Mullanphy Savings Bank, 1893

From the St. Louis County Directory (1893). This image is the first advertisement in the directory, depicting the Mullanphy Savings Bank, which operated at the corner of Broadway and Cass Avenue (near the Broadway exit on I-70 today). The bank failed on February 27, 1897, after only 24 years in operation. Having only $100,000 in capital and nearly $650,000 in deposits listed, the local banking association did not support the bank and depositors lost almost everything after a bank run ended the Mullanphy.

According to the New York Times, the bank was the first failure in St. Louis in a decade; some of the stories of depositors were quite tragic. One elderly woman who had lost $400 "wept bitterly as she hobbled down the front steps, railing against all bankers as robbers," while another man who had only $100 in deposits was the most angry. He had "recently turned over a new leaf and commenced to save money. He cursed like a pirate, and swore that he would never save another cent." The local postman lost his life savings of some $200. The Times suggested that the Mullanphy never fully recovered (as much of the nation also did not) from the Panic of1893, brought on by the failure of the Reading Railroad and the shaky currency value.

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