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January 29, 2013

NEW ALBANY BICENTENNIAL: Early banking

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

Other banks emerged, including the Bank of Salem (1857) and the New Albany Banking Co. (1877). After their charters expired, many of the businesses joined with other banks, or decided to form a new renamed bank altogether. 

In fact, due in part to the National Banking Act, the Second State Bank merged with the First National Bank of New Albany in 1863. 

With the nationalization of the banks and the monetary system, the United States forced local institutions to adopt a common domestic currency. Before, each bank produced its own notes and bonds. 

President Abraham Lincoln, a proponent of the act, believed a shared national identity would help the fractured nation regain its harmony after the chaos the Civil War had inflicted.

Financial institutions in New Albany have mostly flourished since their inception. And despite calamities such as bank runs, panics and the Great Depression, banks and their branches can be found throughout the city employing residents and providing services that would most likely astound their pioneer predecessors. 

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series about the people and events that have shaped the 200-year history of New Albany. Read all installments by clicking on the bicentennial link under the “seasonal content” header at newsandtribune.com

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