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Even before Indiana became a state, forward thinking men knew that to promote progress a stable monetary system was paramount. Also, with the increase in land sales, there became a demand for money. There were no banks in the territory in which the government could deposit money, so it was sent to the East. People in the west bought more goods from the east than did people of the east buy from the west. These circumstances caused a drain on available money. It was clear the only way to stop this was to create banks. Therefore, in the summer of 1814 the General Assembly chartered two banks in the Indiana Territory, the Vincennes Bank and the Farmer’s and Mechanic’s Bank at Madison. The latter was the first bank incorporated within the territory and it gave Madison a great advantage, both financially and politically. In 1816, after statehood was attained, it was recognized and confirmed by the state constitution.
The Farmer’s and Mechanic’s Bank fared better than many other early banks in the state, due mostly to the honesty and diligence of its operation my such sterling men as John Paul and John Sering. The bank became a financial boon to farmers and merchants, opening up trade between the East and New Orleans. While active from 1814 to about 1824, it was a dependable source for investments and a holding institution for money made locally. The bank was located at 308 Main Cross Street (now called Jefferson Street) and a historical marker has been placed on the site.
MJCPL: History of Jefferson County by E. O Muncie
MJCPL: A History of Indiana from Its Earliest Exploration…by John Brown Dillon
Internet: Google Books-A History of Indiana from Its Earliest Exploration by John Brown Dillon
Internet: Google Books-Pioneer History of Indiana by William Monroe Cochrum
MJCPL: A History of Indiana by Logan Esarey
Internet: Google Books-A History of Indiana by Logan Esarey
Our local history-genealogy specialist is
Monday and Wednesday 1-5; Thursday 4-9 and Saturday 9-5. You can ask a question online or by phone at 812-265-2744.
The library wishes to thank the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County for making this website possible!
The History Rescue Project :: © 2008-2009 by the Jefferson County Public Library. 420 W. Main St., Madison, IN 47250. (812) 265-2744.
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