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Bank of Pauline

Brief History of Pauline State Bank*

The Pauline State Bank was organized on Nov. 9, 1905 with A.L. Clark, president; W.A. Taylor, vice-president and F.N. Ferry, cashier. Frank Ferry was a colorful personality, weighing in at 350-400 pounds. He lived at the bank and kept his guns handy to safeguardA checkbook belonging to John H. Post, web editor's grandfather.A checkbook belonging to John H. Post, web editor's grandfather. himself and the bank. As with so many small institutions of the time, The Pauline State Bank closed Jan. 23, 1932, when it went into receivership.

Accordingly, the Little Blue Township’s claim and warrant registry lists a Jan. 9, 1932 beginning balance of $39.05, which was later crossed out with the notation, “ . . . the bank closed after we had drawn $5.05 so we really only had a balance of $5.05 and $34.00 in Pauline Bank.” The township received 10% dividend payments of $3.40 in 1932 and again in each of the years 1934-36. A final payment of $4.69 was received by the township in January of 1937, the year the bank’s final settlement took place.

The little brick building stood vacant for decades, but was converted into a garage by local resident Merl Brown in the 1980s. The altered structure is one of a handful of business buildings that have survived into the 21st century.

Just one year after its organization, on a fall morning when Mr. Ferry was on vacation, the Pauline bank was robbed. Townspeople said it would not have happened had he been on duty. Following is the newspaper account of the event that ran in the "Hastings Tribune" Oct. 19, 1906:

Pauline Bank Robbery*

"The Pauline Bank safe was shattered early in the morning of October 17, 1906, by 4 explosions of nitro-glycerine. lt was robbed of approximately $1500 in cash and currency. The robbers escaped unseen. The Bank of Pauline is an associate institution of the First National Bank of Hastings. Its capital stock is $5000. The robbers thought the robbery was well planned, but was ill timed. Had it been committed that night, the bank would have lost about $5000 and possibly more as a shipment of money had been made by the First National by express later that morning.

"It is believed the crime was committed by professionals. By 11 o'clock that morning a pair of well trained bloodhounds were in pursuit of the robbers.

"The explosions were heard by several persons in Pauline, but before anyone was brave enough to come out of his home, the robbers had fled. C.F. A check drawn on the Pauline State Bank. Courtesy of Little Blue Township.A check drawn on the Pauline State Bank. Courtesy of Little Blue Township.Glasier and his son, Mont Glasier, who had a hardware and implement store close by and lived only a short distance away, heard all four of the explosions, but because they were unarmed they didn't rush right out. However they were the first upon the scene. The explosion occurred at 2:10 a.m. The robbers gained entrance to the bank through the front or the back door, as both doors had been opened with keys. Rubber tire buggy or carriage tracks were found in the street in front of the bank, heading south. The hounds tracked the robbers to the Webster County line, and lost their trail there.

"The counter and furniture in the bank were badly wrecked. Three large windows in the front were blown out. A plate from the door of the safe, weighing about 25 pounds, was blown through the front window."

The robbery was never solved and to this day remains a mystery.

Colorful Personality of Banker Ferry*

Frank N. Ferry, who in 1926 was listed as Pauline bank president, also boarded with local resident Charles Peterson, who at one time was a teller for the bank. Marion Peterson, one of the family's sons, later recalled many comical incidents that occurred while Mr. Ferry stayed with the family. At one time, Mr. Ferry mail-ordered a new folding cot for use at the bank. When it arrived, the Peterson family helped him assemble it. To the merriment of the Peterson boys, when Mr. Ferry decided to try out the cot, it folded, with him in it. It proved quite a chore to get the rotund man extracted from the folds of canvas and bars.

"Frank Ferry, all 300 pounds of him, ran the bank, counseled his clients in money matters and was highly esteemed in the community." – Former resident William Claude Stethem

Another time Mr. Ferry asked Charles Peterson to take him to Hastings in his Model T touring car, but after he boarded the car there was no room for the driver, plus the car had a decided tilt to one side. This problem was solved, however, by seating him in the center of the back seat.

Millie Hesman Haba recalled that one day Mr. Ferry came to visit District 7 Union School. He encouraged the scholars to save money and open a bank account, giving each child a penny with which to start his savings.

*These items are taken from "Pauline and Community, 1887-1987, 'A Trail in Time' ".

Pauline State Bank in the News

"C.J. Hornsby, State Bank examiner, was in town Thursday making his regular examination of the Pauline State Bank." "PAULINE," "The Hastings Democrat," Thursday, July 8, 1926

"The Pauline State Bank was closed Friday in observance of Arbor Day."  –"PAULINE," "The Hastings Democrat," Thursday, April 28, 1927

"The Pauline Bank was closed Friday because of Good Friday and Tuesday Arbor Day." –"Pauline Items" by Mrs. Harvey P. Jones, "The Hastings Democrat," Thursday, April 24, 1930

"Mrs. Harvey Jones assisted in the Pauline State Bank Friday." –"Pauline Items" by Mrs. Harvey P. Jones, "The Hastings Democrat," Thursday, May 15, 1930

                             A bankbook that once belonged to Miss Catherine "Tena" Post. A bankbook that once belonged to Miss Catherine "Tena" Post.         The inside of the bankbook dates it to 1918. Catherine "Tena" Post was the younger sister of John H. Post. Courtesy of Donna Knight.The inside of the bankbook dates it to 1918. Catherine "Tena" Post was the younger sister of John H. Post. Courtesy of Donna Knight.