Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Historic Businesses of the Tri-Counties
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
First National Bank of Canton, Canton, Bradford County PA

Canton Commercial Club Envelope

Article - First National Bank
Township: Canton Borough, Bradford County PA
Year: 1950 
Envelope from Don Stanton (Year ?)
Article by Eleanor PARSONS Keagle submitted by Don Stanton
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Eleanor Parsons Keagle
Canton Sentinel
November 30, 1950

The First National Bank of Canton was organized January 24, 1881, and chartered February 16 of the same year with charter No. 2505.
The original directors were Adam Innes, Kileon Packard, Leroy B. Gleason, George E. Bullock, Andrew D. Foss, Benjamin S. Dartt and Daniel Innes.  The first president was Adam Innes and George Guernsey served as the first cashier.
This however was not Canton’s first bank, as Samuel Doane and Company operated a bank here prior to 1878.  Charles A. Krise, a harness dealer in Canton had deposit book number 4 in the Doane Bank and book number 1 in the Bank of Canton, which succeeded it in October 1880.
The Bank of Canton became the First National Bank of Canton upon its organization the following January.  This was located in the Bullock Block, in one of the stores now occupied by the Acme Market.
The Bank was capitalized for $50,000 on January 4, 1882 had deposits amounting to $76,114.40.  By March 10, 1885 these had increased to $97,031.36 and showed a steady growth at intervals as follows: February 28, 1890, $121,641.38; March 5, 1895, $141,709.64; February 4, 1899, $148,969.83; January 2, 1901, $296,059.07.  On this last date, the Bank had paid a total of $48,000 in dividends to its stockholders.
In 1899 the First National Bank moved to quarters, which had been especially built for its accommodation in the new Lewis Building.  Daniel Innes replaced his father, Adam Innes, as president and Louis T. McFadden became cashier.  The directors that year were listed as: Daniel Innes, tanner; George E. Bullock, capitalist; Leroy R. Gleason, tanner; Kileon Packard, farmer and capitalist; W. V. Bacon, dry goods.
In January 1905 the bank’s deposits had increased to $482,509.53, and some of the new directors had been chosen, H. Lee Clark, Louis T. McFadden and J. W. Parsons replacing George E. Bullock, L. R. Gleason and Kileon Packard.
In January 1907 the name of W. V. Bacon, vice president, was added to the list of officers.  In February 1908, Clay W. Holmes and Charles E. Bullock were added to the Board of Directors and Charles A. Innes became assistant cashier.  On this date the deposits had increased to $584,204.82, and the capital was increased to $100,000.  In May of the same year, Clay W. Holmes was elected as a vice president.
On March 21, 1908 the installation of a new burglar alarm was demonstrated and a reception was held to which all were invited.  Canton’s citizens were escorted through the bank in groups, and were shown how the point of a penknife touching the metal of the vault would set off the alarm.
Floyd Griswold became associated with the bank on March 15, 1908, and thus is the oldest employee in point of service.
In 1914-15 the Lewis Building underwent a complete change in the first floor arrangement and the bank was greatly enlarged and improved.  The Post Office was moved to the east end of the building, and the bank occupied the next space.  What had been the post office corridor and entrance to the upper floors became the entrance to the bank and a separate entrance was provided for the Opera house and offices and ballroom on the second and third floors.  The store at the west end of the building remained as it had been.  The rooms used by the bank were entirely done over and refurnished in a modern manner.  The director’s room was equipped with a large Mahogany desk and comfortable matching chairs for the director’s meetings and beautified with a handsome rug and window draperies.
Early in 1916 we again find changes in the Board of Directors, George B. Lewis, Homer Rockwell and Charles Innes filling the vacancies caused by the resignation of W. V. Bacon, J. W. Parsons and Clay Holmes. Also at this time Louis T. McFadden became president; Charles E. Bullock vice president, Charles A. Innes cashier and H. T. Owen assistant cashier.  E. Lloyd Lewis replaced Homer Rockwell as a director in March 1917, the officers remaining as previously listed.
The next change in the Board of Directors took place early in 1920, when G. F. Krise and Edward R. Innes replaced George B. Lewis and Daniel Innes.  At this time F.C. Griswold was made an assistant cashier.
Martin L. Rockwell was chosen to fill the vacancy on the board caused by the resignation of H. Lee Clark early in 1924.  During these years the bank had grown steadily and in 1925 the deposits were well over $900,000.
Charles E. Bullock became president and E. Lloyd Lewis vice president in 1926, the other officers and directors remaining the same with the exception of Mr. McFadden, who had resigned.
We find the name of Frank S. Stull added to the list of directors early in 1927.  The next change noted was on June 30, 1931, when Charles E. Bullock became chairman; Charles A. Innes, president; E. Lloyd Lewis, vice president; H. T. Owen, cashier and F. C. Griswold, assistant cashier.
During the depression years of 1930-1931, we find the deposits falling off somewhat, but in December 1932, six months after the merger of the Farmer’s National Bank with the First National; the deposits were just short of $1,000,000.
The bank maintained a steady growth for the next ten years, but unfortunately many of the records were burned in the fire of 1942, so exact statistics cannot be given.  On July 1, 1940, Dale Guthrie joined the staff as executive vice president, and continued in that capacity until January 15, 1948.
One of the worst fires the town has ever experienced destroyed the Lewis Building, together with the bank and post office the night of November 17, 1942.  Many anxious moments were felt by the people of Canton while the big vault was cooling after the fire, but when it was finally opened, all contents were found to be intact.
Immediately following the fire, the bank moved across the street to the building formerly occupied by the Farmer’s Bank and remained there until the new building was completed in April 1948.  On May 1, a formal opening was held and the public was cordially invited to inspect the new building and meet the institution’s personnel.
The first floor embodied every facility for modern banking, with ample room for future expansion.  The second floor of the building was designed to house the Canton Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star.
In 1944 the officers of the bank were: C. Arthur Bullock, President; D. S. Guthrie, executive vice president; F. C. Griswold, assistant executive vice president and W. A. Saxe, Cashier.  The directors were: C. F. Biddle, C. Arthur Bullock, D. S. Guthrie, Edward R. Innes, Stanley B. Morse, Lee M. Preston, Martin L. Rockwell and H. A. Spalding.
The next change in officers occurred in 1948 when Martin L. Rockwell became vice president and F. C. Griswold assistant to the president.  At this time Philip Biddle replaced his father, C. F. Biddle as director and Lewis Ferguson was chosen when E. R. Innes resigned.  In 1949 another change in the directorship is noted when D. S. Guthrie resigned and L. L. Baumunk was elected to the Board.
The first National Bank has grown steadily through the years, always serving the community in every way possible.  From deposits of $76,000 at the close of the first year’s business, they have grown to $2,250,000 in 1950.  From a staff of two in 1882, there are now five times that number of efficient and courteous executives, cashiers and tellers to serve the bank’s customers.
On January 11, 1949 Mrs. Catherine S. Raker and Raymond E. Foust were elected as assistant cashiers.
In addition to the officers the present staff consists of William R. Krise, Manley Preston, Mrs. Margaret Brown, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Krise and Mrs. Audrey Randall.
As the assets and number of employees have grown through the years, so have the services and functions of the first national Bank kept pace with a changing financial world.