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La Crosse County Historical Society discovers, collects, preserves, and shares the history of La Crosse County, Wisconsin.

Archive Record

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Object Name Print
Catalog Number 2015.fic.364c
Collection La Crosse County Historical Society Collection
Description National Bank print.
Title National Bank
People Nudd, Chris
Search Terms National Bank
Notes Part of a series of 15 prints by Chris Nudd "La Crosse Scenes".

Text with print:

"John M. Levy, one of the city's earliest settlers, opened the first bank in La Crosse in 1856. In the same year a second bank was started by S.D. Hastings, and a third opened in Onalaska. However, none of these early institutions seemed to be able to weather the financial crises that followed that year in 1857.

In 1861 the Batavian Bank was opened with Gysbert Van Steenwyk as president. In 1863 it was burned out but did not suffer any loss as it was fully insured. Van Steenwyk was a man of sound business principles and since its beginning the Batavian Bank has been a substantial institution in the city.

The next oldest bank in La Crosse was the National Bank, incorporated in 1876 and reorganized in 1896. When it was established it had paid up capital of $100,000 and was regarded as one of the most responsible in the state. The bank paid no interest on deposits and the motto of its directors was "less hazards and less profits," security to depositors was their aim. The newly organized La Crosse National Bank had as its president G.C. Hixon.

The first location of the bank was in the vicinity of 2nd and Main Streets but in 1881 it moved to the Southeast corner of Third and Main Streets. This building was designed by C.F. Struck and built in 1881. It was considered on of the most spacious, elegant and prominent edifices in the city.

The first floor was occupied for business purposes and was 38x21.5 feet. The second floor was divided up into offices, which for finish and elegance were unsurpassed by any in the city. It was considered the height of architectural fashion and represented the Gothic revival in its last stages.

It was bulit of St.Louis pressed brick and was ornamented with polished granite columns, limestone gothic arches, false gables, galvanized iron turrets and cast iron cresting. Decoration was applied wherever space would permit.

The eastern section of the building, 40 feet along Main street, was built by G.C. Hixon. The ground floor was occupied by stores and the second story for offices. Numerous businesses have occupied the building since it was erected.

In 1905 the bank moved into the building at 114 N. 4th street and in 1958 it moved into the building it now occupies at 305 5th Ave. South.

Records show that in 1907 George W. Burton was president succeeded by Henry Gund in 1931 and in 1936 W.C. Hinterman became president. Hinterman continued in this capacity until 1945 when George A. MacLachlan became president. in 1956 George W. Milne became president and continues to serve in that capacity."