bank,  PublicWorks

Grange National Bank

The Grange National Bank was the 2nd bank in Spartansburg.  It’s establishment came within 3 years after the failure of the Spartansburg (Tryon) Bank.  Spartansburg was a thriving community and it was the feeling of merchants and farmers in the area that a bank was needed.

In January, 1908 application was made to allow a nationally backed bank for Spartansburg. The application was made by HL Bowen and several other businessmen,

In this Spartansburg Sentinel article from February 15, 1907, it is explained that $25000 is required to establish a National Bank.  That money is through shares of $100 each with 50% due at organization and 10% each month after that until paid.

The bank was originally to be called the First National Bank of Spartansburg, and was noted as such in the approval of the application.  Subscriptions (shares) were advertised and collected from the citizens and merchants of the town and surrounding areas.

Subscriptions were collected until all in the area who wished to had subscribed.  After that, HL Bowen made contact with the National Grange (the Grange had been establishing banks since 1905) and John McHenry, Superintendent for Grange Banks,  purchased the remaining necessary subscriptions.

The final organization of the bank occurred on March 18, 1908 and the bank opened on April 20, 1908 under Charter 9110 as the Grange National Bank.

Officers and staff of the bank in 1908 were:

WE Rice, President:  Rice had come to Spartansburg in around 1906 and had been a businessman in Chicago prior to his move here.  He was involved in the closing of the Tryon Bank in 1905, having brought suit against DW Tryon.
Leon Morris and family were long-time residents of Spartansburg.  He was 1st VP.
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RH Patchen was a prosperous farmer living near town and was elected 2nd VP
John Webb, a merchant (grocer) in Spartansburg became the Head Cashier for the bank.  He had been deeply involved with the organization of the bank from the beginning
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Lane Smith joined as Assistant Cashier shortly after the bank opened.  He came from Benton, PA and had been employed at another Grange Bank.

The bank maintained and grew through the succeeding years.

During the operation of the bank, bank notes were printed for the Spartansburg Grange National Bank as allowed by the National Bank Acts of 1863 and 1864:

 Information from:

Information about the Bank Notes from Spartansburg Grange Bank

Checks were also issued with the bank name:

Officials of the bank changed in various years.  Some of the staff included:

Pres:  We Rice, 1st VP: HE Blakeslee, 2nd VP: CH Tauber, Cashier: OM Thompson, Asst. Cashier: BE Elston, Sec: JM Webb

Pres: JI Thompson and CH Tauber, 1st VP: W Huff, 2nd VP: WW Wellman, Cashier: Bertha Elston, Asst. Cashier: Helen Gould

Later, JM Webb and CH Tauber were Bank Presidents.

The reporting of the condition of the bank in October, 1924:

In 1933, President Roosevelt, as one of his first presidential acts, declared a “Bank Holiday” from March 6-10, 1933.  All banks were required to be closed for those days and only some banks were allowed to re-open.  Spartansburg Grange Bank was not one that was allowed to continue.  Reports from folks who were around at that time indicated that when bank officials questioned the reason, they were told that the bank was solvent but was too small.

In accordance with the Emergency Bank Act of 1933, a Conservator was named.  OM Thompson, who had been Cashier at the bank, was named Conservator and began the process of working toward re-organization.  Limited access to the bank was available during the process, allowing depositors to make deposits which were held separate from funds in the bank before the closing in March.


In September, 1933 a re-organization plan was approved.


The plan continued to develop with limited access until September, 1934.  At that time,  the re-organization of the bank completed.  The control of the bank was returned to the Board of Directors who saw thru on the plan, a large part of which was to transfer some of the assets to Union City National Bank- account holders then had 15 days to decide to allow their accounts to remain there or to remove them.

So, after 36 years in business, Spartansburg’s 2nd bank closed, with creditors and depositors having received nearly 100% of their money.