Citizens National Bank of Netcong, New Jersey, National Currency & Scandal
In 1903 a major fire destroyed about half of the
business district of Netcong NJ. Out of the ashes of that event a new Netcong emerged. The
next few years brought the construction of half a dozen brick buildings,
including a modern brick Fire House, and a municipal
water supply was installed along with electricity. In 1905 a new wood-frame
Borough Hall was erected.
The establishment in 1903 of the Citizens National Bank of Netcong was a major step forward for the town.
The area was growing, fueled by a busy schedule of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and the newly expanded Railroad Roundhouse in nearby Port Morris.
The chartering of Citizens National Bank by Federal Government allowed it to issue it's own "National Currency", examples of which are shown below. These were jointly backed by local Bank funds and the US Treasury. Many hundreds of such local banks were chartered.
National Currency Bank Notes looked the same across the country, what distinguishes them is
the name of the bank, as seen on this Netcong NJ note, and Charter number, Netcong's was #6692.
This style was used until 1906. Hugh McCulloch was a US Treasury Secretary, he died in 1895.
Starting in 1863, the National Banking Act
established a system of local National Banks which were chartered to
issue National Bank Notes subject to federal oversight. With the
upheaval of The Depression, the program ended in 1935.
Well, Banks are run by people, and where there are people, sometimes there is scandal:
Newspaper article from Sept 9, 1911
Newspaper article from Sept 27, 1911
Article from April 2, 1914
J. FRANK BEST PLEADS GUILTY
J. Frank Best, of Stanhope, the former cashier of the Netcong Citizens’ National Bank, who disappeared a few months ago, with about $4,000 of the bank’s funds, and was arrested last week in Chicago, is in the Mercer County jail in Trenton, held as a federal prisoner awaiting sentence. Best entered a plea of guilty before Judge Haight, in the United States District Court at Trenton Thursday of last week and was arraigned for sentence. He appeared without counsel and asked the court for an opportunity to confer with former Senator Jacob. C. Price, of Branchville, for advice before being sentenced. The request was granted, and Tuesday of this week was fixed for sentence.
Since the arrest of Best, the officials of the Netcong Bank have forwarded to Mrs. Charles Clow, of Chicago, formerly of Stanhope, who discovered Best in that city, and notified the bank, a check for $100 as the bank’s share of the reward. The American Surety Company of New York, Best Sureties, have since forwarded its check to Mrs. Clow for a similar amount.
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Updated January 28, 2023 - you can e-mail the Editor at: Editor @ NetcongNewJersey.org