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Banks in Woonsocket

As industry grew in Woonsocket, so did the need for banks and other financial institutions to meed the needs of mill owners and workers.

Old Post Office On Main Street from an 1860's photo (Woonsocket Library Histotoical Collection) The first bank to be located in what is now the City of Woonsocket was the Woonsocket Falls Bank which was incorporated in 1828. By 1836, the bank was located on the second floor of the Post Office next to the Ballou Mill on Main Street. The bank's first President was Dexter Ballou. He was succeeded by Lyman Cook. In 1865, the bank changed its name to the Woonsocket National Bank and, two years later, relocated to the Cook Block across the street from the present City Hall on Main Street. By the turn of the century, Woonsocket was the major financial center in northern Rhode Island. Other banks located in the city included the National Globe Bank, Citizens National Bank, First National Bank, National Union Bank and the Producers National Bank.

Wonnsocket Institute for Savings Building on Main Street With the patronage of thousands of city residents, savings banks also played an important role in the business affairs of Woonsocket. The oldest savings bank in Woonsocket was the Woonsocket Institution for Savings which was incorporated in 1849. Its first President was Willis Cook. In 1875, Aram Pothier was offered a position at the Woonsocket Institution for Savings. He worked hard to learn all facets of the banking business becoming a teller in 1889, Vice President in 1909 and President in 1913. In 1926, the bank built its beautiful building on Main Street across from City Hall which still stands today. Other savings banks in Woonsocket included the Citizens Savings Bank, People Savings Bank, Producers Savings Bank and Mechanics Savings Bank.

My presentation at the Museum of Work and Culture Thanks to the for featuring my presentation on the History of Banking in Woonsocket.

History of Banking in Woonsocket pdf (PDF: 334KB, 16 Pages)

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This page utilizes information from:

  • History of Providence County Rhode Island edited by Richard M. Bayles and published by W. W. Peston & Co., New York, 1891

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