New Bank in Fort Dodge

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 11, 1903

New Bank in Fort Dodge

Ed Breen of Estherville and Tom Breen of This City Interested

Preliminary Plans are Made

Bank Will Occupy Present Palace Barber Shop Quarters – Dennis Coughlan to Be Cashier.

Ed Breen of Estherville, associated with his brother, Tom Breen, of this city, is to open a new bank in Fort Dodge within the next thirty days. The quarters on Central avenue, between Seventh and Eighth street, at present occupied by the Palace barber shop, will serve as headquarters for the new banking business, which will move in as soon as proper furnishings can be secured.

The new bank will have a capital of at least $50,000. Fred and Charles Larrabee will be included among the stockholders, and it is probable that Charles Larrabee will move to this city from his present home in Armstrong.

Dennis Coughlan, as present the teller of the First National bank, has accepted the position of cashier with the new organization.

The bank expects to do the commercial business which savings banks are allowed to do and at once step into a permanent place among the sound financial institutions of Fort Dodge.

Edward Breen is to move his resident from Estherville to Fort Dodge. He is expected to reach the city tonight.

(Editor’s note: I searched through several city directories from 1908 to 1935 at the Webster County Genealogical Society. The 1908 directory is the earliest one they have after 1898. In the 1908 directory, it gives the following information on the Iowa Savings Bank: Address, 715 Central Ave. Organized 1903. Capital $50,000; Surplus $11,000. President: E.J. Breen; Vice President: Charles Larrabee; Cashier: D.J. Coughlin; Assistant Cashier: C.B. Smeltzer.

The bank was still listed in the directories I checked through 1930. In 1931, it is no longer listed, and there is Scott’s Fruit Markets Inc. listed at that address. This is just east of The Messenger building. The building was torn down several years ago and made into a parking lot for Messenger employees. I don’t have any further information on why the bank ceased to exist, but it’s most likely a result of the Great Depression. Before 1930, there were about six banks in Fort Dodge (I didn’t keep track). After 1930, there were two.

In addition, by 1925, Ed Breen was no longer listed as president – that title went to Charles Larrabee. There were two vice presidents: Daniel Rhodes and C.B. Smeltzer. D.J. Coughlan was listed as Cashier and W.L. Hamilton and F.L. Shraon (sic) were assistant cashiers.)

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