First National Bank of Pawtucket
This bank was incorporated on December 21, 1864 and its national charter #843 dates from February 27, 1865. It was organized by Olney Arnold, cashier of the Peoples Bank of North Providence. That institution thereafter liquidated and transferred its assets to First National. (For more on Arnold, click here.)
Arnold served as cashier of the new organization and Appleton Park was its first president. The bank’s offices were in the Dexter Building, on Main Street, corner of East Avenue, in downtown Pawtucket (Slater National also occupied the same building). As a national, it issued $1,323,320 in banknotes. 23 of these pieces of currency are recorded today in the National Bank Note Census. One beautiful specimen, an 1875 Lazy Deuce, resides in the collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Upon the death of Appleton Park in 1875, Olney Arnold became president of the First National Bank. William H. Park was named cashier.
In 1900, Samuel Colt came to town and changed the financial landscape of Pawtucket dramatically. His company, Industrial Trust, acquired both First National and the the Pacific National Bank. He promised not to buy the city’s third major player- Slater National Bank– but 16 years later the Industrial Trust Company did exactly that, forming a monopoly of the city’s financial institutions.