First National Bank, Lead, SD (Charter 4631)

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circa 1910 Postcard showing the (2nd) First National Bank building, built in 1903

The First National Bank of Lead, SD (1891 - 1936+) was organized on September 9, 1891, and received Charter 4631 on September 17, 1891. The bank was closely associated with the Homestake (Gold) Mining Company, located in, under and around the town of Lead. As a result of Homestake's success, for a period starting in the late 1890s, Lead became the largest city, and First National the largest bank in South Dakota. The bank survived past the end of the National Bank Note era in 1935.

Town History

circa 1925 Postcard showing the (3rd) First National Bank building, built in 1922

Lead (pronounced LEED) is located in Lawrence County in western South Dakota, near Deadwood in the Black Hills.

Lead was officially founded on July 10, 1876, after the discovery of gold in the area, and was named for the 'leads' or lodes of the deposits of valuable ores. It was founded as a company town by the Homestake Mining Company, which ran the nearby Homestake Mine, the largest, deepest (8,240 feet) and most productive gold mine in the Western Hemisphere before closing in January 2002.

In 1974, most of Lead was added to the National Register of Historic Places under the name of the "Lead Historic District". Over four hundred buildings and 580 acres were included in the historic district, which has boundaries roughly equivalent to the city limits.

During the National Bank Note Era, the population of Lead was 2,581 in 1890, growing to 8,392 in 1910, and then falling to 5,733 in 1930. It's highest population was 8,392 in 1910, and the current population is estimated at 2,977 (2018).

Bank History

The First National Bank building is still standing today (2018)
  • Organized Sep 9, 1891
  • Chartered Sep 17, 1891
  • Succeeded Lead City Bank
  • Bank was Open past 1935
  • For Bank History after 1935 see FDIC Bank History website

Official Bank Title(s)

1. The First National Bank of Lead, SD

Bank Notes Issued

$10 Series 1902 Plain Back bank note with pen signatures of R.H. Driscoll, Cashier and P.A. Gushurst, President
$10 Series 1929 Type 1 Serial Number 1 bank note with printed signatures of R.E. Driscoll, Cashier and R.H. Driscoll, President

A total of $755,090 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1891 and 1935. This consisted of a total of 72,524 notes issued (62,124 large size and 10,400 small size notes).

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

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s
1882 Brown Back 4x5 1 - 4000
1882 Brown Back 3x10-20 1 - 1690
1882 Date Back 4x5 1 - 947
1882 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 744
1902 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 2140
1902 Plain Back 3x10-20 2141 - 8150
1929 Type 1 6x10 1 - 1140
1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 334
1929 Type 2 10 1 - 1265
1929 Type 2 20 1 - 291

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

First National Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1891 - 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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