First National Bank of Oregon (Portland) early history, 1941  PDF

Overview of the Collection

First National Bank of Oregon.First National Bank of Portland (Portland, Or.).
First National Bank of Oregon (Portland) early history
0.025 linear feet, (1 folder)
Collection Number
A 242
The First National Bank of Oregon (Portland) was chartered in 1865 by Portland merchants and citizens; it was the only national bank in Oregon at that time, and the first on the West Coast. The collection contains a written history of the early years of the bank.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

"On July 4, 1865, a group of merchants and civic-minded Portlanders banded together and applied for a national bank charter under the name “First National Bank of Oregon.” After months of waiting, the group found out that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) had modified their application with a name of “First National Bank of Portland.” The OCC believed the “Oregon” name too general and that it might confuse creditors as to the bank’s physical location. Within months, the bank had national bank notes with its name and 1553 charter number on-hand to circulate in the local community."

"First National Bank of Portland was the only national bank in Oregon until another was chartered in 1882. Even after competition blossomed, First National grew to be the largest bank in Oregon. It was known as a conservatively run bank, with regional correspondents in nearly all communities throughout the State."

"In 1930, First National Bank of Portland became the cornerstone holding of A.P. Giannini’s start at building an interstate banking network - Transamerica - long before others saw the need. With Giannini’s support, First National Bank of Portland continued an amazing growth trend, through acquisitions and new branch openings, even during the depth of the Great Depression."

"In 1981, the old “First National” freshened up its name as First Interstate Bank of Oregon, N.A., part of a uniform banking franchise that spanned eleven western states. Fifteen years later, First Interstate Bank of Oregon would cede its banking charter as part of FIB’s merger with Wells Fargo."

[Source: Wells Fargo Blog, "Guided by History," in a post titled, "The First National Bank on the Pacific Coast."]

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains a written history of the early years of the bank, 1965-1869. The history was prepared in 1941 by a committee appointed by the board of directors of the bank. Board members were C. F. Adams, C. B. Stephenson, and Burt Brown Barker.

The history is a carbon copy of the original, and totals ninety pages.

The history was written in conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of the bank. The history includes an explanation of the committee, its members, where they found the historical resources they used, and what the resources were. In addition to informing readers the early history of the back, there is a section that explains how Corbett and Failing "got control" of the bank in 1869.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], First National Bank of Oregon (Portland) early history, A 242, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Banks and banking
  • Banks and banking--Oregon
  • Banks and banking--Oregon--Portland
  • Corporate Names :
  • First National Bank of Oregon.
  • First National Bank of Portland (Portland, Or.).
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Histories