A strong hope was indulged that after petitioning for a bank at this place for the last ten years, and after frequent favorable reports that our wants would be gratified, but when it came to a showdown it was killed, the reason of a result so unexpected and injurious to our interest, is supposed to be the ungenerous opposition from the Village of Herkimer.
Herkimer County Bank Building Timeline
March 22, 1832
The first bank in Herkimer County, modelled after the U.S. Bank in Philadelphia, was built at the corner of Ann and Albany streets on a lot purchased from Dudley Burwell. The general contractor was William H. Dale, carpentry by William Chase, and mason work by Robert Stewart who also built the aqueduct. Cost of the building was approximately $3,000. It was built of cyanite rock and dressed limestone with pillars each made from a single stone.
March 14, 1833
By an act of the New York State legislature, commissioners were appointed and the Herkimer County National Bank was organized and located in the village of Little Falls. Commissioners included Nathaniel Benton, Dudley Burwell, Arphaxed Loomis, and David Petrie. It was opened in the Beattie House at the corner of Main and William streets on August 24th , and moved in December to the new bank building.
August 24, 1833
Business commenced at the Herkimer County National Bank on this Saturday morning. Dudley Burwell took the contents home, deposited them under his bed without a pistol or club near them.
September 25, 1841
During the evening, Anson Brown, a clerk at the Herkimer County bank, borrowed the key to the bank from Albert Story, cashier, allegedly to draw some money on two small checks. Brown, and two accomplices, removed $72,857 in bank notes, gold, and silver and fled to the Albany area. Caught within 30 hours, all but $810 was recovered.
November 18, 1845
Herkimer County Bank in Little Falls announced a semi-annual Dividend of four percent, on the capital, declared payable on and after the first day of December.
May 22, 1861
The local press stated “Notwithstanding the hard times, failures and war rumors, our dairymen are hurrying forward their produce.” The streets of Little Falls were crowded with wagons as farmers shipped 1087 boxes of cheese weighing 70,503 pounds at the depot. Farmers and buyers made their bargains along South Ann Street by the bank building.
June 1, 1870
The employees at the Herkimer County National Bank are being granted vacations. Two weeks are being allotted to the cashier and one week to the clerks.
February 14, 1885
The affairs of the old Herkimer County National Bank were closed up after an existence of over fifty years. The dissolution was due to the desire of the stockholders to increase its capital stock, and in order to do so a new bank, National Herkimer County Bank, had to be organized. The 1833 building is now the home of the Little Falls Historical Society.
November 2, 1893
Albert G. Story, a long-time fixture in Little Falls financial affairs, died of apoplexy sitting in his chair at the National Herkimer County Bank on South Ann Street.
November 20, 1896
Five shares of Little Falls National Bank stock were sold at auction ($800 per share) and ten shares of National Herkimer County Bank stock ($850 per share) from the estate of Jonathan Beattie. The prices show the high standing of our local banks.
September 3, 1897
The bank vault at the National Herkimer County bank in Little Falls could not be opened when a bolt of the combination lock slipped down. Efforts by local locksmiths to open the safe were not successful, and a locksmith had to be “imported” from New York City to complete the job by nightfall.
On April 26, former Little Falls mayor, Hadley Jones and his wife have left the city suddenly under regrettable circumstances, never to be seen again. He was a fugitive from justice, accused of forgeries involving stock certificates of the Herkimer County Bank. Rumors are that he has fled “somewhere south of the border.”
The next day on April 27, a search of former mayor Hadley Jones’ safe revealed a book containing blank stock certificates of the local National Herkimer County Bank. Seventeen of the certificated, worth at least $25,000, had been used with the names of William A. Milligan , president, and Albert Story, cashier, forged thereon.
June 21, 1901
The Pinkerton detective agency has taken up the search for Hadley Jones. The agency has branch offices all over the world including Central and South America. The Pinkerton’s are employed by the Bankers’ Association, to which the area banks, which have been defrauded by Jones, belong.
Several weeks later on July 12, he’s located; he’s not. Hadley Jones has been “located” by the newspapers but not yet by the officials and detectives looking for him. A gentleman who knew both Mr. and Mrs. Jones claim they were fellow passengers on a vessel sailing from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. From there, they took a steamer to a port further south. Most doubt these reports.
June 1, 1912
With business growing and demanding increased space, the National Herkimer County Bank started looking for a site for a new bank building. In April 1913, they selected property at the corner of Main and Ann streets, and in March 1914, made arrangements for D.H. Burrell to build a spacious office building including elegant facilities for the bank on the site.
April 3, 1917
A great campaign was initiated by Mayor Abram Zoller to have a branch of the American Red Cross in Little Falls. Led by many clubs and organizations, nearly 4,000 local citizens joined. The chapter was housed in the old bank building on South Ann Street after the bank’s move to new quarters in the Burrell building.
April 30, 1917
After eighty four years of service to the community, the National Herkimer County Bank was liquidated and then reopened today, in the new Burrell Building as the Herkimer County Trust Company. The new status gives the bank all the services which would be beneficial to all.
April 23, 1963
The Little Falls Historical Society received a provisional charter from the University of the State of New York Education Department. This capped a multi-year battle with the Urban Renewal Agency to prevent the 1833 historic Herkimer County Bank building from being torn down.
The building was purchased by Urban Renewal in 1964 and was slated for demolition to become a parking log for a new bank.
July 2, 1969
A Rochester corporation, recognizing the unique and rare value of the 1833 old bank building, has expressed interest in purchasing the building, dismantling the structure, stone by stone, and rebuild it in the western part of the state in a historic village similar to the old Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown.
March 5, 1970
The former Herkimer County Bank building, corner of Albany and South Ann Streets, has been entered into the “National Register of Historic Places.” This is an important step in the effort to preserve the old 1833 building.
Purchased by the Little Falls Historical Society in 1977, the stone Herkimer County Bank building was carefully restored to its present grandeur over a seven-year period.
1985 - Today
The Little Falls Historical Society Museum is located in the stone Herkimer County Bank building, built in 1833 at the northeast corner of Ann and Albany Streets.
Since 1985, the Little Falls Historical Society Museum has served as the depository for the society’s collections.
The Little Falls Historical Society charter states,
“This museum exists to discover, collect, display and conserve data, documents and artifacts that are a part of the history of Little Falls and to maintain an institution on educational usefulness.”