Pawtuxet Bank, Warwick
The Pawtuxet Bank was chartered in October, 1814 in Pawtuxet Village, Warwick, Rhode Island. James Rhodes served as its first president and Samuel E. Gardiner was cashier. According to one report, Rhodes used the bank to loan himself and his brother money for various manufacturing businesses. In the 1840s, they were responsible for approximately 53% of the institution’s loan portfolio. James died in 1841 and his brother Christopher then took over the presidency of the bank.
A walking tour put together by the City of Warwick provides some history about the bank and its first home at 40 Post Road:
“This mansard-roofed building was erected in October 1814 by brothers Christopher and Williams Rhodes, as a chartered bank to finance their infant textile empire and to serve the coastal trade of the village. The ground floor was occupied as a bank and the second floor was used by the Pawtuxet Union Academy, a private school for girls. It remained a bank until 1845 when the business moved to Providence. For many years it was the home of Dr. George W. Carr. The veranda was added in 1866. The Bank Café was established by James Tinker as a hotel and eating place in the late 1870’s. He introduced the Rhode Island johnnycakes. The building has had many owners and closed its doors in the mid 1990’s and is now a private residence. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 1973.”
Historian Richard M. Bayles provided these details about the bank’s existence in Providence:
“It was located at 19 Westminster and at 41 of the same street from 1852 to 1872, and after that at 87 Westminster. Christopher Rhodes was its president in 1847 and forward to 1861, and Arthur M. Kimball from 1862 to the time of its closing, in 1874. Thomas R. Greene was cashier from an early date, previous to 1847, to 1867, and Stephen D. Greene from 1868 to the close of its active career. It never adopted the national style. ” — Richard M. Bayles, ed. History of Providence County, Rhode Island, Volume I. New York: W. W. Preston, 1891.
An announcement in the Providence Evening Press on June 6, 1882 stated: “The Pawtuxet bank has decided to close business, not because it is unsound, but because the business is not profitable.”