First National Bank, Ruthton, MN (Charter 5892)

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ca.1917 Postcard of the Ruthton State Bank (formerly First National Bank).

First National Bank, Ruthton, MN (Chartered 1901 - Liquidated 1910)

Town History

1897 Bank of Ruthton letterhead. This bank was succeeded by the First National Bank in 1901.

Ruthton is located in Pipestone County in southwestern Minnesota. The town was platted in 1888, and was named for the wife of one of the founders. A post office has been in operation at Ruthton since 1888, and the town was incorporated in 1897.

During the National Bank Note Era (1863-1935), the population of Ruthton was 323 in 1900, staying fairly steady with 387 in 1930. It's highest population was 534 in 1950, and the current population is estimated at 223 (2017).

Ruthton's first bank was the (private) Bank of Ruthton, established in 1897 by Milo J. Evans of Sac City, Iowa. The Bank of Ruthton was succeeded by the First National Bank in 1901.

Ruthton had one National Bank during the Bank Note Era. This bank did issue National Bank Notes, but no notes are currently known to have survived.

During the farm crisis of the 1970s, two Ruthton bankers were murdered by a man who had lost his farm, Jim Jenkins, on September 29, 1983. Jenkins, along with his son Steve, managed to lure the president of the Buffalo Ridge State Bank in Ruthton, Rudy Blythe Jr., and the bank's loan officer, Toby Thulin, onto a lonely farmhouse road where Jenkins murdered both bankers.

Bank History

  • Organized Jun 11, 1901
  • Chartered Jul 2, 1901
  • Succeeded Bank of Ruthton
  • Liquidated Mar 12, 1910
  • Absorbed by Ruthton State Bank

The First National Bank of Ruthton was organized in 1901 by Milo J. Evans, E.N. Bailey, L.W. Felter, Lottie Felter and M.H. Evans, and was capitalized at $25,000. It succeeded the Bank of Ruthton, a private bank established in 1897 by Milo J. Evans of Sac City, Iowa. Milo J. Evans served as the first President of the First National Bank, and Severt B. Duea was the first Cashier. In May of 1903, M.J. Evans sold a controlling interest in the bank to Cary W. Diehl and Matt J. Calderwood, who became President and Cashier respectively. Meanwhile in February 1903, a second bank, the Citizens Bank was established in Ruthton by a group of Pipestone capitalists led by Edward W. Davies. In July of 1903 the Citizens Bank merged with First National Bank, and in November 1904, E. W. Davies became President of the First National, and Severt B. Duea Cashier. Early in 1910, the First National Bank converted to a state charter as the State Bank of Ruthton, with a reduced capitalization of $20,000. The State Bank of Ruthton closed on April 16, 1925, leaving the Farmers & Merchants State Bank (established in 1917) as the only bank in business in Ruthton at that time.

No surviving bank notes are currently known from the First National Bank of Ruthton, MN. Shown here is a Certified Proof of a Ruthton 1882 Brown Back $20 bank note (before the Seal/Charter# and Serial# overprints were added). Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

Official Bank Title(s)

1: The First National Bank of Ruthton, MN.

Bank Note Types Issued

A total of $30,000 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1901 and 1910. This consisted of a total of 2,400 notes (2,400 large size and 0 small size notes).

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

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s
1882 Brown Back 3x10-20 1 - 400
1882 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 200

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

First National Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1901 - 1910):



  • Severt Benjamin Duea, 1901-1903
  • Matt J. Calderwood, 1903-1904
  • Severt Benjamin Duea, 1904-1910

Other Bank Note Signers

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

Wiki Links


  • Ruthton, MN, Wikipedia,,_Minnesota
  • Arthur P. Rose, An Illustrated History of the Counties of Rock and Pipestone Minnesota (Luverne, MN: Northern History Publishing Co.,1911), p375.
  • 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).
  • Smithsonian National Bank Note Certified Proofs Collection (Washington, D.C.).
  • Banks & Bankers Historical Database (1782-1935),