Banking and Business

Entrance to the Banking exhibit

Step inside the late 1800s replica bank to experience the history of banking on the High Plains.

This exhibit defines three important periods in national banking history, the National Banking Act of 1863, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the Banking Act of 1933.

Through documents and articfacts the exhibit explains the reality of banking from the Open Range Era to the 1930s.

Entrance to the Banking exhibit

In the east, Federal laws established a national banking system and standardized currency but at the beginning of the open range era there were no banks on the High Plains and livestock transactions involved everything from a handshake sealing a deal that payment would be made at some point in the future, credit obtained at double digit interest rates and sales paid for with gold, silver or bank notes carried to the transaction site in a money belt.

Before banks were established, mercantiles filled the void at many cattle shipping points. Most had strong boxes or safes which provided security and convenience for stock transactions dealing with large sums of money.

Entrance to the Banking exhibit

History of cattlemen and banking from 'wildcat banks' to the commission man.

Entrance to the Banking exhibit

The exhibit features a teller gate that was original to the First National Bank of Chadron at the turn of the 20th century, several telegrams and correspondence items from banks to ranches, as well as historical banking documents.

Entrance to the Banking exhibit

Currency Collection: 1863 to 1934

Entrance to the Banking exhibit

Display of bank correspondence, checks and early letterheads.