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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Herkimer County Trust Company

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 127-128 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Almost a century of successful financial history entitles the Herkimer County Trust Company of Little Falls to its present position of the oldest and largest bank in Herkimer county and one of the strong, progressive and helpful institutions of Central New York. From a very small beginning made by a group of progressive men in 1833, the business has grown until its beneficent influence has reached all sections of the country and its directors feel justified in believing that it has rendered invaluable service to its patrons and the public generally. "Service" has been the motto of the bank during all these years, and the various changes that have taken place in its organization have been inspired by the desire to render more effective help to the community in keeping with the forward strides of business in general.

By a special act of the New York state legislature "The President, Directors and Company of the Herkimer County Bank" was incorporated in March, 1833, to do a banking business, at Little Falls, New York. The movement to establish a bank in Little Falls encountered some opposition from other parts of the county and its accomplishment was the occasion for local rejoicing. While the amount of capital stock was fixed at a large sum of money for that day — two hundred thousand dollars — it was so heavily oversubscribed that the officers of the new bank were somewhat embarrassed in apportioning it satisfactorily. On the 30th of August, 1833, the new bank opened for business in a room of the hotel at the corner of Main and Williams streets, for many years known as the Beattie House, where it remained until its own building was completed. At the first meeting of the stockholders, held June 1, 1833, a committee had been appointed with the authorization to erect a suitable building for the new institution, and the stone structure at the corner of Ann and Albany streets, which was the home of the bank from that time until 1917, was the result of their efforts. On April 30, 1917, the Herkimer County Trust Company opened business in the new Burrell building, at the corner of Main and Ann streets, its present spacious and well equipped home.

In 1865 the Herkimer County Bank surrendered its charter as a state institution and became a national bank with the name Herkimer County National Bank. Thirteen years later a reorganization was effected, with the name National Herkimer County Bank. At this time the capital stock was increased to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Under this form of organization the bank rendered a very real service to its community for many years. Local industries were aided and fostered and to the extent of its powers and resources every movement for the betterment of the city and county received assistance from this institution. The time came, however, when the officers and directors of the National Herkimer County Bank felt that the legal limitations and restrictions placed on a national bank hindered them from rendering a full measure of service to the community. It was to enlarge the scope of the bank that it was reorganized in 1917 as the Herkimer County Trust Company, chartered under the strict banking laws of the state of New York.

The Herkimer County Trust Company now offers its patrons all the features of a modern and thoroughly up-to-date banking service, with all the conservatism and reliability of an old established institution of unquestioned standing. Its banking rooms in the new Burrell building are handsomely fitted up with modern banking fixtures and equipment and with every provision for the convenience and comfort of the depositors. In addition to the regular commercial features of checking accounts and loans the banking service includes interest accounts, a safe deposit department, a trust department, a foreign exchange department and an investment department, each of which is in charge of a thoroughly competent official who is a specialist in his particular line. Every effort is made to render the clients of the bank prompt and efficient service and to assist them in solving their business problems in a sound and prudent way. Today the bank is capitalized at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, with a surplus equal to that amount, while the fact that the totals in its statements now run well over five and a half million dollars indicates that it is doing a very satisfactory volume of business.

Throughout its long and eventful history the Herkimer County Trust Company has enjoyed the support of the most influential people in the community. A list of its officers includes names of many men who have rendered important services to this city and county in a business or professional way and will long be remembered as true community builders. The presidents have been: Standish Barry, 1833-1834; Nathaniel S. Benton, 1834-1838; Henry P. Alexander, 1838-1867; Albert G. Story, 1867-1887; Zenos C. Priest, 1887; William G. Milligan, 1888-1901; George A. Hardin, 1901; David H. Burrell, 1902-1914; George D. Smith, 1915-1916; J. Judson Gilbert, 1916 to date. The vice presidents have been: Frederick Lancing, 1838-1860; V. S. Kenyon, 1862-1868; James Feeter, 1868-1902; J. Judson Gilbert, 1902-1916; Myron G. Bronner, 1916 to date; Howard C. Miller, 1916 to date. The secretaries include:, Walter Sherman, 1833-1834; Albert G. Story, 1834-1867; William G. Milligan, 1867-1888; Albert Story, 1888-1900; George D. Smith, 1900-1915; Howard C. Miller, 1915-1919; Charles D. Jarvis, 1919 to date. The assistant secretary is Jireh W. Sherman. A list of the directors of the institution at the present time is truly representative of the best business and professional ability of Little Falls: J. Judson Gilbert is president of the Gilbert Knitting Company; Myron G. Bronner is a member of Bronner & Ward, prominent attorneys; Irving E. Stacey is president of the Little Falls Felt Shoe Company; John O'Rourke is senior partner of O'Rourke & Hurley, druggists; Howard C. Miller is vice president of the company; Frank Senior is president of the Rex Knitting Company; Landon U. Lynt is vice president of the Little Falls Manufacturing Company; Julius Breckwoldt is president of the company bearing his name; David J. Williams, recently deceased, was vice president of the Gilbert Knitting Company; Sylvan M. Barnet is president of the Barnet Leather Company; Nelson R. Gilbert is a prominent resident of the city; Charles T. Dasey heads T. & J. Dasey, a leading dry goods establishment; D. H. Burrell is treasurer of D. H. Burrell & Company, Incorporated; Bliss Kibbe resides in Stratford, New York; and George L. Smith is treasurer of the Adirondack Woolen Company.

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