First National Bank in Helena, Montana, Check
S.T. Hauser organized a private bank in Helena Montana under the name S.T. Hauser and Company. On April 5, 1866, his bank received a charter as the First National Bank of Helena. The bank was the first national bank that was establishshed in Montana Territory and was capitalized with $100,000 with S.T. Hauser as president.
The primary business of the First National Bank in Helena Montana was transacting gold dust, paying an average of $17.50 per ounce of gold dust.. Cashier T.H. Kleinschmidt was an expert in evaluating and purchasing gold dust brought to the bank by local miners. The First National Bank in Helena also sold coins and government vouchers. As times changed it served the burgeoning trade in cattle and sheep.
By 1893, Helena had six national banks and several local banks. Stock certificates issued by the bank in 1886 and printed by the prestigious American Banknote Company are available to collectors. The Panic of 1893 caused the bank to suspend operations. It resumed business on January 23, 1894 and merged with Helena National Bank. However, the new organization was not capable of continuing business because of the financial ramifications of the Panic, fiscal mismanagement, and a decline in the local economy. The First National Bank in Helena closed in September 1896.
This First National Bank check is a type of specimen labeled as "Original." It has a an ornate border and a beautiful vignette of Old Faithful Geyser, waterfalls, train, cattle and mountain scene.
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