City National Bank, Paducah, KY (Charter 2093)

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Postcard of The City National Bank of Paducah, Kentucky, ca1910s.
Postcard of The City National Bank of Paducah, Kentucky, ca1910s. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

City National Bank, Paducah, KY (Chartered 1873 - Receivership 1931)

Town History

A 1931 advertisement for The City National Bank of Paducah, Kentucky, "West Kentucky's Big Bank." the bank building is pictured and the directors listed and may be found in the bank history section
A 1931 advertisement for The City National Bank of Paducah, Kentucky, "West Kentucky's Big Bank."

Paducah (/pəˈduːkə/ pə-DOO-kə) is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky. The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast. As of the 2020 census, the population was 27,137, up from 25,024 during the 2010 U.S. Census.

Paducah was first settled as "Pekin" around 1821 by European Americans James and William Pore. The town was laid out by explorer and surveyor William Clark in 1827 and renamed Paducah.

Paducah was formally established as a town in 1830 and incorporated as a city by the state legislature in 1838. By this time, steam boats traversed the river system, and its port facilities were important to trade and transportation. In addition, developing railroads began to enter the region. A factory for making red bricks, and a foundry for making rail and locomotive components became the nucleus of a thriving "River and Rail" economy.

Paducah became the site of dry dock facilities for steamboats and towboats, and thus headquarters for many barge companies. Because of its proximity to coalfields further to the east in Kentucky and north in Illinois, Paducah also became an important railway hub for the Illinois Central Railroad. This was the primary north-south railway connecting the industrial cities of Chicago and East St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico at Gulfport, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The Illinois Central system also provided east-west links to the Burlington Northern and the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railways (which later merged to become the BNSF Railway).

In 1924 the Illinois Central Railroad began construction at Paducah of their largest locomotive workshop in the nation. Over a period of 190 days, a large ravine between Washington and Jones streets was filled with 44,560 carloads of dirt to enlarge the site, sufficient for the construction of 23 buildings. The eleven million dollar project was completed in 1927 as the fourth-largest industrial plant in Kentucky. The railroad became the largest employer in Paducah, having 1,075 employees in 1938.

Paducah had four National Banks chartered during the Bank Note Era, and all four of those banks issued National Bank Notes.

Bank History

  • Organized January 14, 1873
  • Chartered March 18, 1873
  • Assumed 2070 by consolidation May 28, 1910 (American German NB, Paducah, KY)
  • Absorbed 1599 March 6, 1931 (First National Bank, Paducah, KY)
  • Receivership October 28, 1931

On March 2, 1910, following the joint meeting of the directors of the City National Bank and the American German National Bank the decision was made to consolidate the two financial institutions under the name of the City National Bank. Subject to ratification by stockholders, the consolidation would take place on or before April 15. Mr. Samuel B. Hughes, the present president of the City National Bank would retain the presidency with Joseph L. Friedman, vice president and James C. Utterback, cashier. Mr. L.M. Rieke, president of the American German National Bank, would become chairman of the board of directors of the enlarged institution. Stockholders of the American German would receive one share of City National for two shares of American German in the deal. The City National would increase its capital $100,000 to $300,000. The consolidated bank would possess a strength second to none in the state.

In June 1910, the officers were Samuel B. Hughes, president; Louis M. Rieke, Chairman of the Board; Joseph L. Friedman, vice president; James C. Utterback, cashier; Chas. E. Richardson, and Emmet S. Bagby, assistant cashiers. The directors were S.B. Hughes, L.M. Rieke, Jos. L. Friedman, S.A. Fowler, Dr. J.G. Brooks, Muscoe Burnett, A.E. Anspacher, Henry A. Petter, Earl Palmer, Chas. F. Rieke, D.H. Hughes, Brack Owen, W.F. Bradshaw, Jr., and Jas. C. Utterback. The bank had capital of $300,000, surplus and undivided profits of 273,060.03, circulation of $293,200 and total assets of $2,040,274.28.

On January 8, 1924, the City National bank elected the following directors: James C. Utterback, H.C. Overby, H.A. Petter, Brack Owen, Muscoe Burnett, D.H. Hughes, John W. Keiler, F.G. Rudolph, H.S. Wells, C.F. Richardson, and Luther Carson. The board remained the same as last year except the name of W.F. Bradshaw, Jr., was dropped.

In March 1931, the directors were Muscoe Burnett, H.S. Wells, H.A. Petter, Chas. Vahlkamp, H.L. Meyer, J.S. Brinkley, Luther F. Carson, Jas. G. Wheeler, Leo F. Keiler, W.J. Pierce, Jas. C. Utterback and H.L. Richardson.

On March 25, 1931, Joseph S. Laurent, receiver for the BancoKentucky Company, was authorized and directed by Circuit Judge Lafon Allen to take such steps as were appropriate to the rights of the company as the holder of 6,925 shares of stock of the Paducah First National Bank of Paducah, Kentucky, to confirm the sale of the bank’s assets to The City National Bank. The receiver was also directed to return to Fain W. King, Louis Rubel, Dow Wilcox, Edson Hart, Louis F. Kolb, H.L. Richardson, Oscar G. Hank, Jesse Weil, Martin J. Yopp, and T.J. Stahl, directors of the First National Bank, their respective certificates of stock for fifty shares each which came into the receiver’s hands with the property of BancoKentucky. Mr. Laurent revealed that sometime during the night of November 16, 1930, the property and assets of the First National Bank were sold to the City National Bank for $100,000 at a called meeting of directors at which all were present except James B. Brown. Mr. Laurent said he had gathered the opinion that the assets’ net value was about $125,000, but that he was satisfied with the sale price as reasonably fair.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1931, The City National Bank of Paducah failed to open its doors. It had taken over the Mechanic's Trust and Savings bank and the First National Bank, institutions that had been identified with the National Bank of Kentucky, when that bank was closed in Louisville several months earlier. J.C. Utterback, president of the City National, issued a statement in which he said that recent withdrawals by depositors, coupled with a decline in the value of securities taken over from the Mechanic's Trust and the First National, had caused the City National to close. He said that his bank had saved Paducah, following the closing ot the National Bank of Kentucky, "from a situation we are now confronted with, but which we would not have today had the public shown the proper appreciation for what the City National directors did at that time." The two remaining Paducah banks experienced some withdrawals during the day but the arrival of cash from Louisville and St. Louis, by airplane, exerted an encouraging influence and both declared they were ready to meet all demands.

On Saturday morning, October 30, 1931, the body of James C. Utterback, 59, president of the City National Bank which closed on Wednesday, was found in the lake at Noble Park.

A shortage of $170,195.03 in the accounts of James C. Utterback who committed suicide while county treasure was reported in an audit on November 20th. The audit covered a period from January 1, 1926 to December 31, 1929.

Official Bank Title(s)

1: The City National Bank of Paducah, KY

Bank Note Types Issued

1882 Brown Back $100 bank note with pen signatures of J.C. Utterback, Cashier and S.B. Hughes (II), President.
1882 Brown Back $100 bank note with pen signatures of J.C. Utterback, Cashier and S.B. Hughes (II), President. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,
1902 Date Back $50 bank note with printed signatures of R.R. Kirkland, Cashier and J.C. Utterback, President.
1902 Date Back $50 bank note with printed signatures of R.R. Kirkland, Cashier and J.C. Utterback, President. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,
1929 Type 1 $50 bank note with printed signatures of George C. Hughes, Jr., Cashier and J.C. Utterback, President.
1929 Type 1 $50 bank note with printed signatures of George C. Hughes, Jr., Cashier and J.C. Utterback, President. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

A total of $5,183,020 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1873 and 1931. This consisted of a total of 306,700 notes (279,814 large size and 26,886 small size notes).

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

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s Sheet Comments
Original Series 3x10-20 1 - 3000
Original Series 50-100 1 - 400
Series 1875 3x10-20 1 - 5597
Series 1875 50-100 1 - 1895
1882 Brown Back 4x10 1 - 2500
1882 Brown Back 50-100 1 - 5067
1882 Date Back 4x10 1 - 8432
1882 Date Back 50-100 1 - 799
1902 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 10500
1902 Date Back 3x50-100 1 - 1180
1902 Plain Back 3x10-20 10501 - 44622
1902 Plain Back 3x50-100 1181 - 1722
1929 Type 1 6x10 1 - 3415
1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 667
1929 Type 1 6x50 1 - 314
1929 Type 1 6x100 1 - 85

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1873 - 1931):



Other Bank Note Signers

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

Wiki Links


  • Paducah, KY, Wikipedia,,_Kentucky
  • Don C. Kelly, National Bank Notes, A Guide with Prices. 6th Edition (Oxford, OH: The Paper Money Institute, 2008).
  • Dean Oakes and John Hickman, Standard Catalog of National Bank Notes. 2nd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1990).
  • Banks & Bankers Historical Database (1782-1935),
  • News-Democrat, Paducah, KY, Thu., Mar. 3, 1910.
  • News-Democrat, Paducah, KY, Wed., June 1, 1910.
  • The Paducah Sun-Democrat, Paducah, KY, Wed. Jan. 9, 1924.
  • The Paducah Sun-Democrat, Paducah, KY, Sun., Mar. 8, 1931.
  • The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY, Thu., Mar. 26, 1931.