University of Idaho

Manuscript Group 50


Records, 1901-1911
34 cubic feet

The records of the State Bank of Commerce, Wallace, Idaho, were donated to the University of Idaho library by Henry L. Day in November 1968. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in May and June 1989.


The State Bank of Commerce, successor to the Bank of Commerce organized in 1901, was organized May 1, 1903. Its officers were Bennett F. O'Neil, president, Thomas L. Greenough, vice president, Maurice H. Hare, cashier, and Charles Z. Seelig, assistant cashier. Additional directors were Albert Burch, Ewan McIntosh, August Paulsen, and G. Scott Anderson who was also a director of the Lane Lumber Company. Later E.S. Wyman succeeded Hare as cashier and in July 1906 Harry L. Day, a major depositor in the bank--the Day family interests had a total of 12 different accounts--joined the board of directors.

The bank was suspended in May 1911 following O'Neil's unsuccessful campaign for governor. A combination of campaign expenses, bad investments and excessive borrowing--on the closing date of the bank his indebtedness comprised 70% of the bank's total loans--depleted the bank's reserves and he was unable to honor depositors' demands when they began withdrawing their money. The bank was turned over to the state bank commissioner and Harry L. Day was named trustee, thus giving him physical control of the bank's records. He asked Bland & Wilson Accountants of Spokane to go over the books and prepare a report. They concluded the failure was due to "excessive and dishonest financing of the personal enterprises of B.F. O'Neil, President and G. Scott Anderson, Director, aided and abetted by E.S. Wyman, Cashier," and also "the abstraction of funds for the private use of B.F. O'Neil."


Barrett, Glen. Idaho Banking. Boise, Boise State University Press, 1976.

Bland & Wilson, Accountants. "Report on Investigation of State Bank of Commerce, Wallace, Idaho. January 12, 1912. (Papers of Harry L. Day in an unprocessed manuscript group, Day Mines, Inc., Special Collections Library, University of Idaho.) (MG 318)

Illustrated History of North Idaho. s.l., Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903.


The papers of the State Bank of Commerce span the years 1901 to 1911. They include correspondence and bound financial volumes. In addition to the routine bank correspondence there is also personal correspondence of bank president, B.F. O'Neil, relating to investments and his activities in the Republican Party. Among his frequent correspondents are Governor James H. Brady and William E. Borah. Also included is an early treasurer's book for the town of Wallace, Idaho.

The correspondence is widely scattered, leaving large gaps in the sequence. Several volumes listed on the original inventory were missing at the time of processing. These include one Auxiliary Book, one Trial Balance Book April 1910 to 1911, two Balance Ledgers, 1901-1902 and May 1905 to 1906, one Teller's Cash Book March 1904 to June 1906, and one Closed and Transferred Accounts book. Several volumes not on the original list were with the records, and it is possible the missing volumes were misidentified originally.


The foldered correspondence, which includes both incoming and outgoing letters and telegrams, was originally arranged first alphabetically, then chronologically by year only. In order to make the collection more useable the correspondence was further separated by month, but no attempt was made to put material in strict chronological order. The letterbooks of outgoing correspondence are in chronological order.

There is a second set of letterbooks labeled "Statements" which contain letterpress copies of bank statements sent to depositors; these were placed at the beginning of the second series.

The remaining bound volumes include stock certificates, Auxiliary Records, Savings Ledgers, books listing valuable papers intrusted to the bank and include the agreements between the bank and the depositor, ledgers of individual accounts, and other financial volumes necessary for record keeping.

Some volumes from the original Bank of Commerce form their own series. These were separated from the State Bank of Commerce records because of their uniform small size and paper binding.

One final volume is the 1890-1897 Town of Wallace Treasurer's Book. This item appears on the original inventory received with the papers so was retained with the collection. Another volume which appeared on the original inventory, an account book of the Wallace Press, was transferred to the Day Mines, Inc. Collection, an unprocessed manuscript group, which also contains Wallace Press Times records. (MG 310)

Several volumes have been water damaged, and the handwriting in others is fading. Many of the volumes are labeled as exhibits for either plaintiff or prosecution in the criminal investigation which followed the failure of the bank.

One box of deposit slips, 2 boxes of debit and credit slips, and one box of bank statements and canceled checks were removed from the collection. In all the records were reduced by two cubic feet.



I. Correspondence, 1901-1911 1-2

II. Bound Volumes, 1901-1911 2-o.s.

III. Bank of Commerce Records, 1901-1902 o.s..

IV. Non-Bank Records, 1890-1897 o.s.



Box Folder Description Items

I. Correspondence, 1901-1911

1	1-2	A, 1907-1909	200
	3-9	B, 1906-1909	1245
	10	Baker Clothing, Wardner, Idaho, 1907	37
	11	Bankers National Bank, Chicago, 1906-1907	13
	12	Boise City National Bank, Boise, Idaho, 1907	7
	13	Borah, William E., 1907-1909	17
	14	C, 1901-1902	108
	15-23	C, 1905-1910	1278
	24	Clark, W.A. and Brother, Bankers, 1907	6
2	25	D, 1901-1902	58
	26	D, 1905-1906	130
	27	E, 1901-1902	65
	28-29	F, l901-1902	213
	30	G, 1901-1902	76
	31	G, 1907-1908	79
	32-33	K, 1907-1911	162
	34	M, 1908		232
	35-37	N, 1906-1910	464
	38	National Bank of Commerce, New York City, 1906-1907	122
	39	P, 1908		118
	40-41	S, 1908-1909	385
	42	Y, 1910		11
	43	Returned letters for which there are no folders,	4
	45-48	Letterbooks, 1901-1902	4
3	49-53	Letterbooks, 1902-1909	5

II. Bound Volumes, 1901-1911

	54-58	Letterbooks: Statements, 1901-1907	5
4	59-65	Letterbooks: Statements, 1907-1911	7
o.s.	66	Stock Journal, 1903-1908	1
	67	Stock Certificate Book, 1903-1909	1
o.s.	68-88	Auxiliary Records, 1903-1911	21
	89-91	Savings Ledgers, 1908-1910	3
	92-97	Escrows and Valuable Papers in Trust, 1901-1910	6
	98-104	Reconcilement of Accounts, 1902-1910	7
	105-111	Trial Balance Books, 1902-1910	7
	112-124	Cash Books, 1902-1911	13
	125	Teller's Cash Book, September 1902-February 1904	1
	126-128	Daily Balance Ledgers, 1901-1905	3
	129-133	Individual Account Ledgers, 1906-1911	5
	134-135	Individual Account Balance Ledgers, 1905-1906	2
	136-137	Individual Account Transfer Ledgers, 1906-1911	2
	138	Drafts, Cashiers Checks and Deposits Ledger, 1906-1911	1
	139	Accounts Claimed, Indirect Deposits Ledger, 1910-1911	1
	140-142	Ledgers: Accounts with other Banks, 1906-1912	3
	143	Current Liability Ledger, 1905-1912	1
	144	Transfer Liability Ledger, 1907-1910	1
	145-146	Closed and Transferred Accounts, n.d.	2
	147	Discounted Bills Register, 1901-1908	1
	148-149	Unidentified Accounting Books, 1906-1911	2
	150	Certificate of Deposit Register, 1901-1905	1
	151	General Ledger, 1904-1905	1
	152	Unidentified Journal, January-March 1909	1
	153	Detailed Account of State Bank of Commerce Account with Lane Lumber Company from December 1902 to May 1911	1
	154	Deeds, Mortgages, etc., 1906-1911	22

III. Other Records from Bank of Commerce, 1901-1902

	155-156	Cash Books, April 1901-January 1903	2
	157-158	Counter Books, April 1901-June 1902	2
	159	Debts, January 1902-December 1902	1
	160	Shoshone County Warrants Paid, 1902-1903	1
	161	Journal, April 1901-August 1902	1
	162	Ledger, April 1901-August 1902	1

IV. Non-bank Records, 1890-1897

	163	Town of Wallace Treasurer's Book, 1890-1897	1

July 1997/ mg050.htm

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