Historically speaking

Considering Negaunee’s financial history

NEGAUNEE — Negaunee’s financial history is divided into three periods.

The first period covers the establishment of the original First National Bank of Negaunee. It coincided with the corporation of the city in 1873. The banking facility was an outgrowth of what was known as Haydon’s Negaunee Bank formed in 1868, three years after Negaunee was incorporated as a village.

This bank covered a period of about six to eight years. During this time Matthew’s Bank came and went.

This was a private enterprise of James Matthews, and early issues of the Iron Herald mention the “cleaning up” of the affairs of the Matthew’s Bank. Early issues also mention a Mr. Gray who was engaged in the banking business and also a Mr. Stone’s Miners Bank which he operated in conjunction with his mercantile business.

He accommodated patrons at any and all times and the banking business was of a commercial aspect only. In 1884, H.E.Pearce established a bank in Negaunee. Mr. Pearce came to Marquette from Ohio. He decided that conditions in Negaunee were favorable for a private banking establishment. In1887, in the second period of banking the mercantile and mining interests became convinced that Negaunee should have larger facilities for banking. Negaunee and Ishpeming were jointly interested in the First National Bank.

It was planned to have a new bank located in the Mitchell building on Iron Street. However, Mr. Pearce’s retirement from the banking business made the building he occupied vacant.

This location was the triangular lot on the south side of Iron Street which was occupied by the First National Bank.for many years prior to the bank purchasing and remodeling the Davis block across the street on the north side of Iron, on the corner of Iron and Silver Streets. (the “Y”).

Soon after they vacated the first bank building it was purchased by the Negaunee State Bank.There was a time when the citizens thought Negaunee ws large enough for two banks. The order for the second bank became twisted and as a result two were acquired. Negaunee now had three banks, First National Bank of Negaunee, Negaunee National, and Negaunee State Bank. This might have continued if it wasn’t for the major depression of the 1930’s. There was considerable rivalry in 1909 when it was decided that Negaunee would have three banks.

However the Negaunee State Bank had the distinction of getting underway first. State banking formalities had less red tape than those of the Federal Government. The Negaunee State Bank opened in September of 1909.The Negaunee National Bank was built on the former site of the Montreal House, and completed in 1910. This structure is known as the Pioneer Agency Building. Both the State and National financial institutions came to an end about the same time and merged with the First National Bank.

In 1956 the First National opened its first branch bank in Republic. It was a new building erected in the business district. It coincided with the opening of the Republic Mine. In 1962, the First National opened a branch bank in Palmer, which coincided with the opening of the Empire Mine. Harvey, in southeast Marquette, was a growing area and another branch bank was opened in 1962. In 1965, First National opened a drive through on U.S. 41.

First National of Negaunee, Negaunee National, Negaunee State. Years later, Negaunee does not have a bank that carries the name of the city.


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