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Citizens Union Bank, Scituate

As noted in 1878:

“There has been a bank in the town of Scituate for a long period of time. It was formerly known as the Citizens’ Union Bank, but now changed to the Scituate National Bank. This bank was organized in the year 1832, with Josiah Wescott, President, and David H. Braman, Cashier. The present officers are: Richard A. Atwood, President; and Allen Hubbard, Cashier, who has filled this responsible position since 1857… The National Bank of Scituate was organized in accordance with congressional enactment, in the year 1865, and since that time has formed one of the leading auxiliaries to the business interests of the town.

“On the night of March 25, 1865, the bank was burglarized. Four men, after a vain attempt to gain access to the safe, repaired to the residence of the present cashier, and after gagging and binding his wife and little son, compelled him, at the point of revolver and knife, to accompany them to the bank, and demanded that he should unlock the safe and pass over to them its contents. Intimidated by their threats, and fearing for the safety of his little family, he reluctantly yielded to their nefarious demands. The loss amounted to $12,000 cash, together with a large collection of valuable papers. The papers, however, were subsequently returned by express, addressed to the registrar of deeds, in Providence. No portion of the money was ever recovered, nor the perpetrators of so daring a robbery brought to justice, although a liberal reward was offered for their apprehension. This misfortune, however, affected in no way its solvency, and now, as in the past, it forms one of the leading business institutions of the town, and under the management of its present officials, who are reliable and energetic men, it is doing a large, profitable and safe business.” – History of the State of Rhode Island with Illustrations. Philadelphia: Hoag, Wade & Co, 1878.

According to The History of Scituate, R.I., the bank was organized with a capital stock of $50,000, consisting of 1,000 shares of $50 each. The charter was amended in June, 1835, to increase the number of shares to 2,000 and to decrease the par value to $25 per.

Regarding the 1865 robbery, the local press noted:

“Of the money abstracted, $3,000 was in bills of the Old Citizens’ Union Bank, which had been redeemed by the Scituate Nation Bank, and being within a very few dollars of the outstanding circulation of the Citizens’ Union Bank, the public are cautioned against receiving bills of the latter named bank, as they will not be redeemed, unless satisfactory proof is given that they are not a portion of those which were stolen.” – “Daring Bank Robbery in Scituate,” The Providence Evening Press, March 25, 1868.

Citizens Union became the Scituate National Bank on September 7, 1865 and was given charter #1552. Only three national banknotes are known to exist today. The institution was located at what is now 138 Danielson Pike, at the corner of Rt. 116.

The bank closed on January 11, 1888.



citizens union bank


From D.G. Beers Atlas of Rhode Island, 1870

The location of the Scituate National Bank, formerly the Citizens Union Bank, is displayed at the center of this detail map
of the village of Saundersville. From D.G. Beers, Atlas of Rhode Island, 1870

This structure, on the lot noted in the map above, may have been the original home of the bank. Today it houses the Village Bean Restaurant. (Image from Google Maps.)

This structure, on the lot noted in the map above, may have been the original home of the bank.
Today, it houses the Village Bean Restaurant. (Image from Google Maps.)

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