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First National Bank of Newport

On April 17, 1865, Newport’s Traders Bank was reorganized as the First National Bank of Newport and was granted charter #1021. During its existence, the institution issued $1,276,020 in national banknotes, ranging in denominations from to $1 to $100, according to the National Bank Note Census. Only seven of these notes are known to have survived to this day.

On November 15, 1901, the Newport Trust Company was established by a group of prominent New York financiers. It was closely aligned with the Industrial Trust Company of Providence. The Providence concern owned a third of its stock and Industrial Trust’s president, Samuel P. Colt, served on the board.

A month after it was formed, Newport Trust announced that it would build a new edifice at 303 Thames Street, at the corner of Commercial Wharf. The structure was shared with Industrial Trust, which had acquired the National Bank of Rhode Island in Newport in 1900. Frederick Thompson, former president of the National Bank of Rhode Island, served as its first president as well as chairman of the Industrial Trust Company’s Newport branch.

In March of 1905, Industrial Trust took control of the remaining shares of Newport Trust.

Newport Trust kept its name, however, and on September 7, 1905 it absorbed the First National Bank of Newport. At about the same time, Industrial Trust absorbed Newport’s Coddington Savings Bank.

Newport Trust remained a self-contained entity within the Industrial Trust empire until 1954, when its name was officially dropped. (This is likely to do with the merger of Industrial Trust and the Providence Union National Bank that same year.)

The company’s neoclassical banking hall on Thames Street was demolished in 1972 when America’s Cup Avenue was widened to four lanes and its connection to Memorial Boulevard was expanded.


first national newport

first national newport


The Newport Trust building.

The Newport Trust/Industrial Trust building at 303 Thames Street, built in 1902.

A view of Thames Street looking north, showing the Newport Trust building at left.

A view of Thames Street looking north, showing the Newport Trust building at left.

A 1970s photo of the bank building. (Source: Library of Congress.)

The Industrial National Bank branch was demolished in 1972 to make way for a widened America’s Cup Avenue. (Source: Library of Congress.)

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