This article is my somewhat-delayed return to the subject of the grand old building on Flemington’s Main Street built by John C. Hopewell for Flemington’s first bank, the Hunterdon County National Bank. (See Flemington’s First Bank.)
I find it hard to understand why someone would undertake such a major project when the country was in the middle of a civil war, but that is just what happened. Construction began in 1864. Perhaps it had something to do with:
The National Banking Acts
Up until the Civil War, banking was very unregulated, thanks, as mentioned previously, to the doings of Andrew Jackson back in the 1830s. Jackson was extremely hostile to any form of federalism, and that included the Bank of the United States. In 1832, he refused to sign the bill that would renew the bank’s charter and began sending the government’s income to select state banks.
The result was a risky and unpredictable economic environment, and each state, and even each local bank, made its own rules for banking and currency. Such a situation could not be continued while the country was at war.
On February 25, 1863, Congress passed the National Bank Act. It was primarily designed to provide loans to pay for the Union’s war expenses. But there were other provisions—in particular, one to create a national bank system and a uniform national currency. Later Acts created an Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a 10% tax on state-chartered banks. This latter provision was intended to encourage those banks to join the national banking system, which had more restrictive rules for managing money.
Hunterdon’s Bank Goes National
The bank had already been through a lot by the time the Civil War started. Just one year after its creation, the country was hit with a financial panic, the Panic of 1857. People were withdrawing their money and the banks were having a hard time meeting the demand. Some banks had to close. As the only bank in town, the HCB would have had quite a challenge, but its newness may have been an advantage—a large commitment had not yet been built up, so not as much hard cash (specie) had to be handed over. In any case, the bank survived.
Just one month after the National Banking Act was passed in 1863, John C. Hopewell purchased the lot on Main Street where he would eventually construct the bank building.
Could it be that after Hopewell and the other directors of the Hunterdon County Bank had decided to become a national bank, that a grander structure for the bank was envisioned? Perhaps. The Hopewell lot remained undeveloped for only one year, with construction beginning in 1864.
Meanwhile, the Hunterdon County Bank began the process of applying for national bank status. But this took almost as much time as it did to construct the building itself.
When the Hunterdon Republican reported on a bank stockholder meeting on January 6, 1865, it identified the bank as the “Hunterdon County Bank.” And when it reported on the bank’s cashier resigning on February 10th, it was still “Hunterdon Co. Bank.”
If one is depending on the Hunterdon Republican for news of a change, one must wait until July 28, 1865, when the paper reported on a burglary of a restaurant that shared a building with the “Hunterdon Co. National Bank.” Meanwhile, the Hunterdon Gazette was more on top of the story. The abstracts of the Gazette produced by William Hartman begin the year of 1865 with “Statement of the Hunterdon County Bank.” (Note that the Gazette always published the bank’s quarterly report of assets and debits that had to be submitted to the NJ Secretary of State, right up until the paper went out of business in July 1866.)1
Then on March 1, 1865, the Gazette reported the following:
Hunterdon County National [my emphasis] Bank, at Flemington. Notice is hereby given that the Hunterdon County National Bank, at Flemington, by a resolution of the Board of Directors, have agreed to increase the CAPITAL STOCK of the said Bank in the further sum of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS; and that the books will be opened at their Banking House in Flemington, to receive subscriptions for said additional CAPITAL STOCK, on THURSDAY, the 2d day of MARCH, 1865, and be kept open from day to day until the whole of said stock shall be subscribed.
[signed] C. Bartles, J. C. Hopewell, B. Van Syckel, W. P. Emery, Miller Kline, Commissioners to receive Subscriptions.
In telling this story, I have relied heavily on the contemporary newspapers, especially the Hunterdon Gazette. It seems more effective to hear the story from the voices of the time. (I suppose all those caps were meant for emphasis.)
The full names of those commissioners were Charles Bartles, John C. Hopewell, Bennet Van Syckel, William P. Emery, and Miller Kline. That mention of $100,000 in capital stock was very important. It was one of the key requirements for a bank to be accepted into the national system. And that is just what happened. On March 22, 1865, the Gazette reported that the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, DC, had announced his satisfaction that “The Hunterdon County National Bank, Of Flemington” had complied with the provisions of the National Banking Act.
One would think that would settle it, and yet, on April 5, 1865, the Gazette again published the bank’s quarterly report, and it was again “Hunterdon County Bank,” with Charles Bartles, president, and Charles C. Dunham, cashier. The situation was finally settled when the Gazette reported on May 10, 1865, less than a month after Lincoln’s assassination, the following:
THE HUNTERDON COUNTY NATIONAL BANK.
This institution, under the National Banking Law, commenced operations last Monday week. The details of the operations of a National Bank are the same as those of local banks, with the exception that the bills for circulation are furnished from the United States Treasury, and the stock is exempt from taxation. The Hunterdon County Bank has in the past ranked as one of the safest, and best conducted corporations in the State, and so far as we know, its business has been conducted on a liberal basis, with a degree of caution necessary to insure safety. For a time past there has been a strife between the old and a new corporation, in the establishing of another bank here. Of the merits or demerits of the question then at issue we knew nothing, said nothing. We are now informed that for the present there will be no other bank in Flemington, under the National law. In the meantime, we firmly believe that the “Hunterdon County National Bank” will show that spirit of liberality due to the public, and that by right the public may demand. We hope that the feeling of resentment and ill-will—if there be any—will pass away, and that “greenbacks” may flourish as the green bay tree.
It is clear from this assessment that the Gazette’s editor, J. Rhutsen Schenk, was fully supportive of the bank, its officers and directors, unlike the bank’s own first president, George A. Allen.2 You may have noticed mention in the quote above about “strife between the old and a new corporation, in the establishing of another bank here.” For several years after becoming national, the Hunterdon County National Bank was the only banking game in town. But at first it seemed as if it would have some competition.
Flemington’s Second Bank
In mid-February 1865, a month before news that the HCB was going national, the Gazette on Feb. 15th and the Hunterdon Republican on Feb. 17th both reported:
First National Bank of Flemington. Notice that an election for eleven Directors of this Bank will be held on 27 Feb. 1865 at the Hotel of George F. Crater in Flemington. . . The Commissioners: Edmund Perry, George A. Allen, Amplius B. Chamberlain, John B. Alpaugh, William Hill and Alexander H. Holcombe.
The following week (February 28, 1865), only the Gazette reported that
At a meeting of the Stockholders of the First National Bank of Flemington, held at Crater’s Hotel yesterday, the following gentlemen were elected Directors: Edmund Perry, Richard Bellis, A. B. Chamberlain, Alex. H. Holcombe, John S. Hockenbury, Geo. A. Allen, Wm. F. Anderson, Wm. Hill, John S. Bellis, Simpson S. Sked, John C. Durham.
It was not until March 10, 1865, that the Republican announced:
First National Bank of Flemington. The Board of Directors has elected the following officers for the coming year: President – George A. Allen, Esq.; Cashier – John B. Alpaugh, Esq. and Teller – William Hill, Esq.
Edmund Perry was the Democratic leader for Hunterdon County and George A. Allen was publisher of the Hunterdon Republican and the former president of the Hunterdon County Bank. He had resigned his position back in January 1858. Why he had turned against a bank that he helped establish in 1855 is a mystery. And also a mystery is why a strong supporter of the Republican party would partner with a leader of the Democratic party in Hunterdon County to start a new bank.
Perhaps it has something to do with politics in the last months of the Civil War. People were tired of the war. And they were tired of the political turmoil that accompanied it. The fact that a Republican leader and a Democratic leader could join together to promote a local bank says a lot about people’s ability to rise above politics.
For unstated reasons, this endeavor did not succeed. Some skepticism was expressed on March 29, 1865 by the Hunterdon Gazette. It begins with a truly ironic statement:
Talk About Town. There is very little of village gossip, that will do to note and print; the times are dull. It is a matter to be regretted, that we cannot find material for local items.
This was less than two weeks before the assassination of President Lincoln. Needless to say, there would soon be more than enough to talk about. The Gazette’s editor continued:
We will do the best we can. The noticeable feature now, in town, is the establishing of a new bank, “The First National, of Flemington.” There appears to be a diversity of opinion, as to the final success of the enterprise; its friends contend that it is “a thing of life;” and so confident are they, that the machinery has been set in motion, and ere long—if the screws don’t give out—greenbacks will be as plentiful, as the paper upon which they are to be discounted. But there always will be “pull-backs” in corporations, as well as in the best regulated families, and we find a very strong opposition to this movement, by the friends of the old bank. They contend that one institution for banking purposes, in this village, is sufficient to accommodate the public, and they are throwing all their energies to defeat the project. How the matter will terminate remains yet to be seen. Both parties are very sanguine of success.
Well, sure enough. The new bank did not make it. On May 31, 1865, the Hunterdon Gazette reported that:
The following note was handed to us, with the request that it be inserted in the local columns of the GAZETTE:
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Office of the COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY. WASHINGTON, May 11th, 1865.
DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 7th inst., enquiring whether the application of the First National Bank of Flemington, N. J. had been rejected, and if so, whether you would be obliged to pay any farther instalments on your subscription, has been received.
In reply, I have to say that the application of the bank in question has been rejected, and I can see no reason why stockholders are bound to pay any farther installments on their subscriptions.
Very respectfully yours,
F. CLARK, Comptroller.
Apparently, the bank directors were not ready to accept this fate. Several months later, on January 19, 1866, the Hunterdon Republican reported that the stockholders of the First National Bank of Flemington had held a meeting the previous January 9th at, where else?, the office of George A. Allen, Esq., to elect directors for the coming year, including the usual suspects: Edmund Perry, Richard Bellis, J. P. Rittenhouse, John C. Durham, Simpson S. Sked, George A. Allen, William E. Anderson, Amplius B. Chamberlain, Theodore Polhemus, King Pyatt and William Hill. Given the name they went by, they seem to have thought themselves still eligible to be called a national bank, even though the bank’s application had been rejected. My guess is that they stayed in business long enough to close the business.
Meanwhile, banks in Frenchtown, Lambertville, Clinton and elsewhere in Hunterdon County had been set up. This had been going on ever since 1856, when the Gazette’s editor wrote in February of that year:
BANKS! — We hear a great deal about Banks now-a-days. For instance, they are agitating the subject of banks at Trenton, banks at Frenchtown, banks at Milford, banks at Clinton, banks at Flemington, and as to snow-banks–w-h-e-w! they are infinitely more plentiful, and more easily come-at-able than current bank-bills! But to cap the climax, we now have Banks for Speaker of the House of Representatives, at the National Capital! Yea, verily, the child is born at last, and his name is – BANKS!
By 1865, most of these Hunterdon banks were meeting the requirements of the national banking system. As for the Flemington National Bank, it finally did succeed—under another guise—a decade later. On March 23, 1876, the Hunterdon Republican announced:
A new bank “The Flemington National Bank,” will be located in the Rea’s building in a room formerly a shoe store. The officers are – President & Teller: Peter E. Emery; Vice President: John L. Jones and Cashier: Clarkson C. Dunham, who will resign as Cashier of the Hunterdon County Bank and be replaced by John B. Hopewell.
The Rea building was the one on the north side of the intersection of Main St. & Bloomfield Ave, the one with the clock. On April 6th, the Republican announced that “Andrew T. Connet will fill the position of Teller in the Hunterdon County National Bank, made vacant by the advancement of John B. Hopewell to Cashier.” John B. Hopewell was the son of Bank Vice-President John C. Hopewell. And just as Hunterdon Co. Bank’s president, Geo. A. Allen, resigned and joined in efforts to set up a new bank, so its Cashier, Clarkson C. Dunham did the same ten years later.
Needless to say, there is much more to write about the Flemington National Bank, but that will wait for another time.
A Word About George A. Allen, Esq.
I mentioned before that the first president of the Hunterdon County Bank in 1856 was George A. Allen, Esq., a highly respected Flemington attorney. It was Allen who was responsible for creation of the alternative newspaper, the Hunterdon Republican, challenging both the Democrat and the Gazette.
George Anderson Allen was born in Westport, CT on Feb. 5, 1822. He began his adult life as a schoolteacher, first in Connecticut, then in Mobile, Alabama. Apparently that did not suit him, so he moved north to live briefly with an uncle in Trenton, NJ,3 before continuing north to Flemington where he taught school at Copper Hill while studying law with James N. Reading, the well-known attorney who occupied the grand Mahlon Fisher house on Main Street.
Allen was admitted to practice two years later, when he was only 22 years old. In 1848, he was licensed as a “counselor-at-law,” and two years after that, on April 4, 1850, married Mary Bonnell (Jan 14, 1822 – April 27, 1904), daughter of Flemington’s tavernkeeper, Charles Bonnell and wife Margaret Anderson.4
Charles Bonnell died young, in 1830. Daughter Mary was orphaned when she was only 8 years old. By the time of the 1850 census, dated September 7th for the Flemington part of Raritan Township, Margaret Bonnell, widow of Charles, age 52, was head of household, owning property worth $3,000, consisted of Cornelia 23 and Elizabeth 21 (no occupation for either), Betty Biggs 27 and George Biggs 2 months, both Black, and also George A. Allen 28 (born Connecticut) lawyer, with property worth an impressive $17,000, and his wife Mary Allen 27 (relationships were not included in the 1850 census.)
Allen certainly rose quickly to the top of the Flemington business community, being elected the first president of the newly formed Hunterdon County Bank. The next year, 1856, the Republican party was getting organized in Hunterdon, and George A. Allen joined with others to establish a Republican newspaper. I depend heavily on the abstracts of the newspaper that William Hartman produced for the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society. As an introduction to the first issue, dated October 15, 1856, Hartman wrote:
The Hunterdon Gazette was approached and asked to publish material favorable to the Republican party of Hunterdon County, which was apparently rejected. The party then formed a “stock company” and raised $1,000 to start the Hunterdon Republican newspaper. These names were mentioned as backers of this endeavor: John Chapman, George Allen & Abraham V. Van Fleet.
During the Civil War, Allen was chosen as Captain of Company H. of the third New Jersey Regiment of Militia and served a three months’ campaign but did not reenlist. The next year he became one of the editors of the Republican and purchased the paper jointly with an unidentified Callis. He was also one of the organizers of the Hunterdon County Bar and was its President for several years.
The Allen building was also the home of the Hunterdon County Bank after it outgrew its location in the basement of the Fisher-Reading Mansion, as described in Part One. Allen was president at the time and took it in, giving it space in the north end of his residence, “where the Mutual Store is now located,” according to a history of the bank written in 1938 by Alan Painter for the Hunterdon County Democrat. Painter wrote:
This two-story business building with a basement store, adjoined the Allen residence, quartering his law offices, as was the custom. The bank occupied the first floor, reached by a long flight of steps, and vaults were built in the structure. On the top floor was the office and printing establishment of the “Hunterdon Republican.”
George A. Allen was one of those men who enriched himself with shrewd investments in real estate. The list of his deeds is a very long one, and in the 1870 census his property was valued at $50,000. He was still buying property the year of his death, which happened on Dec. 26, 1878, two years after the bank he supported finally came into being. He was only 56 years old and is said to have died of apoplexy.
1865, The End of War
By the beginning of 1865, war exhaustion was prevalent. As it was becoming increasingly difficult to recruit volunteers for the NJ regiments the draft was resorted to, to make up the deficiency. However, by March, there were feelings that a draft would no longer be necessary.
As signs appeared that the war was drawing to an end, a sense of optimism was reflected in newspaper advertisements and editorials. For instance, in the Gazette issue of March 22, the editor, J. Rhutsen Schenck, wrote:
The Prospect—Goods Falling.
For the first time, in our opinion, since the outbreak of the rebellion, do we have a prospect of its speedy close. Unless some event should transpire, not now dreamed of by the loyal North, we as a Nation will celebrate next 4th of July, 1865, not ’mid war, bloodshed, lamentations and hatred; but with peace, one country, and a measure of happiness that passeth all understanding. Reader, do you ask why we predict this? The answer is easy—the South are virtually whipped, and the North are tired of the war. What are the indications of the final dissolution of this internecine strife? The most potent one to our mind is the return of Southern people to their allegiance to the government.
This is only a short part of quite a long editorial, which was not typical and reflects the sense that the economy was starting to pick up again and life returning to normal, a feeling that was abruptly halted by the tragedy of Lincoln’s assassination. It happened only five days after the surrender of Gen. Lee in North Carolina and only one month before the official end of the war.5 The country went into mourning, both Republicans and Democrats. But this could not prevent a population yearning for peace from planning for a jubilant Fourth of July.
Praise for Hopewell’s Building
Throughout the country people were looking for ways to move forward again. The Hunterdon Gazette commented on this movement on Nov. 1, 1865:
We understand that the desire to purchase real estate, in and near the village of Flemington, is quite prevalent, and that many are now looking around to find property to suit them. . . excellent sites for business stands are in the market, and now that the war is over, we have an idea that our pleasant town will once more renew her energy; and soon we may see many handsome buildings erected, and the place become second to none in the county.
One of those “handsome buildings” was the one that had begun construction in 1864, as the Gazette reported (Nov. 5, 1865):
The extensive building now being pushed forward by our energetic and estimable townsman, J. C. Hopewell, Esq., will be an ornament, and of great profit to our citizens. It will afford an opportunity to lawyers, doctors, and tradesmen to locate, and will also furnish us with a splendid town hall, of which we are now destitute, and which will be a great convenience to our people.6
The Hunterdon Gazette, owned and published by Jacob Rhutsen Schenck in 1865 and 1866, gave very positive coverage of the construction and opening of the building. On November 29, 1865, one of the Gazette’s advertisers, Hill, Abel & Arnwine, proclaimed:
We expect to move, on or before the first of April , in the new Brick Building, now being erected by John C. Hopewell, Esq.
I neglected to include the following report in my previous article, “One Man Makes a Difference.” But perhaps it is more appropriate here as businesses began moving into the new building. From the Jan. 31, 1866 issue of the Gazette:
TESTIMONIAL. It is seldom we are called upon to make note of an occurrence which appears to have met with so general an approval from all classes in our community, as the presentation made to John C. Hopewell, Esq. on Thursday evening last. On that occasion a select company of prominent citizens, gathered at the residence of our worthy townsman, and made him the recipient of a splendid Silver Pitcher and Goblets.” Bennet VanSyckel spoke for the townspeople: “To you, our beautiful town owes those improvements, which, while they add so much to the convenience and comfort of our citizens, enhance in no small degree the value of their property.”
The article goes on at great length about the contributions made by Hopewell to the well-being of the town. As is to be expected from a person so well-known for his generous spirit, his response was to thank the many friends he had made in Flemington over the years, and that
the public improvements which give our beautiful village an eminent distinction for the comforts and conveniences of life, are not due to him alone. In every enterprise he has undertaken, he feels proud to say, he has had the hearty co-operation and liberal support of the friends now surrounding him, and that without these he could have done nothing.
By April 1866, Hopewell’s building was finished, and tenants had begun moving in. As the Gazette reported on April 25th,
CHANGES. Many changes have taken place in Flemington this spring. People seemed possessed with the desire to occupy new habitations, or landlords determined that they would try new tenants. A number who heretofore have depended on leasing, accumulated enough of the “Green Paper,” to buy them a house; no doubt they are happy. In the multitude of shiftings, we know of none who are so contented as the three lawyers and the two doctors; we refer to lawyers Van Fleet & Emery, and R. S. Kuhl, who may be found in “Hopewell Building” second floor, . . .7
And next month on May 2, 1866, the Gazette reported:
BUSINESS. Trade in Flemington appear to be on the increase daily. This is evidenced by the addition of store houses in our midst, and the increase of population in the county. We noticed last Saturday evening crowds of people in all the business places, and a large trade fell to the lot of our merchants. With a little more of the spirit of public improvement this town could be made to rank first in the county, in the way of wealth and business. . . . Why do not our people progress in these matters. We want more of the progressive principles of our esteemed townsman John C. Hopewell, Esq. The name of Mr. Hopewell will be identified with Flemington so long as the foundation stones of her present buildings remain one upon the other; and why is it? Not because he has succeeded in enriching himself, and winking at the world, lives for himself alone. He delights in the labor of public improvement; and while the selfish man asserts that it is done for self-aggrandizement, the masses proclaim him a public benefactor. We want more men of this stamp, and with them our population would soon be doubled, and our wealth increased by thousands of dollars. Let our moneyed men work, then, for the public benefit, for in so doing they are thereby filling their coffers and adding to the comfort of all around them.
Well, after reading that encomium, it’s hard not to wish for a 21st-century John C. Hopewell. On May 9, 1866, the Gazette reported:
NEW BANK ROOMS. The rooms prepared for occupation by the Hunterdon County National Bank Company, in “Hopewell Building,” is one of the handsomest, if not the handsomest, Banking House in the State. The owner of the property, (John C. Hopewell, Esq.) has spared no expense in the fitting up, and every article of furniture is of the very best quality, and the workmanship of the highest order. We understand it is the intention to occupy the new premises during the present week—we cannot tell what day they will move.
Naming the Building
Hopewell wanted his new building to be called ‘Masonic Hall,’ although I have not found mention of his membership with the Masons. Perhaps he simply had good relations with the organization’s members. This is certainly reflected in the christening of the building in May 1866, as the Gazette reported on May 9th:
“HOPEWELL BUILDING.” On Saturday last our citizens had the satisfaction of witnessing the Star-Spangled Banner float majestically over the new Hall, formerly known as “Hopewell Building,” now “Masonic Hall.” The owner of the property hoisted the flag, and with him rests the responsibility of the name. We think he has been judicious in the selection. He may have thought it egotism to place his name upon the walls of the structure. The building, in its majestic silence, will in time to come reflect his goodness, his generosity, and love of public improvement, and hand down to posterity the true greatness of so valuable a citizen as John C. Hopewell, Esq.
The Hall quickly became a landmark, helped by its proximity to the Court House. There was even entertainment (Gazette, June 13, 1866):
ROPE WALKING. Prof. Bond, the aerobat, gave one of his performances in our village on Friday afternoon last. He stretched a rope from the steeple of the Court house to Masonic Hall, [my emphasis] and walked upon it, to the entire satisfaction of a large concourse of men, women, and children, who gathered in to witness the performance.
Just one more mention of the Hopewell Building, now known as the Masonic Hall, from the Hartman abstract of the Hunterdon Republican of August 24, 1866:
RESTAURANT. John L. Van Fleet & Co. announces his Restaurant in the basement of Masonic Hall, Flemington. They have one of the largest and most complete saloons to be found in the State of New Jersey, and respectfully invites all their friends, and the public to give them a call. OYSTERS in every style, served up at all hours. The best quality of Lager, Ale, Porter, etc.
Here is a photo of the bank taken before the first floor had been “renovated” in the 1920s. The small building on the right was also built by John C. Hopewell in 1871 and became the offices of the Hunterdon County Democrat.8
Addendum: Announcement of the Democrat’s building came from the Hunterdon Republican on Nov. 4, 1875: “John C. Hopewell has commenced the erection of a new brick building next to the Bank. It will be two stories high and will be occupied by Joseph V. Smith as a tobacco store and by the Hunterdon Democrat.”
The Bank’s Interior
I was kindly given a tour of the building a few months ago by Ken Kida of March Construction. It is obviously very little like it was originally, having had several uses over the years and several remodellings. Accompanying me on this tour (and arranging it) was Mayor Betsy Driver along with photographer Dave Norton, whose photographs are included here.
The Alan Painter article, published in the Hunterdon Democrat on July 3, 2012, included an interview with Paul Sauerland of Stanton, who was an executive with Hunterdon County National Bank. It was his recollection that the top floor was originally “wide-open,” and that it had once been a working theater. In fact, when his department was moved into that space in the 1950s, “the stage and the ticket office were still in place.”
As you can see from Dave Norton’s photograph, that space was badly converted to ordinary office space. However, Dave was able to get a peak into the area above the ceiling, and that looked very interesting.
I am going to have to follow this article up with another (shorter) one, providing final details to the bank’s story, yet still omitting its 20th-century history. There is always more to say, but for now, this has gone on long enough.
- The bank papers have been archived at the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society. Unfortunately, they do not go back to these earliest days. ↩
- Schenck and the previous editor, Alexander Suydam, maintained a neutral stance during the Civil War, although, as Hubert Schmidt wrote, “In general, both Suydam and Schenck supported the war and Lincoln’s policies.” ↩
- I cannot identify who that uncle was; Allen’s obituary does not identify his parents. ↩
- The marriage record states that they married in Trenton, NJ, which does not make sense. However, the marriage was not included in Deats’ Hunterdon County Marriages. There is much more to say about the Bonnells, which will have to be saved for another time. See The Bonnell Family Tree. ↩
- The best source for the effect of the Civil War on Hunterdon County can be found in John W. Kuhl’s, Hunterdon County in the Civil War, The Times, The Men, Their Stories, H.C. Cultural & Heritage Commission, 2013. ↩
- A bank history published on its anniversary in 1955 stated that the building was designed 20 years after Lincoln was killed, apparently thinking it was built while John C. Hopewell was president from 1883 until his death in 1888. The author also wrote that the building was patterned after Ford’s Theatre, and that also is not the case. ↩
- The lawyers referred to were Abraham V.D. VanFleet, Esq. and probably his law student, John Runkle Emery, son of successful merchant and bank director, Wm P. Emery. “R. S. Kuhl” was Richard S. Kuhl. I am not so sure about the doctors. ↩
- There are many more interesting photographs related to the bank and its section of Main Street to be found at the Hunterdon County Historical Society. ↩