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The First National Bank of Montour was an early fixture in west Tama County

Part I

February 16, 2020
By Joyce Wiese - Special to Tama County newspapers , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Editor's Note: Interest in the Montour bank surfaced recently when a $20 bill issued by the bank surfaced on the internet auction site eBay.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta says "paper currency no longer in circulation includes national bank notes, which national banks, were issued from 1863 to 1935.

Brought to the attention of local historian and retired Chronicle reporter Joyce Wiese, she compiled this history of the Montour bank.

Article Photos

The appearance of this $20 bill on the internet auction site eBay prompted interest in the National Bank of Montour resulting in the history of the area which goes along with it.

-Pt I-

To tell the story of the First National Bank of Montour I feel it necessary to go back to the early years to the beginning of the town of Montour. It started with three little villages, Indiantown, Butlerville and Pleasant Hill, a couple of miles north and west of today's Montour. These three little towns, settled in the 1850's, and grew rapidly as people came west. Home, small businesses were soon appearing. Soon they had a mill, a stagecoach hotel, doctor, blacksmith shop, post office, drug store, grocery store, piano tuner, and many other businesses, as well as the starting of the Congregational Church being held in homes. A 10 ft x 12 ft school house was built and immediately filled.

The area continued to grow until the early 1860's when rumors began to start about a railroad going through from east to west. They soon found the railroad people decided the hill west of these little towns was too steep to build a railroad track for steam engines. Therefore they decided to build the railroad track about two miles south east of this area. Hence the beginning of Orford, later being named Montour.

In 1863 when it was decided the Cedar Rapids & Missouri railroad (later called the Chicago & Northwestern) was pushing through the eastern part of Tama County, two men with visions of the future, Miron Kellogg and Phineas Helm, purchased a few acres in Section 21 of Indian Village Township, and laid out lots and blocks. They called this Orford. Due to the mixup of the postal department between Oxford and Orford , the name was changed to Montour.

Story continues next week



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