Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

ALBION NATIONAL BANKNOTE

Morning Star, November 17, 1996, pg. 20

Many of you are aware I have a collection of historical Albion numismatic material consisting of tokens, medals, paper scrip, and related exonumia that has been issued in our community during its history.

One item I’ve been unsuccessful in locating is a $10 or $20 banknote issued by the Albion National Bank. This bank was in existence from 1905 until it was closed by U.S. Bank Examiner on New Year’s Day, 1912. President of the bank was Dr. Willoughby O’Donoughue, and the cashier was Henry Montgomery Dearing. The latter and his two sons were subsequently sent to prison for their crimes of embezzlement. The incredible story about the bank failre is told in my 1985 book, “Albion’s Banks and Bankers.”

This year the Smithsonian Institution is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The National Numismatic Collection there, however, was begun in 1816 and is celebrating its 180th anniversary. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Treasury Department transferred over 300,000 “certified proofs” consisting of one example of every printing of every type of money printed by the Treasury and prepared by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Among these certified proofs are uncut currency sheets from Albion’s three national banks, including the Albion National Bank. I was able to have photographic copies made, and recently received them. Back then, local national banks across the country had money issued in their own name. Real Albion money circulated from the 1860s until the bank was closed. About $1,500 face value worth has never been turned in from the Albion National Bank.

From our Historical Notebook we present a photograph of a “Series of 1902” $10 note of the Albion National Bank [and in this internet version the $20 note also]. This is courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Our Albion note bears a handwritten date of January 20, 1905 in an outside margin (not shown). To the left is pictured William McKinley. Above are the national signatures of the Register of the Treasury Judson W. Lyons, and U.S. Treasurer Ellis H. Roberts.

You will notice however, that there are no serial numbers on this note. These were printed later, and the signatures of the local bank president and cashier were added here in Albion. Notes came inuncut sheets of 4. Three of the notes in a sheet were $10 denominations, while the fourth was a $20 note.

Does anyone have an actual note from this bank, as pictured here?


“Series of 1902” $10 and $20 Notes of the Albion National Bank

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