Plankinton Bank Records, 1866-1907

Summary Information
Title: Plankinton Bank Records
Inclusive Dates: 1866-1907

  • Plankinton Bank (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Call Number: Milwaukee Mss K

Quantity: 13.0 c.f. (27 archives boxes and 82 volumes)

Archival Locations:
UW-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives / Milwaukee Area Research Ctr. (Map)

Business and financial records of a leading Milwaukee bank from its organization in 1887 under the presidency of John Plankinton until its insolvency on June 1, 1893, under the presidency of Frederick T. Day, and for the ten years under the administrations of several assignees (including William Plankinton, Irving M. Bean, and Henry Herman) following insolvency. The bank closed following the loss of loans made to Frank A. Lappen & Company, a run on deposits, and a failure to reorganize and attract large investors. Records for 1866-1893 include ledgers of various types, registers of foreign items dispatched, correspondence, and other records. For the years after June, 1893, the papers relate to the operations of the several assignees, including assignments, court testimony and miscellaneous legal papers relating to litigation in Milwaukee County Circuit Court concerning the affairs of the bank, and assignee letter books.

Language: English

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The Plankinton Bank was organized under the laws of Wisconsin early in 1887, with a capital of $200,000, with John Plankinton as president, Frederick T. Day as vice president, and J. P. Murphy as cashier. The original list of Milwaukeeans who were stockholders in the bank, with the amounts of their stock subscriptions, included John Plankinton, $43,500; Frederick T. Day, $63,000; William Plankinton, $10,000; F. W. Noyes, $10,000; A. K. Hamilton, $10,000; James H. Thompson, $5,000; C. E. Lewis, $7,500; J. G. Jenkins, $6,500; J. P. Murphy, Roswell Miller, Charles J. Cary, and S. A. Fields, each $5,000; William H. Momsen, $1,500; and A. A. L. Smith, $1,000. Out-of-city holders of stock were P. D. Armour of Chicago, H. O. Armour of New York City, A. F. Leopold of Chicago, and J. A. Kimberly of Neenah, each with $5,000, and the A. G. Rising estate, $2,000.

The bank first opened for business on February 7, 1887, and was said to have obtained a large line of mercantile deposits and time savings accounts, the latter attracted by the high rate of four per cent interest. The bank also carried on a large collection business.

On the death of John Plankinton in 1891, Frederick T. Day was elected president of the bank, and at the same time he increased his holdings of stock to $96,000, and William Plankinton and the Plankinton estate reduced the amount of stock which they held in the institution. Judge Jenkins and William H. Momsen slightly increased their holdings, while Thompson, Lewis, Murphy, Miller, Smith, Hamilton, P. D. Armour, Leopold, Kimberly, and Rising withdrew entirely. William Sanderson, C. L. Clausen, E. S. Elliott, M. Grigsby, Mary Thompson, and Joseph Moody were new stockholders taken into the firm. In January 1893 the institution was reorganized, and at the same time W. H. Momsen succeeded Murphy as cashier.

The immediate cause of the failure of the bank was the long line of loans made to Frank A. Lappen & Company, totaling $250,000 -- more than the capital stock of the bank. Frank A. Lappen & Company was organized in 1888 as the Lappen House Furnishing Company, and in 1889 was reorganized as Frank A. Lappen & Company. The store was located at 317-327 Grand Avenue, and the Lappen Furniture Company, another of the business firms of which Frank A. Lappen and his brother Owen Lappen, Jr. were the principal owners was located at 407-411 East Water Street. On May 12, 1893, the sheriff took possession of both stores, and the general opinion seemed to be that Mr. Frank A. Lappen, the active manager of the business, had extended his operations beyond his capital resources. Claims filed up to the evening of the day of the closing of the stores aggregated $375,000.

At the same time that a series of apparently unwise and large loans were made to the Lappen companies, President Day was listed as a borrower from the bank to a total of about $300,000, and there were said to be two or three other large borrowers. The bank survived the run on it which began on May 14, 1893 as a result of the failure of the Lappen companies, but efforts to reorganize the bank and interest other large investors failed to materialize. The bank closed its doors on June 1, 1893. William Plankinton was immediately appointed as assignee, and was eventually succeeded by Irving M. Bean, who was followed by Henry Herman.

Scope and Content Note

This collection includes records from the bank's organization in 1887 through ten years of administration by assignees following insolvency in 1893. In the material for the years up to June, 1893, are numerous series of business records, including volumes of registers of foreign items dispatched; various ledgers, registers, and journals; and letterbooks. The correspondence covers the years 1866-1907 and is arranged chronologically by years.

For the years after June, 1893, the papers relate to the operations of the several assignees, including assignments, court testimony, and miscellaneous assignees, including assignments, court testimony, and miscellaneous legal papers relating to litigation in Milwaukee County circuit court concerning the affairs of the bank. Boxes 18-20 of the collection contains a 300-page “Inventory of Documents” which relates to these legal cases.

Administrative/Restriction Information
Acquisition Information

Presented by the Wisconsin Fidelity Trust & Safe Deposit Company, through the courtesy of Howard Greene, circa 1905.

Processing Information

Processed by AHM, November 24, 1964.

Contents List
Box   23
3, 5-7, 14-17, 20-24
Box   24
26, 27, 48, 56, 57, 59, 61, 65
Box   25
Box   26
Box   27
Box   1
Box   2
Box   3
1892-1893 April
Box   4
1893 May 1-10
Box   5
1893 May 11-20
Box   6
1893 May 21-December
Box   7
Box   8
1900 January-June
Box   9
1900 July-December
Box   10
Box   11
Box   12-13
Undated (mainly legal papers)
Testimony and Legal Papers
Box   14-15
Objections of Creditors to the Administration of William Plankinton
Box   16-17
Lands in Various States and Schlesinger Acceptances
Box   18-20
Inventory of Documents; Spence and Foley; Henry H. Herman vs. F. Schlesinger; Milwaukee Brass and Copper Works
Box   21-22
Clearing House Matter; Benedict Company Matter; F. A. Lappen and Co.; Grigsby Litigation
Register of Foreign Items, Dispatched
Volume   1
1890 October-1891 August
Volume   2
1890 July-1891 January
Volume   3
1891 January-July
Volume   4
1891 July-1892 February
Volume   5
1892 February-September
Volume   6
1892 September-1893 February
Volume   7
1893 February-May
New York and Chicago
Volume   8
1889 July-1890 January
Volume   9
New York and Chicago, 1890 February-July
Volume   10
1890 February-October
New York
Volume   11
1891 August-1892 June
Volume   12
1892 June-1893 May
Volume   15
1888 December-1889 July
Volume   13
1889 July-1891 April
Volume   14
1891 April-1892 September
Volume   16
Sundries, 1892 September-1893 May
Volume   17
No. 1, 1887 February-1889 August
Volume   18
No. 2, 1889 August-1891 June
Volume   19
No. 3, 1891 June-1893 February
Volume   20
No. 4, 1893 February-1893 May
Volume   21
1887 February-1890 April
Volume   22
1890 April-1892 April
Volume   23
1892 April-1894 March
General Ledger
Volume   24
No. 1, 1887 February-1889 February
Volume   25
No. 2, 1889 March-1890 March
Volume   26
No. 3, 1890 April-1891 June
Volume   27
No. 4, 1890 April-1892 November
Volume   28
Daily Balance Ledger, no. 1, 1887 February-1888 April
Individual Ledger
Volume   29
No. 2, 1888 January-1889 January
Volume   30
No. 3, A-L, 1889 January-December
Volume   31
No. 3, M-Z, 1889 January-December
Volume   32
No. 4, A-L, 1889 December-1890 October
Volume   33
No. 4, M-Z, 1889 December-1890 October
Volume   34
No. 5, A-L, 1890 October-1891 October
Volume   35
No. 5, M-Z, 1890 October-1891 October
Volume   36
No. 6, A-L, 1891 October-1892 September
Volume   37
No. 6, M-Z, 1891 October-1892 September
Volume   38
No. 7, A-L, 1892 October-1893 May
Volume   39
No. 7, M-Z, 1892 October-1893 May
Volume   40
Index, Individual Ledger
Volume   41
No. 2
Volume   42
No. 3
Volume   43
No. 4
Volume   44
No. 5
Volume   45
No. 6
Volume   46
No. 7
City Collections
Volume   47
No. 1, 1887 February-1889 December
Volume   48
No. 2, 1889 December-1892 May
Volume   49
No. 3, 1892 June-1893 June
Volume   50
Ledger, Savings Department, 1890 October-1893 My
Volume   51
Ledger B, Savings Department, 1892 August-1893 May
Bills Discounted Ledger
Volume   52
No. 1, 1887 February-1889 August
Volume   53
No. 2, 1889 August-1890 November
Volume   54
No. 3, 1888 August-1894 May
Foreign Collections
Volume   55
No. 2, 1889 April-1891 February
Volume   56
No. 3, 1891 February-1892 September
Volume   57
No. 4, 1892 September-1893 May
Exchange Register
Volume   58
No. 1, 1887 February-November
Volume   59
No. 2, 1887 November-1888 June
Volume   60
No. 3, 1888 June-December
Individual Discount Ledger
Volume   61
No. 1, 1887 May-1889 October
Volume   62
No. 2, 1889 July-1890 November
Volume   63
No. 3, 1890 Nove-1893 October
Notarial Record, J.B. Murphy
Volume   65
1887 March-1891 July
Volume   64
1891 April-1892 December
Volume   66
Memoranda, 1887 February-1892 April
Volume   67
Messengers Items, 1890 January-1891 December
Volume   68
Certificates of Deposit, 1887 February-1893 June
Volume   69
Register of Foreign Exchange, 1889 April-1891 April
Volume   70-71
Lists of Creditors of the Plankinton Bank
Volume   72
Stock Certificate Book, 1887 February-1892 December
Volume   73
Stock Ledger, 1887 February-1892 December
Volume   74
Drafts Drawn, 1888 July-1890 January
Letter Books
Volume   75
Assignee Irving K. Bean, 1899 July-1900 January
Volume   76
Assignee Henry Herman, 1900 January-1901 August
Volume   77
Assignee, 1901 August-1902 and C. D. Kendrick, 1885 November-1887 August
Volume   78
C. D. Kendrick, 1888 November-1893 June
Volume   79
J. B. Murphy, 1888 November-1890 August
Volume   80
J. B. Murphy, 1890 July-1891 September
Volume   81
J. B. Murphy, 1891 October-1893 January
Volume   82
Cashiers Letter Book, Wm. H. Momsen and Wm. Plankinton, 1893 January-June