San Francisco Savings Union Archive, 1862-c1915

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San Francisco Savings Union Archive, 1862-c1915
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Rarely does an original western banking archive come out of the woodwork, and one has here. Not only that, it is an important "first" as well. The San Francisco Savings Union was the first banking corporation formed after the Act of February, 1862, in which corporations who wished to be in the banking business were better defined than previous unclear laws of the 1850's in California. In the original law of 1853, it was unclear about the formation and operation of savings banks, and it took the Sate legislature a decade to work out new laws acceptable to banks and the public. One interesting facet of the new banking laws were the ability of women to make direct deposits. The San Francisco Savings Union was formerly formed on June 18, 1862, just a few months after the official emplacement of the new Act by the California Legislature. It was the first bank to incorporate under the new laws. The first officers were: James deFremery, president; Albert Miller, VP; and john Archbold as Cashier. The bank specialized in term deposits and loans associated with those deposits. Originally, deposits were limited to $1 to $600. The archive contains the first two ledger books, Vol. 1 and 2, with hundreds of pages each with attendant documents regarding later transfers, etc. They appear to be fully intact. Glancing through the books, we see a plethora of women depositors, something the bank had openly strives to attain. We see depositors from mining camps, such as Moore's Flat; a depositor who was a clerk at the Bank of California; another who was recommended by Mr. Sather of the Sather Bank; a baker from Mariposa; a servant in a SF household; and deposits for the Hibernia Ladies Savings Society. The group of papers also includes about 50+/- voucher style loan/interest documents and correspondence regarding the Bank's involvement with another society. Fifteen deposit books are also present, 7 "Ordinary Deposits" and eight "term Deposit" books. The large corporate seal is also part of the archive.

Interestingly, the Bank was one of many destroyed in the earthquake of 1906. It went through a name change shortly after rebuilding.See Cross, Financing an Empire, v1, pp245-249. Date: Location: San Francisco, California HWAC# 59525