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Ashaway Bank

As reported in 1876:

“Early in the summer of 1855, the proposition to organize a bank in the village of Ashaway, was set afoot, and on June 25th, 1855, there was a meeting called in the counting room of T. R. Wells & Co. Jonathan R. Wells was elected President, and Jonathan L. Spencer engaged as Cashier, with instructions to be ready for business, July 9, 1855. In the latter part of November the bank building was completed. The first dividend of $2 per share was declared payable on and after the first day of August, 1856. On July 9, 1860, Mr. Spencer tendered his resignation as Cashier and Nathan K. Lewis was elected in his stead. On the 8th of December, 1864, the President, J. R. Wells, was removed by death, and at the meeting of the Directors, held December 19, 1864, Mr. John S. Champlin was elected President, which office he now occupies.

“In March 1865, steps were taken for the conversion of the bank into the national system, and the final transfer of its property and estate was ordered August 7, 1865. Mr. N. K. Lewis continued his duties as Cashier until July 26, 1869, when, having tendered his resignation as Cashier, it was accepted. George X. Langworthy was elected Cashier on the 27th of September, 1869, which office he still holds.” — Rev. S. S. Griswold, An Historical Sketch of the Town of Hopkinton, From 1757 to 1876. Hope Valley, R.I.: Wood River Advertiser Press, 1876.

The Ashaway National Bank, charter #1150, issued $898,610 in $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20 banknotes during the national banking era. $25,000 worth of this currency was recorded as unredeemed in 1935. Today, 32 of these notes are in collectors’ hands, according to the National Bank Note Census.

The Ashaway National Bank was absorbed by the Industrial Trust Company on January 21, 1946.








A detail map showing the location of the Ashaway National Bank. From D.G. Beers Atlas of Rhode Island

A detail map showing the location of the Ashaway National Bank, on High Street at the corner of Knight Street
(follow the dotted line from the cemetery on the bottom right.) From D.G. Beers, Atlas of Rhode Island , 1870

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