Bank of South County, South Kingstown
The Bank of South County was founded in 1851 with John Thompson as president and D.M.C. Stedman as cashier.
The financial panic of 1857 and the subsequent suspension of specie payment in Rhode Island caused the failure of this institution as well as several others in the state, including the Farmers Bank of Wickford, the Hopkinton Bank, the R..I Central Bank of East Greenwich and the Tiverton Bank.
An entry in a financial journal of 1901 records these details about the Bank of South County:
“Probably failed in 1857. Its bills were not received by the Suffolk Bank in January, 1858. After the failure it was said that the bank would probably pay in full after a considerable time. The Bankers’ Magazine of October, 1860, states that the Supreme Court has granted a petition that receiver may be directed to dispose of assets and pay proceeds to creditors and ordered receiver to comply within six months. The Metropolitan Bank Note Reporter of February, 1860, quotes the notes at 40 per cent discount. Putting all of these facts together it is probable that the billholders received 80 per cent or more of their claims.” — Sound Currency, December 1901, Vol VIII, No. 4.
Cashier Daniel McCoon Stedman went on to work for the nearby Wakefield Bank when this institution failed.
A 1996 registration form from the National Register of Historic Places notes these details about the bank’s home at 457-459 Main Street in the village of Wakefield, which was built sometime n the 1850s:
“This tall 3 1/2-story, 459 mansard roof structure is reported to have been built by Stephen Wright to be the South County Bank. Although the sides and rear of the original clapboarded structure remain largely intact, the street facade has been faced with brick and remodeled in a vaguely Colonial Revival style. A 1-story storefront addition extends from the east side.”