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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
(1958)

The 1930's,   pp. 109-[122] PDF (3.0 MB)


Page 110


A HISTORY OF NEENAH
late October, 1929, the securities market jiggered rapidly downward,
until the 1930's opened in an atmosphere of economic confusion.
  By 1932 we were at the bottom of the deepest depression of all time,
and few there were who escaped injury.
  Franklin D. Roosevelt was chosen President in November 193-2,
defeating Herbert Hoover. The months between election and inaugu-
ration of the new president on Saturday, March 4, 1933, were filled with
fear and apprehension. Mr. Roosevelt's first official act on Monday
morning, March 6, was declaration of the bank holiday. The morato-
rium lasted seven days for Federal Reserve Banks. Banks throughout
the nation, found to be in sound condition, reopened as soon thereafter
as the federal survey could be completed.
  Neenah's two National banks opened on Wednesday, March     .
The Neenah State Bank opened on a restricted basis, but later de-
cided to liquidate. It is said with pride, however, that all depositors
eventually received payment in full, stockholders recovered all special
assessment leveled against them, and, in addition, were reimbursed
for part, but not all, of their original investment.
  The nine days of the bank holiday were lived as in a vacuum. Like
electric current and our city water, we come to take for granted the
service of our banks. Not until the supply of currency was suddenly
turned off did we fully realize the vital part that banks play in our day-
to-day living.
  When a man couldn't cash his pay check or secure money to buy
food or a railway ticket, it brought home to citizens of that day how
interdependent we are.
  Opening of the local banks on March j5 marked the return of faith
and confidence in our banking system, and that faith has never wa-
vered during the quarter century that has elapsed.
The Pickards Come to Town
  Again we note a beneficent by-product of a trying experience. It
was during 193 i, when the economic clouds were hanging low, that
the Directors of the National Manufacturers' Bank invited S. N.
(Sam) Pickard, then with the First National Bank of Ripon, to associ-
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