Cashiers’ Manuscript Letter Copy Books for the Ilion Bank, Herkimer County, New York, 1853, 1856, and 1859

Three Volumes, quarto, Manuscript Letter Copy Books containing 1525 pp., with approximately 1500 business letters of four different cashiers for the Ilion Bank, of Ilion, Herkimer County, New York, dated between 1 April 1853 and 7 September 1859. The Ilion Bank, had as its president the arms manufacturer, Eliphalet Remington, who was the bank’s president from the time of its founding in 1852 to his death in 1861.

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The letters, in the present volumes, were written by four different cashiers of the bank: Robert H. Pomeroy (1853), John A. Rasbach (1856), H. H. Devendorf (1856 and 1859), and Floyd C. Shepard (1859). The letter copy books contain the day to day business correspondence and reflects the activities of the bank, in the letters the cashier writes to various individuals and other banks, about their returning bank notes for collection, or about sending them their own drafts on their bank, and the various business transactions and activities of the bank including mortgages, claims, requesting cash, the printing of paper notes for the bank, etc.

           The three volumes are as follows:

1853 –  393 pp. of business letters, each generally one page in length, dated 1 April 1853 to 4 November 1853, bound in quarter leather (suede), cloth covered boards, index in front, but not used, spine, tips, corners, and edges worn, paper label on front board, text good, written in legible hand, some letters faded, but most are easily readable.

1856  – 744 pp. of business letters, each generally one page, dated 12 February 1856 to 1 December 1856, bound in quarter leather (suede), cloth covered boards, index in front, but not used, spine, tips, corners, and edges worn, text good, text block almost detached from binding, paper label on front board, written in legible hand, some letters faded, but most clearly readable.

1859 – 388 pp. business letters, generally one page letters, dated 5 February 1859 to 7 September 1859, bound in quarter leather (suede), cloth covered boards, paper label on front board, 16 pp. index at rear, spine, tips, corners and edges worn, text good, written in legible hand, some letters faded, but mostly readable.

           Ilion Bank (1852-1866)

In 1852 the Ilion Bank began operations under New York State banking laws, with a capital of $100,000. The first directors were arms manufacturer Eliphalet Remington, Benjamin Carver, Benjamin P. Markham, John P. Sill, George Tuckerman, Vose Palmer, John Ingersoll, Alonzo Wood, Henry L. Green, Peter H. Warren, and attorney John A. Rasbach.

Eliphalet Remington (1793-1861) was elected the Ilion Bank’s first president. Remington is known for the arms manufactory that he founded. He designed the Remington rifle and founded what is now known as the Remington Arms Co., L.L.C. The company was known originally known as E. Remington followed by E. Remington & Son and then finally E. Remington and Sons. Remington was the first president of the Ilion Bank in 1852 and remained president until he died in 1861, succeeded by George Tuckerman.

John Ingersoll was the bank’s first vice-president; Robert H. Pomeroy was the bank’s first cashier. The successive cashiers after Pomeroy were Frank Carver, Le Roy Tuttle, John A. Rasbach, H. H. Devendorf, and Floyd C. Shepard. The bank suspended business in 1866, paying all of its liabilities in full. The cashiers who wrote the letters in this collection are John H. Pomeroy (1856), John A. Rasbach (1856), H. H. Devendorf (1856 and 1859), and Floyd C. Shephard (1859).

Robert H. Pomeroy was the first cashier of the Ilion Bank. He was also involved in organizing the Mohawk Gaslight Company, which was organized October 3, 1860, and acted as treasurer for the company. At a later date the company was consolidated with the works at Ilion, a new company formed called the Ilion and Mohawk Gaslight Company. After the consolidation the works were located about half a mile east of Ilion and both villages were supplied with gas. Pomeroy committed suicide in 1867 by taking poison. At the time he had recently left the Mohawk Valley National Bank as its cashier. A heavy defalcation had been discovered, but a letter left by Pomeroy stated he was innocent and that the bank had been robbed since he left it.

After Pomeroy left Ilion Bank, he was replaced by Frank Carver as cashier, and after Carver left, Le Roy Tuttle (1821-1894) took over as cashier. He was born in Columbus, New York, and was a banker in Cooperstown. He later removed to Ilion where he became connected with the Ilion Bank as its cashier once Pomeroy left. Tuttle later moved to Nebraska and was one of the founders of the Western Exchange Fire & Marine Insurance Co., and later acted as assistant treasurer of the United States and in 1886 was acting treasurer of the United States.

John A. Rasbach replaced Leroy Tuttle as the cashier of the Ilion Bank when Tuttle went west to Nebraska. Rasbach was formerly a prominent attorney of Ilion. He was a great-grandson of a Palatine settler, Johannes Rasbach, who located about a mile east of Fort Dayton in 1726. John A. Rasbach was born May 9, 1805; worked on a farm, taught school, and was a merchant in Herkimer, and was also postmaster and justice of the peace for about twelve years. During this time, he read law and was admitted to the Bar in 1841. In 1852 he bought a farm near Ilion and moved there, where he became an active factor in the progress of that section, particularly in railroad operations. He died at his home in Ilion.

H. H. Devendorf replaced Rasbach in November 1857 as cashier of Ilion Bank. He was   treasurer of the Syracuse Mutual Gymnasium when it was organized in 1852. He was previously cashier of the Chittenango Bank of Chittenango, New York.

Floyd C. Shepard, of German Flats, was a native of Otsego County, born September 21, 1824. After clerking and being engaged in mercantile business for some years he came to Ilion as teller of the Ilion Bank and was subsequently made cashier in February 1859, replacing Devendorf, which position he held until 1866 when the bank closed. He was county treasurer one term, from 1863 to 1866. He was with the Remington’s as a financial manager for twenty years

After the Ilion Bank closed in 1867, the Ilion National Bank and Trust Company was organized the same year. Floyd C. Shepard, who was the cashier of Ilion Bank at the time it closed, became a cashier at Ilion National Bank.