Oconomowoc National Bank, Oconomowoc, WI (Charter 13616)

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Oconomowoc National Bank Building, ca2020.
The old Oconomowoc National Bank Building at 138 East Wisconsin Avenue, ca2020. Courtesy of Google Maps

Oconomowoc National Bank, Oconomowoc, WI (Chartered 1932 - Closed (Merger) 1985)

Town History

Oconomowoc (/əˈkɒnəməˌwɒk/ ə-KON-ə-mə-wok) is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. The name was derived from Coo-no-mo-wauk, the Potawatomi term for "waterfall." The population was 15,712 at the 2010 census.

Oconomowoc was incorporated as a town in 1844, although residents had to go to Summit to get their mail until 1845. Travel and communication links between the new town and nearby cities were quickly established. The Watertown Plank Road was extended to connect Oconomowoc to the nearby towns of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Pewaukee, and Watertown in 1850. Such infrastructure encouraged further settlement, and by 1853 the town grew to a population of 250, with ten stores, three hotels, one gristmill, and one sawmill (both located near the present Lake Road bridge), and a schoolhouse. The first passenger train from Milwaukee arrived in Oconomowoc on December 14, 1854, as part of the Milwaukee and Watertown Railroad Company's rapidly expanding Milwaukee & Mississippi line.

In the 1870s, Oconomowoc started to become a summer resort town for wealthy families from the Midwest. Large houses were established around the town's lakes, particularly Oconomowoc Lake and Lac La Belle. The population grew so much that Oconomowoc incorporated as a city in 1865, and by 1880 it had a population of 3,000.

Oconomowoc had two National Banks chartered during the Bank Note Era, and both of those banks issued National Bank Notes. Oconomowoc also had one Obsolete Bank that issued Obsolete Bank Notes during the Obsolete Bank Note Era (1782-1866).

Bank History

In September 1970, the Oconomowoc National Bank was acquired by the First Holding Co., Inc. of Waukesha. It was expected that the management of the Oconomowoc bank would remain the same with its chief officers being Attorney George C. Johnson, president; Elmer E. Kuenzi, executive vice president; and Eugene Polratz, cashier. First Holding Co. was organized in 1968 by officers from the First Bank of Waukesha and First National Bank in Wauwatosa. Later the company acquired the New Berlin State Bank.

On March 16, 1981, the name of the bank was changed to Independence Bank Oconomowoc (N.A.). Independence Banks were members of Independence Bank Group Inc., a six-bank holding company with 11 office locations, including the First National Bank of Waukesha and its branches in Butler, Muskego and Summit; First National Bank in Wauwatosa; New Berlin State Bank; First National Bank in Elkhorn and its branch in Williams Bay; and First National Bank of Oconomowoc and its branch in Okauchee. The sixth bank was Elm Brook State Bank which became Independence Bank Brookfield.

In February 1985, Marine Corp. reported a new high in net income of $19,024,000 for 1984, up 13% from a year prior. The Marine had three acquisitions pending with $1.2 billion in assets, including the Independence Bank Group of Waukesha, Firstar Corp., Appleton and Citizens National Bank, Stevens Point. The Federal Reserve approved the acquisition of the Waukesha-based Independence Bank Group. The transaction was valued at approximately $52 million and was expected to be completed in March.

On March 20, 1985, Marine Corp. announced the closing of the acquisition of the Independence Bank Group Inc., of Waukesha. As a result of the combination, the Marine had 60 Wisconsin offices and additional offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Mexico City, Nassau, and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Independence Group was a bank holding company with 17 banking offices in southeastern Wisconsin.

Official Bank Title(s)

1: The Oconomowoc National Bank, Oconomowoc, WI

Bank Note Types Issued

1929 Type 1 $10 bank note with printed signatures of Frank Gross, Jr., Cashier and Grove E. Palmer, President. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing prepared the overprinting plate used to produce all notes for this bank. Courtesy of Lyn Knight Auctions, www.lynknight.com
1929 Type 2 $20 bank note with printed signatures of M.J. Bartelme, Cashier and Grove E. Palmer, President. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing prepared the overprinting plate used to produce all notes for this bank. Courtesy of Lyn Knight Auctions, www.lynknight.com

A total of $52,150 in National Bank Notes was issued by this bank between 1932 and 1985. This consisted of a total of 4,258 notes (No large size and 4,258 small size notes).

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

Series/Type Sheet/Denoms Serial#s Sheet Comments
1929 Type 1 6x10 1 - 316
1929 Type 1 6x20 1 - 106
1929 Type 2 10 1 - 1405
1929 Type 2 20 1 - 321

Bank Presidents and Cashiers

Bank Presidents and Cashiers during the National Bank Note Era (1932 - 1985):



Other Bank Note Signers

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

Wiki Links


  • Oconomowoc, WI, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oconomowoc,_Wisconsin
  • 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://spmc.org/bank-note-history-project
  • Waukesha Daily Freeman, Waukesha, WI, Sat., Sep. 19, 1970.
  • Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI, Sun., Mar. 22, 1981.
  • Green Bay Press-Gazette, Green Bay, WI, Thu., Feb. 7, 1985.
  • Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wi., Mon., Mar. 18, 1985.
  • The Oshkosh Northwestern, Oshkosh, WI., Wed., Mar. 20, 1985.