You Can Bank On These

Marty Sagendorf grew up in Westport. His family lived here — first on Richmondville, then Washington Avenue — from 1949 to ’75. His father, Bud, drew Popeye for newspapers and comic books.

The other day, while looking through some of his dad’s collections, Martin found bank stock certificates, deposit slips and checks — from the mid-1800s.

A Saugatuck Bank stock certificate, for $100, from 1855.

A Saugatuck Bank stock certificate for $100, from 1855.

They look a lot more serious — and confidence-inspiring — than the flimsy deposit slips and rainbow-colored, cat-festooned checks we use today.

Saugatuck Bank deposit slip for $25, from 1856.

A Saugatuck Bank deposit slip for $25, from 1856.

The names of the financial institutions — Saugatuck Bank, 1st National Bank of Westport — draw us back to a time when bank presidents (with names like Horace Staples) were pillars of the community.

When you secured a loan with a handshake.

And when — to use Westport Bank & Trust’s slogan — our town was filled with hometown banks, in a town of homes.

A $125 bank check, from First National Bank of Westport to Fourth National Bank of New York.

A $125 bank check, from First National Bank of Westport to Fourth National Bank of New York.

What’s in your wallet?

Or attic.

18 responses to “You Can Bank On These

  1. Banks are no longer the pillars of community they are the worst part and the enemy of any community. The greed of todays banksters is appalling. Westport has had many Investment Bankers that made fabulous incomes but they made their bets with their own money… now they bet crazy knowing their buddies in DC will bail them out. I hear Corzine is looking at a big place in Fairfield County, such a stand-up guy.

    • What a quaint Marxist rant. Not OK to bail out the banks, but it is OK to bail out GM and make crony loans to failing alternative energy companies so they can pay their executives large bonuses. Maybe the government should stay out of the business of trying to regulate markets.

    • Westport Delight

      Ooohhh, but it’s okay for the government to use taxpayer dollars to bet on “clean energy” such as the bankrupt Solyndra… Ah-ha. Gotcha. That makes SO MUCH sense!

      • see above

        • You realize the current administration was funded by all of these greedy bankers, right? And then Obama turned around and took away their well-earned income. Oops. Good job, bankers.

          • ‘You realize the current administration was funded by all of these greedy bankers, right?” Yes
            “And then Obama turned around and took away their well-earned income.” Not sure what you mean… O is still the best thing that has ever happened to the Bankers… Bush was Bush and we were hoping for a change. O just continued and allowed the Morgan and Goldman boys rape and pillage the taxpayers.

            • No one forced the government to bail out anybody. It was a choice.

              • Really… What dream world do you live in. The foxes were in the hen house and Obamas inexperience created a perfect storm and he didn’t have a clue what was going on. Timmy and crew opened the doors of the taxpayers wallets to save his buddies and their paychecks.

                • Compo Old Timer

                  But it doesn’t change the point that they did, in fact, have a choice. Just like they did with the automakers. What I find more ironic is Obama’s declaration to crack down on Wall Street and the banks when it is he who bailed them out and depends on many of them for his donations. Those guys must feel like used rags. Right? I couldn’t even imagine.

                  • For that kind of $ you can threaten and call me all the names you want… Talk is cheap and I now see we are saying the ame thing. They saw an inexperienced guy with no real understanding of how the economy works and with his blessings nailed the American taxpayers to cover all their losses. What a scam… and where is Corzines jet parked today?

                • No one was forced to bail out anyone. Nothing you posted changes that fact.

            • Compo Old Timer

              I believe “WC” is referring to his war on the upper class (higher taxes).

              • I’ll give you lots and you pay me back a smidge. I’ll take that deal everyday.

  2. You didn’t tell us the punch line. Were they worth anything? I was ready for a story of discovery of hidden treasure that leads to sudden wealth.

  3. U. Zooelly N. Trouble

    Why would I tell you what’s in my wallet, Danno? You’d just post it on the internet for everyone to see and steal my identity. Wait!!! that can’t happen to me!!! My wallet is in worse shape than the US Treasury. So post away Danno. No one in their right mind would steal my identity, except maybe Estelle (to prove how easy it is).

    • Westport Delight

      And she’d probably steal it with a BB gun pointed to your head, at the very least.

  4. Steve Crowley

    Hi Dan Who do we contact to buy these certificates? Thank you

    Sent from my iPad