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John Weedman National Bank

A Brief History


The first bank in Farmer City Illinois was that which ultimately became the John Weedman National Bank.

In 1871, the Thomas brothers and John Weedman teamed to obtain a state charter for a state in Farmer City. It initially operated as Thomas Brothers and Weedman Bank and had capital of $40,000.

Oscar Thomas, one of the two founding brothers, died in 1876 and John Weedman bought out the interest of the partner brothers. He then operated the bank as its sole owner.

John Weedman died on 30 July 1885. Following his death, the bank management sought and received a national bank charter and the bank was re-named the John Weedman National Bank. It had capital of $50,000.

From the late 1800s through the early 1930s, it was permissible for individual banks to issue their own currency and this was done by the John Weedman National Bank. Some of those bank notes have survived and they are now valuable collector’s items. Several of those bank notes are pictured in this paper.

The bank occupied an impressive two story building on the Main Street of Farmer City. The original building burned about 1895 and was immediately replaced with an equally impressive structure on the same site. Post cards exist of the original bank building and we will attempt to obtain one for historical purposes.

The family operated the bank rather successfully until 1932. Although the bank was solvent there was a run on the facility by depositors who wanted their money out. The rule was that if there was a run on a bank and the bank locked its doors, it was deemed to have closed as a financial institution. Family tradition says that due to a small staff who deemed imminent danger, the doors were locked for their safety. In doing so, the demise of the John Weedman National Bank occurred.

The internet shows there has been some activity in the sales of bank notes from the John Weedman National Bank with some bringing over $1,000 each.

Here is a sampling of the currency issued by the John Weedman National Bank:



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This page was revised on October 23, 2012