Tacoma Illustrated

Tacoma Illustrated
Her History, Growth & Resources
A Comprehensive Review of the 
City of Destiny
Chapter 5


By Holice, Pam, and Deb

Extra special thanks to Holice B. Young for transcribing this book.  The excellent work she does continues to help many researchers!  Thanks also, to Pam Rietsch, for sharing her books with genealogists!


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Were it not for the fact of its universally conceded advantageous location it would be a difficult task, even for men eminent in finances, to account for the almost universal desire to new-comers to engage in the banking business. Her rapid growth since the completion of the Northern Pacific R. R., three years since, is evidenced forcibly by the increase in the banks.

Ten yeas ago when Tacoma was merely a hamlet, containing not to exceed seven hundred souls, she had no bank; now, with a conservative estimate in population of at least 30,000, there are nine commercial and two savings banks; of the commercial banks six are National, and three private.

The first bank established in Tacoma was organized about eight years ago by the late A. J. Baker, with a capital of $35,000, and was known as the Bank of New Tacoma; it was successfully conducted for a period of three years, when it was purchased by the Hon. Walter J. Thompson and his associates, who, in May, 1884, merged it into the Merchant's National Bank with a paid up capital of $50,000; the very rapid and successful growth of this bank is a fair index of the standing and rank of the "City of Destiny" in financial and commercial circles, and we shall later refer to its management, first in the order of banks in order that existing conditions may be properly understood, and we shall now proceed to the completion of our theme based upon the record before us. Er premised by stating that, while ten years ago Tacoma had no banding institutions within her limits, she now has eleven, including two savings banks. We shall enumerate them in the order of their organization, viz., Merchants' National, capital $250,000; Tacoma National, capital $100,00; Pacific National, capital $100,000; National Bank of Commerce, capital $200,000; Traders' Bank of Tacoma, capital $100,000; Citizens' National, capital $100,000; Washington National Bank, capital $100,000; West Coast Fire and Marine Insurance Co. Bank, capital, $180,000, and the Security Bank, capital $60.000

This makes an aggregate capital in the commercial banks of $1,190,000, which with their surplus fund, which aggregates $210,000, gives us fourteen hundred thousand dollars of banking capital for commercial purposes, in a city of thirty thousand people, in addition tot he deposits which reach about four million of dollars.

The Savings Banks, known as the Tacoma Trust and Savings Bank, and Tacoma Building and Savings Association, having an aggregate capital of $130,000, are safe, conservative institutions, located finely, and doing a good business.

It is stated, as an everlasting truism, that bankers are the most conservative of all professional men; if this be true, then must Tacoma, the "City of Destiny," become what her many friends have been predicting for years, viz., "The Financial Center of the North Pacific Coast." Furthermore, as an evidence of the fact that the banking business is not overdone, it has been stated to us that the managers of the Bank of Montreal and of the Bank of British Columbia, have signified their intention of opening branches at Tacoma, and it is everywhere regarded as good evidence of the advantages of location when these foreign institutions seek them out.

In the preparation of this article we have endeavored to place only well-known facts before the reader rather then mere metaphor or brilliant description, but if it shall aid anyone to determine in his own mind the important future which lies before this proud city on commencement Bay, in Puget Sound, at the foot of the grandest mountain peak on earth, Mount Tacoma, raising its snow-crested head, 14,444 feet above the sea, we shall be content.


This bank, which ranks first in amount of paid up capital in the State, was, as we have before stated, organized in May, 1884, with a capital of $50,000; in May, 1888, its directors finding that the large line of deposits necessitated

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more capital, the capital stock of the bank was doubled, and again last August their deposits having reached nearly a million of dollars, the amount of paid in capital was increased to $250,000. In the five years of its existence it has acquired a standing in financial circles which in the older cities of the Eastern states would have taken years, yes, twenty years to accomplish. Its leading position gives it facilities for collection and correspondence which are excelled by no other banking institution in the State. The total resources of the bank according to its last statement, are $1,285,972.72.

At this date the Merchants' National Bank has the largest capital, more country correspondents, and transacts more business than any other bank in the State of Washington.

The phenomenal prosperity of this institution can be accounted for by the way it is officered. Walter J. Thompson, the President, is a man who is universally admired and respected by the entire community in which he lives, and it is safe to say that there is not a man in Tacoma to-day who so justly deserves respect. Although but thirty-seven years old, Mr. Thompson is today a self-made man and a millionaire at that. While living in Hebron, Neb., Mr. Thompson forsook law, a profession he had originally intended following, and entering the principal bank of that city, he remained there until his removal to Tacoma in 1883. Mr. Thompson is also a prominent candidate for United States Senator on the republican ticket, and as the new State Senate is composed of a majority of Republican, there is a very good prospect of his attaining his ambition.

The Vice-President, Mr. Henry Drum, is also a young man. He is a brother-in-law of President Thompson, and come from the same town. Mr. Drum, when Mayor of Tacoma from 1888-9, proved himself an able and clear headed business man. He has recently been elected to the State Senate. Mr. Drum, is a Democrat in politics, and the very fact that the constituency which he represents is strongly Republican, proves beyond doubt his popularity. The cashier of the bank, Mr. Samuel Collyer, although only a resident of Tacoma since June, 1888, is now looked upon as a most successful business man. To him credit is chiefly due for the prosperity of the bank. His sound judgment has gained for him the respect of every one in Tacoma. He is a member of the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce, and has more than once been called upon to represent the City of Destiny in commercial conferences in distant cities. To Mr. Collyer we are indebted for the history of Tacoma's banking interest, as also for many courtesies extended us, and it is hardly necessary to say that Mr. Collyer's position in financial circles is established when it is understood that the is president of the Tacoma Clearing House, secretary of the Washington Bankers' Association, First Vice-President of the Pacific Coast Chamber of Commerce, and Vice-President of the American Bankers' Association. He is for Tacoma first, last and all the time, and is ever ready to give his time and money to maintain the prestige of the city. Mr. Collyer comes originally from Chicago, and he is a son of the Rev. Robert Collyer, the eminent divine of New York City. Mr. R. J. Davis, the assistant cashier, started in the bank as office boy. His business ability and general integrity are unquestioned, and he has no superiors in the knowledge of banking.

The present offices of the bank have recently been renovated, but the new Safe Deposit Block, a magnificent edifice built by the Merchants' National Bank and the Tacoma Trust and Savings Bank, will be occupied by this bank. A cut of their new building will be seen on the opposite page, and as will be seen, it will indeed be an ornament and pride to the city.


This bank has not been in operation one year, and yet in proportion to the other banking houses in Tacoma its business is larger. The bank was organized last spring by Messrs. E. L. Scarritt and C. S. Bridges, two energetic and thoroughly capable banking men from Watertown, Dak., and Greencastle, Ind. they were readily welcomed with open arms by the citizens of Tacoma, and but a few days passed before the Washington national Bank was incorporated with a capital stock of $250,000. The following directorship shows the names of some of Tacoma's best known citizens: L. F. Thompson, A. A. Honey, A. A. Knight, A. J. Littlejohn, E. N. Ouinette, Chas. Reichenbach, C. S. Bridges, and E. L. Scarritt. The officers are: E. L. Scarritt, president; E. N. Ouinette, vice-president; and C. S. Bridges, cashier. Of President Scarritt it can be

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truthfully said that the Washington National Bank is fortunate in having such a clear and level-headed business man at the head of it. He comes from a fine New England stock. He has practiced as a lawyer with great success, and his knowledge of legal matters is of great value to him now in his everyday business. Since his residence in Tacoma he has become identified with some of the leading industries of the city. he is am an of quick and unerring judgment in business. Mr. C. S. Bridges was born at Morton, Indiana, in 1862, but until coming to Tacoma spent most of his life in the city of Greencastle in the same State. For many years he acted as assistant cashier in the Central National Bank.

Of Mr. Ouiette but little can be said that is not already detailed in a special detail on his large interests in Tacoma, which will be found in this book.

This bank transacts a general banking business, loan on collateral and personal security; discounts liberally for its customers, and accords to each and all as favorable terms as is consistent with judicious and conservative banking. The funds and securities of this bank are protected by the Corliss safe, the only on in Tacoma.

The offices of the bank are at 1314 Pacific Avenue, a cut of which will be found on this page.

The following is a statement of the bank's resources and liabilities Sept. 30, 1889:







U. S. bonds to Secure Circulation


Real Estate Furniture Fixtures






Redemption Fund







Capital Stock Paid In


Undivided Profits


National Bank Notes Outstanding







This institution has been established nearly four years in Tacoma, and is at present located in the chamber of Commerce Block, but the rapid growth of Tacoma, and consequently the increase of business with this bank, demand more commodious quarters, and it is the intention of the directors to build a large and handsome block on the southwest corner of Pacific Avenue and Thirteenth Street. Work will be commenced on this structure in the near future, and when once started, will be pushed rapidly. The officers of the bank are as follows: President, C. P. Masterson; Vice-President, T. B. Wallace; Cashier, L.R. Manning; Assistant Cashier, S. B. Dusenberry, while the directors are C. P. Masterson, W.D. Tyler, J. P. Stewart, L. R. Manning and T. B. Wallace.

The bank is not only known as one of the largest and strongest of Tacoma, but for the liberality extended to the customers. The officers are men of high social standing and strict integrity.

The paid up capital of this bank is $100,000 with a surplus of $35,000. A general banking business is transacted.

The following is a late statement of its financial condition:


Loans and Discounts




U. S. Bonds


Other Stocks and Bonds


Cash on Hand


Due from Banks


Real Estate and Fixtures


Current Expenses and Taxes




Due from U. S. Treasury





Capital Paid In




Undivided Profits









This institution may be termed one of the most profitable businesses in the State of Washington.

In 1887, when about a dozen of the most influential business men of Tacoma decided to incorporate a savings bank for the handling of trust funds, even the most sanguine scarcely thought that it would be such a successful business venture, or such a great boon to the public, especially that class who desire to place their hard earnings in safe keeping and receive a liberal interest on their deposits, but such it has turned out to be.

This bank is authorized to receive, hold, and disburse money securities in trust, and act as financial agents for individuals, corporation, or estates, besides negotiating the sale of mortgages.

Under the able management of Mr. w. B. Allen, the secretary and cashier, who was also one of the incorporators, all communications of a business nature will at once receive prompt care and attention.

The following gentlemen are the incorporators of the bank: W. J. Thompson, president; Nelson Bennett, vice-president; W. B. Allen, secretary and treasurer; Jesse M. Allen, Rev. W. H. Sampson, M. J. Cogswell, M. F. Hatch, A. C. Smith, Geo. F. Orchard, and C. S. Barlow.

The offices of the bank are on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Eleventh Street, but the present quarters are to be torn down, and the Safe Deposit block, a structure 100X120 feet, and six stories high, will be erected on the site. The trust and savings bank will have handsome offices in this building when it is completed.

This is the block which we have displayed in our pages, and which is being built in connection with the Merchants' National Bank.

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On Pacific Avenue, near Fifteenth Street, is doing business under the national Banking Law, and although the enterprise is of comparatively recent establishment, it is already upon a substantial basis, and doing a large and flourishing business. Among its officers are Mr. O. B. Hayden, well known in real estate circles, who is president. He has his pleasant real estate office on the floor above the bank, and is well known as a man whose conservative judgment and sterling business integrity make a very safe guide to intending investors in property in the vicinity of the City of Destiny. The other officers of the bank are: H. S. Huson, vice-president, who was for several years Assistant engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Mr. L. J. Pentecost, the cashier, was formerly the cashier of the Guthrie County national Bank of Panora, Iowa, for fifteen years. Mr. Hayden is also from Panora, and it was there that the friendship was formed which led to their present partnership. The statement published below represents the business done up to the close of Sept. 30, 1889:


Loans and Discounts




U. S. Bonds


Other Stocks and Bonds


Banking House


Furniture & Fixtures


Current Expenses & Taxes


Premium on Bonds


Eastern Exchange




Redemption Fund





Capital Paid In


Undivided Profits









Attest: L. J. PENTECOST, Cashier O. B. Hayden
H. S. Huson
Thos. Carroll, Directors

Sworn to before me this 3d day of October, 18889.
Fred F. Lacey, Notary Public.


THE TACOMA NATIONAL BANK, located on Pacific Avenue and Tenth Street, has a capital stock of $100,000 and a surplus of $100,000.00. The officers are; W. B. Blackwell, president; Edmund Rice, vice-president; W. Fraser, cashier; and H. O. Fishback, assistant cashier. The directors are: Robert Wingate, Edmund Rice, Jr., I. W. Anderson, W. B. Blackwell, and Geo. E. Atkinson. A general banking business is transacted.

THE OAKLAND LAND, LOAN AND TRUST COMPANY is situated at 111 South Tenth street. Their capital stock is $300,000, paid in capital $250,400, and surplus is $11,197. Mr. Harry M. Ball is the president; S. M. Clark, vice-president and treasurer, and Merton H. Corey is assistant treasurer. The bank does a large general trust and investment business.

THE TACOMA BUILDING AND SAVINGS ASSOCIATION SAVINGS BANK. This concern has its present office on the corner of eleventh and C Streets, and is transacting a general banking business. Its paid up capital is $100,000, and E. H. Hatfield is the president. The other trustees are W. H. Woodruff, vice-president; Linus E. Post, secretary and cashier; Thos. L. Nixon, treasurer, and Theo. L. Stiles, Geo. P. Eaton, and C. P. Ferry.

THE NATIONAL BANK OF COMMERCE has a paid up capital of #200,000, with a surplus and undivided profits of $50,000. The officers are F. M. Wade, president; J. C. Weatherred, vice-president; and A. F. McLane, cashier. The offices are at 930 Pacific Avenue, where a general banking business is transacted.

THE SECURITY BANK is a private corporation, and only just started. Its business is rapidly growing, and under the able direction of A. J. Hayward, president, its success is assured. The other officers are: W. H. Bradley, vice-president; R. H. Passmore, cashier; and A. F. Eastman, assistant cashier. The capital stock of the bank is #100,000.

THE TRADERS' BANK, with a capital of #100,000, is located in the Fife Block, corner Pacific Avenue and Ninth Street.

THE WEST COAST BANK, located temporarily in the New Bostwick Block, is newly organized. Its capital stock is $100,000, and the bank is doing a good business.

Much more could be written of the banking institutions and general banking of Tacoma, but out limited space will not permit of it; in different parts of our work we have referred to the existing condition which influence banking here and have shown how these favorable conditions, with proper energy on the part of the citizens and bankers of Tacoma, may make the city the great financial and exchange center of the Pacific Coast.

By a proper husbanding of these great resources it is firmly believed our predictions will be fulfilled. If in the short space of five years from this time, the "City of Destiny" has not fulfilled these expectations, it will certainly be because the city has been engulfed by some of nature's freaks, or that the citizens have not shown the proper energy to improve her chances.

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It is now nearly a century since Washington, in his farewell address to the people of the United States, said: "Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In Proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened."

The commonwealth now assuming statehood and destined forever to bear the proud name of Washington, has, with great cordiality and promptness, adopted this lofty sentiment, embodying the same in a well-sustained public school system.

Tacoma in its wonderful development materially has not forgotten the wise counsel of the father of his country.

The public school system is firmly established in the affections of the people, the work and discipline of the schools are well supported, while a liberal policy marks the treatment the schools receive from those who pay the taxes. The system is thoroughly established and wisely administered by an active Board of Education, and a carefully selected corps of teachers. During the school year of 1887-88 there were enrolled in the city schools 1,401 different pupils. The entire enrollment for the school year of 1888-89 was 2,294, an increase of over 93 per cent.

The school census taken June, 1888, showed 3,159 school youth (five to twenty-one years of age) in the district. It will be seen that the school enrollment exceeded the census enumeration, an evidence of remarkable growth, corroborated by the census of June, 1889, which gives the city a school population of 3,281, or a gain in one year of 1,142 school youth. At this writing there are now enrolled in the schools 2,000 pupils who are carefully instructed by forty-five teachers.

The board of directors consists of three members, each elected by the people for a term of three years, one new member coming upon the board annually. The present board is composed of S. T. Armstrong, president, Henry Drum and J. A. Wintermute. The system comprises five school wards or districts, known as the Central, the Lincoln, the Hawthorne, the Longfellow, and the Emerson Schools. These buildings are attractive in external appearance, the rooms, without exception, being commodious, pleasant and well furnished.

The Emerson, when occupied in January, will afford suitable accommodations for the High School and highest grammar school; it will also contain the others of the board and superintendent, and several rooms for the primary grades of the immediate locality.

The corps is made up of teachers who have been connected with the best systems throughout the country, and is essentially cosmopolitan. The management aims to encourage the individuality of teachers, holding each responsible for results without limiting or thwarting the activities by narrow rules and details of supervision. In the course of instruction the aim everywhere is thoroughness. There is to be no hurry, cramming or confusion; there is to be time enough to do everything well. Hence it has been necessary to lighten the grade work and reduce the number of subjects allotted to the various years of school life. But the grade of the school is to just as high as in those schools where the work is done with more pressure and worry. Non-essentials are to be excluded, and essentials magnified. It is believed that pupils who are well grounded in the early part of the course will make more rapid and more certain progress in the upper grades.

In harmony with this plan of work, reading, which is a fundamental branch, receives marked and enthusiastic attention. Pupils read often, and a great deal each day. To this end carefully selected sets of supplementary readers are provided for the different grades. These extra reading books are historical, biographical, narrative, or scientific, being well calculated to draw out the tastes of children toward those useful lines of reading. This is an excellent foundation for subsequent school work and for after life. "While pupils lean to ready they should also read to learn," is the motto in this school.

Recently the Hon. Walter J. Thompson, of Tacoma, offered the board the munificent sum of $10,000 for the founding of a manual training department in connection with the city schools, the money is to be devoted to equipment, the board to furnish the room and instruction.

An additional $10,00 was also placed by Mr. Thompson to aid in the further extension of the enterprise, which sum is conditioned upon the faithful application of the first ten thousand dollars and the success attained by the manual training school. This makes available twenty thousand dollars, an amount sufficient to guarantee the complete success of the department. The department will be opened as soon as the Emerson Building is finished. Half of the sum is to applied to a boys' school, and the other half to a girls' school for domestic economy. Doubtless the same motive of generosity and public spirit that prompted Mr. Thompson to make this gift will actuate others to assist in this beneficent enterprise, and in time the Tacoma Manual Training School will develop into a broad course of study and wide range of technical instruction, with laboratories, workshops, draughting rooms, etc.




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