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This News Article was contributed by: Cheryl Janowiak

Source: The Grand Rapids (Wis.) Tribune - July 27, 1901 - p. 2



New Bank At Chilton

Green Bay Capitalists Want to Start New Bank

With $25,000 Capital

Creditors of the German Exchange Will Hold Mass Meeting and Take Action on Receivership


Green Bay, Wis., July 22 - {Special} - Application has been made to the comptroller of the currency by W. P. Wagner of this city for permission to establish a national bank at Chilton, Wis., to be known as the First National bank of that city, and to have a capital stock of $50,000. Green Bay capitalists have subscribed for $30,000 of the stock and the remaining $20,000 will be subscribed by Chilton business men. The failure of the German Exchange bank in that city leaves a good opening for a national bank.

New Bank at Chilton

Chilton, Wis., July 22 - {Special} - It is reported here today that a new bank is to be opened at Chilton by the Joannes Brothers company of Green Bay. It is said that the bank will be opened within a very short time. The Joannes company was established in 1872 and is a wholesale grocery concern and also operates coffee and spice mills. The company is made up of Charles Mitchell, Thomas Joannes, William H. Fowler, A. G. Wells and W. E. Colette.

There is much dissatisfaction over the failure of the circuit court at Oshkosh to appoint a receiver for the German Exchange bank on Saturday. The creditors here are not pleased at the delay and think that immediate action is necessary. There is a movement on foot to get the matter into the United States court. A mass meeting of creditors will be held at the Turner hall here this evening. The general sentiment favors the appointment of R. F. Connell of this city as receiver.

Mr. Zech and August Greulich of Milwaukee will be at the meeting tonight. The latter promises to pay 50 cents on the dollar, cash dividend, and 25 cents more on secured bonds.

It is stated here today that Andrew Greulich of Milwaukee and several friends of the Kerstens in that city are willing to advance any amount of money needed to pay off the indebtedness and continue the banking business.

Why Zech Loans Were Made

Theodore Kersten's explanation of the loan to Zech is this: The original loan of $140,000 was made to Zech, who, becoming again financially embarassed, applied to the bank for more money, telling them that their failure to comply would cause his ruin and with it their money would be irretrievably lost. Thus, in order to save the first, the Kerstens were obliged to make a second loan. This kept on until the loan reached its present enormous proportions and precipitated the failure.

The purpose of the mass meeting tonight will probably be to arrive at some understanding regarding who they want as receiver, so that this opinion can be transmitted to the court before the appointment is made. What other measures will be decided upon is unknown, but the meeting will be a stormy one. Public sentiment is all in favor of R. F. Connell of Hayton as receiver, but influence for other parties is being brought to bear. Julius Feind, one of those suggested for the receivership, absolutely refused, on the grounds that he was too old. Had he been willing, his appointment would have been almost assured, as he is well and favorably known, and has had considerable experience of a like nature.

Many Suffer by Failure

As the Kersten's stock in the malthouse only amounts to $10,000, and can be considered as an asset, the work on the building will not be interrupted, although there is some likelihood of operations being suspended on various other buildings now in process of construction.

The failure is far worse than that of the Brillion bank last winter. The amount involved is greater by many thousands, and there are many more depositors at the Chilton bank. It has brought many to the verge of bankruptcy, it has completely ruined others, and the coming winter will be a terribly hard one for many who deposited their earnings in the bank, intending to draw on them during the winter months, when work is slack. Many are left without anything, practically, to live on until the first dividend is declared, which, Kersten says, will be within three months, promising about 45 or 50 cents on the dollar.

School Funds Tied Up

The school board is in rather stringent circumstances, as all its funds, amounting to nearly $1600, were deposited in the bank. Gregory Dorschel is the treasurer of the school district and Henry Kersten acted as his bondsman to the extent of $5000. The law says that when the school director and the clerk deem the treasurer's bond to be insufficient or insecure, they shall notify him of the fact, extending him ten days' time in which to secure a new bondsman. Failing in this he must forfeit his office, and the other members shall appoint a new treasurer, so it appears as though Mr. Dorschel will be forced to resign, as in his insolvent state he could hardly secure a bondsman.

The picnic held Sunday by the delegates of the state convention of the G. U. G. Germania, in session here last week, was not much of a success, as many who would have attended were restrained by the anxiety incident to the failure. When Examiner Bartz handed the card bearing the notice that the bank would close to a small boy, requesting him to place it in the bank windows, he gained the first inkling of the incredulity that would be expressed when the news became known. The boy refused, thinking it a joke that Bartz wished to play on him. All over the county people refused to credit the statement of the bank's failure, and were only convinced by seeing the notice in the windows of the building.


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