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Elmwood Bank, Cranston

“The Elmwood Bank was located In a prosperous residential area (what was then part of Cranston). Incorporated in 1854, the bank had a short life, closing in 1867; during its brief existence, it had only one president, William Daboll. For the bank’s notes, Daboll chose a peaceful scene showing a tree-lined section of Elmwood Avenue. The New York firm of Wellstood, Hanks, Hay and Whiting produced the bills for the Elmwood Bank. From Daboll the firm received a daguerreotype of this scene from which to engrave the vignette. The house on the right is the banker’s own home. Located on Elmwood Avenue, the house had originally belonged to Dr. Mawney. Daboll’s stay in the house was brief for he later built a much larger house not far from this spot.

“The daguerreotype, which by a wonderful coincidence was saved and given to the Rhode Island Historical Society by Walter F. Daboll in 1942, shows the house, trees, carriages, and the church at the right, but the artist-engraver of the bank-note vignette decided to add the sketchy edifice near the church to fill an awk ward gap in the symmetry of the actual scene. The church is probably the Elmwood Congregational Church. which stood on Elmwood Avenue only two blocks from the Mawney¬†house. And thus, this charming typical New England scene, which easily could have been mistaken for an imaginary one, is clearly documented, giving us an intimate glimpse of Elmwood in the 1850s and 1860s.” –Ann LeVeque, “Made to Order: Familiar Scenes on Rhode Island Bank Notes,” Rhode Island History, Volume 40, No. 3, 1981, pp. 96-97.

Daniel L. Rawson was the bank’s cashier. In addition to Daboll, its directors were: Daniel Jackson, Joseph W. Sweet, Arthur M. B[?], Robert Knight II, Henry T. Sisson, Edwin Turner, Daniel L. Rawson.

Roger Durand notes that no known counterfeits, spurious or altered notes appear to have existed on this bank, which is unusual for the era. It closed in 1867.





Elmwood Green engraving

Detail of the vignette. Former Elmwood Congregational Church on left, bank president William Daboll’s house on right.

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