Hardin National Bank/First-Hardin NB, Elizabethtown, KY (Charter 6028)

From Bank Note History
Jump to navigation Jump to search
ca. 1910 postcard of the Hardin National Bank.
ca. 1922 postcard of the First-Hardin National Bank.

Hardin National Bank/First-Hardin NB, Elizabethtown, KY (Chartered November 22, 1901 - Acquired June 19, 1992)

The First-Hardin National Bank of Elizabethtown, KY began as Hotopp & Holdsworth, Bankers in 1880. In 1883, Conrad Hotopp and other investors formed the Bank of Elizabethtown. On November 22, 1901, the Bank of Elizabethtown converted to the Hardin National Bank (Charter 6028). The Hardin National Bank consolidated with the First National Bank of Elizabethtown on July 29, 1911, and changed their title to the First-Hardin National Bank. The First-Hardin National Bank survived past the end of the National Bank Note Era in 1935, and was eventually acquired by PNC Bank, Kentucky, Inc. on June 19, 1992.

Town History

Recent photo of the old bank building.

Elizabethtown is the county seat of Hardin County, Kentucky, about 15 miles south of Fort Knox. In 1793, Colonel Andrew Hynes had 30 acres surveyed and laid off into lots and streets to establish Elizabethtown. Named in honor of his wife, Elizabethtown was legally established in 1797.

During the Civil War, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his 3,000-man cavalry attacked Elizabethtown on December 27, 1862. Although he successfully captured Elizabethtown, Morgan's chief goal was to disrupt the railroad and northern transportation. He proceeded north along the railroad, burning trestles and destroying sections of the track.

During the National Bank Note Era, the population of Elizabethtown was 1,743 in 1870, growing to 2,590 in 1930. It's highest population is the current population, estimated at 30,289 in 2019.

Elizabethtown had three National Banks chartered during the Bank Note Era, and two of those banks issued National Bank Notes.

Bank History

In the aftermath of the Civil War, no banks were established in Elizabethtown until the mid 1870s. By the late 1870s, there were 2 private banks in town, the Banking House of L.M Longshaw, and Arnold, Polk, and Co. There was intense competition between the two banks, which ended in a gun fight between Philip Arnold and Harry Holdsworth, a clerk at Longshaws, with Arnold dying of his wounds six months later. Philip Arnold was the con-man who pulled off the 'Great Diamond Hoax' swindle of 1872. Here is a link to more information on Arnold and the Diamond Hoax.

In 1880, Conrad Hotopp purchased the banking interests of L.M. Longshaw. He kept clerk Harry Holdswsorth as his cashier, and they established the banking business of Hotopp and Holdsworth. A couple of years later, Holdsworth skipped town with about $5,000 of the bank’s money. The news of this spread through town quickly, which triggered a run on the bank. President Hotopp personally guaranteed the depositors money, which defused the crisis.

In 1883, Conrad Hotopp and other investors formed the Bank of Elizabethtown. Hotopp would become bank president in 1887. In 1901, the Bank of Elizabethtown became the Hardin National Bank, receiving Charter 6028 on November 22, and opening for business on November 25, 1901. Hotopp would serve as President of this bank from its inception until his death in 1922.

In 1911, the Hardin National Bank merged with the First National Bank, forming the First-Hardin National Bank. In 1922, a new bank building was built across the street from the Hardin National Bank, and opened for business in May of that year.

On August 5, 1932 First-Hardin National Bank absorbed the Union National Bank of Elizabethtown, KY (Charter 13024).

The First-Hardin National Bank would survive past the end of the National Bank Note Era in 1935, and would eventually be acquired by PNC Bank, Kentucky, Inc. on June 19, 1992.

Official Bank Title(s)

1: The Hardin National Bank of Elizabethtown, KY

2: The First-Hardin National Bank of (8/5/1911)

Bank Note Types Issued

$10 Series 1882 Brown Back bank note with pen signatures of W.C. Montgomery, Cashier and C. Hotopp, President. Courtesy of Lyn Knight Currency Auctions, www.lynknight.com
$20 Series 1929 Type 1 bank note with printed signatures of G.E. Taber, Cashier and W.C. Montgomery, President. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, www.HA.com

A total of $2,072,225 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1901 and 1935. This consisted of a total of 166,993 notes (130,116 large size and 36,877 small size notes).

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

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s
1: 1882 Brown Back 3x10-20 1 - 3100
1: 1882 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 1270
2: 1882 Date Back 3x10-20 1 - 5400
2: 1882 Value Back 3x10-20 5401 - 12782
2: 1902 Plain Back 3x10-20 1 - 15377
2: 1929 Type 1 6x10 1 - 4228
2: 1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 1150
2: 1929 Type 2 5 1 - 171
2: 1929 Type 2 10 1 - 3552
2: 1929 Type 2 20 1 - 886

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

First National Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1901 - 1936):



Other Bank Note Signers

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

Wiki Links


  • Rand McNally Banker's Directories 1879 – 1939 (Chicago: Rand McNally & Company).
  • OCC Annual Reports 1901 – 1935 (U.S. Treasury Dept: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency).
  • FDIC, Bank Find History website. https://research2.fdic.gov/bankfind/index.html
  • 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), https://bbdata.banknotehistory.com