Batavian National Bank, La Crosse, WI (Charter 7347)

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ca. 1900 photo of Batavian National Bank, Courtesy of La Crosse Tribune

Batavian National Bank, La Crosse, WI (Chartered 1904 - Open past 1935)

Town History

2019 photo of bank building, Courtesy of Google Maps

La Crosse is a city in the west central part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of La Crosse County.

The first Europeans to see the site of La Crosse were French fur traders who traveled the Mississippi River in the late 17th century. There is no written record of any visit to the site until 1805, when Lt. Zebulon Pike mounted an expedition up the Mississippi River for the United States. Pike recorded the location's name as "Prairie La Crosse." The name originated from the game with sticks that resembled a bishop's crozier or la crosse in French, which was played by Native Americans there.

During the National Bank Note Era La Crosse had a population of 3,860 in 1860, 39,614 in 1930, and as of 2010 the population was 51,320.

There were five National Banks that called La Crosse home over the years, all five issued National Bank notes.

Bank History

  • Organized Jul 20, 1904
  • Chartered Jul 29, 1904
  • Succeeded Batavia Bank of La Crosse
  • Bank was Open past 1935
  • For Bank History after 1935 see FDIC Bank History website
  • 1956 Acquired by First Bank System and renamed National Bank of Wisconsin
  • July 1977, Renamed First Bank, La Crosse
  • later a branch of U.S. Bank, as First Bank System had acquired U.S. Bank in 1997 and renamed itself as such

The Batavian National Bank had as its origins the Batavian Bank founded in La Crosse January 16, 1862 by Gysbert Van Steenwyk (1814-1902) in what was then a small but thriving city. The bank was named in honor of the fatherland of its founder. At the end of the civil war there were only two banks in La Crosse. The deposits in the bank on the day of its founding were $753.59, and the original capital was $25,000. In 1883 it was reorganized with a capital of $200,000 and a few years later the bank moved from its old quarters on Main street between Front and Second streets to its present building which was occupied in 1888. The Batavian Bank bought the German National Bank, charter 3412, in 1889 and this bank was liquidated Dec 9, 1889. In 1904 the bank entered the national system with a capital of $400,000. In the latter part of 1910, E.E. Bentley resigned as president and Albert Hirshheimer, founder of the La Crosse Plow company, was elected to succeed him. E.M Wing was elected vice president and John A. Bayer cashier. In 1912, the directors of the bank were A. Hirshheimer, F.A Copeland, E.T. Mueller, A.G. Paul, Michael Funk, G. Van Steenwyk, B.C. Smith, Otto Bosshard, and E.M. Wing.

Official Bank Title(s)

1: The Batavian National Bank of La Crosse, WI

Bank Note Types Issued

1902 Plain Back $20 bank note with printed signatures of John A. Bayer, Cashier and Edwin M. Wing, President, Courtesy of Lyn Knight Auctions,
1929 Type 1 $20 bank note with printed signatures of H. O. Klein, Cashier and John A. Bayer, President

A total of $3,582,950 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1904 and 1935. This consisted of a total of 275,836 notes (257,836 large size and 18,000 small size notes).

This bank issued the following Types and Denominations of bank notes:

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s
1902 Red Seal 3x10-20 1 - 15000
1902 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 22500
1902 Plain Back 3x10-20 22501 - 49459
1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 3000

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

First National Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1904 - 1935):



Other Bank Note Signers

  • There are currently no known Vice President or Assistant Cashier bank note signers for this bank.

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