Editor’s note: It is with mixed emotions that we continue to offer articles by Anna Zander. We were deeply sadden by her death last week. She contributed a great deal to this newspaper in its formative years. She cared deeply about Eagle Point and as her daughter told us last week, she cared deeply about the Independent. Anna spent many years in a wheelchair having had polio at an early age, but she did not let that weaken her interests and desires.
She was the mother of two.
In her memory we will continue to offer articles by Anna Zander because we believe she would want others to learn about the Eagle Point area she cared so much about.
By Anna Zander
The two men scrutinized the contract. Hidden among the legal jargon were the simple words conveying the purpose of te agreement: To build a two story brick building to be used as a bank. Upon completion, the sum of $3,400 was to be paid.
J.W. Bayliss, a contractor from Ashland, sat waiting for the two men, J.V. McIntyre and George Davis, to sign on the dotted line. It was May 16, 1911.
Within a few months the building was raised and the First State Bank of
Eagle Point become a reality. The doors were opened for business with
the sound capital of $15,000 standing behind the bank.
The bank prospered and as of the close of business on December 5, 1911, the following report of condition was filed:
statement was signed by cashier, J.V. McIntyre, and sworn before Notary
Public A. J. Florey. It was attested correct by William Von Der Hellen
and J. F. Brown, directors.
Sometime during the first months
of operation a young man by the name of John Walch, entered the bank
and presented a check for $1,600. The check was drawn on the account
of W. E. Hammel and was in payment of some livestock he had purchased
from Walch. When cashier McIntyre honored the check, he depleted the
cash on hand fund and was forced to declare a bank holiday for the
remainder of the day.
Around the mid-1920’s Henry and
Frances Campbell of Ferndale, Washington, moved to Eagle Point to take
over the operations of the bank. Two employees, Eugene Throndike and
Hazel Brown Stoner, were on hand to greet the new manager.
1930, Henry Campbell’s health was failing. He opted to retire and
Walter Young from Ridgefield, Washington, was hired to replace him.
arrived with his family in Eagle Point on May 1, 1930, to find that
Henry Campbell had died and been buried in the Brownsboro Cemetery the
Taking up the duties of his position without the
aid of conferring with his predecessor, Young guided the bank through
the depression years.
In 1933, banks were failing
nationwide. President Roosevelt declared a three day moratorium for
the banks. The State Bank of Eagle Point, however, was in such a sound
financial condition it did not close for the three days but remained
open and conducted business as usual. There were only two other banks
in Oregon that remained open.
As the country began to pull
out of the depression and the banks reorganized, the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation was instituted. The First State bank of Eagle
Point was the fourteenth bank in the nation to become a member of the
Seeking to make work available to everyone, Roosevelt
started the Public Works Administration. Since Eagle Point was sorely
in need of a municipal water system, it was set up to be done under the
WPA. The First State Bank purchased the bonds necessary for the
installation of the water system.
The workers showed up to
begin digging the new system. They arrived with the will to work and
strong backs but without any tools. Walter Young and Roy Ashpole,
owner of the local hardware, dug deep into their own pockets and bought
shovels for the men to use.
During and following World War II, the bank did a landslide business-much of it coming from the Medford area.
Early in the 1950’s plans began to formulate for moving the bank to Medford. It was reorganized with a capital of $100,000.
December of 1954, the Eagle Point State Bank closed its doors for the
last time. The move to Medford was made and the name was changed to
Rogue Valley State Bank.
Walter Young was elected president
of the new bank and serving with him were Clarence Young as Vice
President, Leonard Bradshaw, Vice President, Thomas Shearin as cashier
and Gertrude McCorkel as assistant cashier. J. H. Stanley and Frank
Farrell were on the Board of Directors.
Within a short time the bank had expanded to two locations. Walter Young retired in 1956.
1964, both Rogue Valley State Banks were purchased by the Oregon Bank.
The sale ended the independent operation that was started in Eagle
point by a rumor that Crater lake Highway would pass through the town.