Capital National Bank records, 1851-1926  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Capital National Bank (Salem, Or.); First National Bank of Salem (Salem, Or.)
Capital National Bank records
1851-1926 (inclusive)
1880-1926 (bulk)
112.5 linear feet, (61 containers, 238 volumes)  :  29 record storage boxes, 31 manuscript boxes, 1 clamshell box, 238 volumes
Collection Number
Bx 198
Founded by John Henry Albert and R. S. Wallace in 1885, the Capital National Bank was a prominent financial institution in Salem, Oregon. The collection consists of corporate records, correspondence, financial statements, administrative files, miscellaneous files, accounting and bookkeeping volumes, photographs, and three copper printer's cuts.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Access Restrictions

UNARRANGED COLLECTION. UNAVAILABLE FOR USE. For more information, please submit a Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections .

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

The Capital National Bank of Salem, Oregon, was founded by John Henry Albert (1839-1920) and R. S. Wallace (1849-1891) on November 23, 1885. It ranked second, both in age and assets, after the well-known Ladd & Bush Bank of Salem, and was responsible for financing Salem's first bridge and fire engines, among other ventures.

John Henry Albert served as cashier and manager of the new bank, while R. S. Wallace, co-founder and bank president for a number of years, remained occupied primarily with running his farming business. Albert, who arrived in Salem in 1865 to work for G. W. Gray & Company, gained his banking experience by serving in various positions, including that of cashier, the with Ladd & Bush Bank.

In addition to R. S. Wallace, bank presidents included Dr. William A. Cusick, John Henry Albert (1898), Albert's son-in-law George F. Rodgers (1920), and Daniel J. Frey, who took over after Rodger's death in 1920.

In 1923, Capital National Bank became the First National Bank of Salem; it merged with the Salem Bank of Commerce in 1929, creating merged assets of $3,113,496 and deposits of $2,634,188.

John Henry Albert's son, Joseph Holman Albert, also served with the bank for many years, primarily as cashier. Much of the correspondence and material in the collection is connected with these two Alberts, their family affairs, and associated businesses.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of corporate records, correspondence, financial statements, administrative files, miscellaneous files, accounting and bookkeeping volumes, and photographs.

The corporate records consist of a single minute book which appears to record the first four meeting of the Board of Directors of the bank, in 1885 and 1886. Unfortunately, no other minutes are included.

Correspondence comprises the bulk of the collection. The first section contains cashier's outgoing correspondence arranged alphabetically in letterpress copybooks for the years 1885-1918. In some cases, these volumes include correspondence for other businesses, such as Vol. 2's section devoted to the R. S. Wallace Company. Personal and other business correspondence of John Henry Albert, Joseph Holman Albert, and Wallace appears throughout the bank's correspondence files. From 1918, correspondence exists in carbon sheets which are filed alphabetically by the name of the correspondent within each year. Incoming correspondence from 1903 to 1925 follows.

Next in the collection are several letters exchanged with correspondent banks, housed in letterboxes which were apparently part of the bank's original filing system. The first series, correspondence with other Oregon banks, has letters filed alphabetically under the name of the Oregon town in which the bank is located. This section is followed by three different sections of correspondence with out-of-state banks, which sometimes overlap each other in terms of years and bank contacts. Each of these sections is arranged first by state, then city, then name of the bank. The second of these sections is the most extensive and includes reports, publications, and specific forms of financial and economic data.

The final section of correspondence, entitled "Miscellaneous Letters" by the bank, is an accumulation of business correspondence, foreign business correspondence, contacts with government agencies and departments, and some bills, receipts, and letters regarding business purchases. These materials are in the bank's original letter file boxes. They are grouped by content, but otherwise left as the bank itself arranged them.

Following correspondence is a series of bank financial statements, first for Oregon banks, and then for out-of-state banks. These are filed alphabetically by town, and then bank name.

Administrative files consist of a series of files with information regarding contacts with state and federal agencies. These files are slim and appear not to have been heavily used.

Miscellaneous files complete the loose papers section of the collection. These materials were most often found in letterpress or accounting volumes between pages, or housed loose in storage cartons. These files include letters, receipts, mortgage agreements, deeds, financial statements, and reports, some from Capital National Bank, but many from other businesses. Two unsorted boxes of files from the Gray and White Publishing Company comprise boxes 60 and 61. There are also multiple records, termed "unidentified firm records", which give no clear indication of the identity of the business to which they belonged. Some may be part of Capital National Bank records and files, others probably originated with other businesses.

Accounting and bookkeeping volumes begin with the records of Capital National Bank. They include "bills receivable" from 1885 to 1919, cash books from 1885 to 1909, daily balances from 1885 to 1921, and general ledgers from 1886 to 1898 and 1909 to 1921. There are a few miscellaneous, supplementary records included with these records. There is also a small section of volumes containing the account book, letterpress book, stub book, and bank insurance policies of Joseph Homan Albert.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and 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 and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Capital National Bank records, Bx 198, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donated by State Library of Oregon, 1979.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Banks and banking--Oregon--Salem

Personal Names

  • Albert, John Henry
  • Albert, John Henry
  • Albert, Joseph Holman
  • Albert, Joseph Holman
  • Wallace, R.S.
  • Wallace, R.S.

Corporate Names

  • Capital National Bank (Salem, Or.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Account books
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Journals (accounts)