are put on interest quarterly from January 10. The bank has earned and payed two per cent. interest semi-annually (four per cent. per year) for many years. The officers are:
        President, Merritt Van Deusen, vice-presidents, Henry Hooker, John W. Colton, Reuben Loomis, Clinton K. Lambson. Trustees: Milton B. Whitney, Henry Holland, Merwin Loomis, Robert H. Kneil, Lucius F. Thayer, Alfred F. Lilley, Charles H. Snow, Alvan L. Sprague, Henry M. Miller, Anson C. Barnes. Auditors: Robert H. Kneil, Alfred T. Lilley. Finance Committee: Merritt Van Deusen, Reuben Loomis, Robert H. Kneil. Secretary and Treasurer, V. W. Crowson.
        The deposits now amount to $1,134,939.57.

Hampden National Bank.

        The old Hampden Bank was the pioneer financial institution of Westfield, organized under the State banking law, August 29, 1825, when James Fowler was chosen president. The board itself was composed of James Fowler, Simeon Collins, Thomas Sheldon, Ira Yeamans, Thomas Ashley, Abner Post, and Augustus Collins, not one of whom survives.

Hampden National and Woronoco Saving Banks Hampden National and Woronoco Saving Banks
From the first the Hampden Bank was a useful and successful institution and conferred many substantial benefits upon the community. The capital stock was $100,000, and the management was such that in the various monetary crises that occurred during its history the Hampden always came forth unscathed and stronger than ever. In 1865 the concern was reorgnised and chartered as a National bank, with paid-up capital stock to the amount of $150,000. As reorganized E. B. Gillett was the first president and Royal Weller the first cashier. Reuben Noble succeeded to the presidency and filled the position ably and and well until 1882, when L. R. Norton was elected. The board of directors is exceptionally strong, comprising such influential names as L. R. Norton, James Noble, Jr., 0. R. Noble, D. L. Gillett, E. B. Giliett and F. L. Sanford. The president is L. R. Norton, vice-president, Jas. Noble, Jr.; cashier, Chas. L. Weller; assistant cashier, Fred H. Sackett. President Norton was postmaster of Westfield under the Cleveland administration, and has held many offices of trust and honor locally and upon State appointed commissions. The Hampden National Bank building is a substantial structure on Main street and shows in the engraving.

Woronoco Savings Bank.

        The Woronoco Bank was incorporated May 5, 1871, and commenced business July 1, the same year. The first president was Samuel Horton; first treasurer. Royal Weller, cashier Hampden National Bank; first secretary, Edward B. Gillett. L. R. Norton succeeded Mr. Horton as president in June, 1882, and Darwin L. Gillett, the present president, succeeded Mr. Norton in June, 1886. There have been but two treasurers of the bank, Mr. Weller and his son, the present incumbent, Charles L. Weller. The confidence of the community in the financial ability and integrity of the first treasurer gave the bank an impetus which has continued to the present time. The bank has never turned away an applicant for a loan for the want of funds, and has always paid every depositor upon request the funds standing against his name. The present officers of the bank are: President, Darwin L. Gillett; vice-presidents, E.R. Van Deusen, William Provin, John Fowler and J.S. Clark, Trustees: D.L. Gillett, Thomas Kneil, L.R. Norton, M.L. Robinson, 0.B. Parks, J.R. Reed, Henry Fuller, 0.0. Granger, C.R. Fowler, S.B. Campbell, L.F. Root, W.C. Clark, S.A. Allen and F.S. Dewey, Jr. Secretary, Henry Fuller.
        The deposits now amount to $1,069,163.71.

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