Phenix Bank, Westerly
The second bank incorporated in Westerly, this institution had a long history in the town, as recounted in one 1889 book:
“The Phenix Bank was organized in June, 1818, its capital stock being $50,000, with Amos Cross as president and Jesse Maxson cashier. Amos Cross served as president till the year 1823, when Edward Wilcox was chosen and continued in said office until 1833. In 1833 Rowse Babcock became its president and served till 1837, when his son Rowse Babcock, Jr. succeeded him and was president until 1865, when the Phenix was changed from a state to a national bank, and assumed the name of the National Phenix Bank, he also being chosen the first president of the National Phenix Bank and held the office until his death in 1872. In 1872, Edwin Babcock, son of the third president of the Phenix Bank, was chosen the second president under the national system and is still serving in the institution.
“Jesse Maxson held the office of cashier of the Phenix Bank till 1829, when Stephen Wilcox was chosen and held the office till 1836. In 1836 Ethan Foster was chosen cashier and acted in said capacity till 1865. In 1865 J. Bailey Foster was chosen cashier of the National Phenix Bank and still holds office.
“The capital stock of the National Phenix Bank is now $150,000 and its directors are: Edwin Babcock, William D. Wells, William Hoxsey, J. Barclay Foster, William A. Burdick, Franklin Metcalf, George N. Burdick.” — J. R. Cole, History of Washington and Kent Counties, Volume 1. New York: W. W. Preston & Co., 1889.
This institution officially joined the national banking system on May 18, 1865 and was granted charter #1169. During its existence, the National Phenix Bank issued $911,110 in currency. The National Bank Note Census indicates that only 7 of these notes have survived to this day.
The bank operated out of a building at Bond and Union Streets. On August 15, 1901, it was sold to the Washington Trust Company, which was the first bank incorporated in Westerly (as the Washington Bank, in 1800).