Weston Bank Run

Weston Democrat
October 9, 1931

Weston's Lone Bank Weathers Run; Pronounced Safe By Commissioner

State Banking Commissioner Assures People of Safety and Solvency of Citizens Bank. Officials Make Statement.

After two of Weston's banking institutions had closed their doors, the Bank of Weston on Saturday and the National Exchange Bank on the following Friday night, the one remaining financial institution opened its doors on Saturday morning and withstood a run that continued throughout the day.

As the hour for opening approached a sizeable crowd gathered in front of the banking house and waited for the doors to be thrown open. It was an orderly and somewhat considerate group of persons and as the doors to the entrance were opened everyone who desired to enter was permitted to do so. Inside the banking house L. R. Charter, Jr., State Commissioner of Banking made a brief address, assuring his listeners that the remaining bank in Weston was safe and sound in every respect. He stated that the closing of our other banks had no effect whatever upon the condition of the Citizens Bank, an institution that for forty years had conformed to all demands made upon it and had in reality been the pride of his office for many long years. He appealed to the depositors who had come to make demands to be lenient and careful in their actions and asked them to cooperate fully in order to save the one remaining financial institution. He asked instead of withdrawing their funds that the depositors make deposits and go on about their usual affairs and influence their friends by making deposits rather than advising them to demand their money. Then they were advised that they could go to the tellers and receive the usual courteous attention they had always received in the Citizens Bank.

The run continued all day long, but as it progressed it was discovered that all the callers were not withdrawing funds but many were making very substantial deposits. Upon sound authority we learned that when the day was over the bank had received much more in deposits than it had paid out during the day and evening.

Shortly after Mr. Charter made his appeal he posted a written statement in the lobby so all could read. This statement was as follows:

"To the Citizens of Weston and Lewis County:

"For forty years the Citizens Bank of Weston has served the people of this community satisfactorily and well.

"The Citizens Bank of Weston is solvent and is a perfectly safe place in which to deposit money. During its existence it has been able to meet all demands of depositors in the regular transaction of business. It is still able to do this and will continue to do so if the customers continue to transact their business with it in the normal way that they have been accustomed to do. It is necessary for the welfare of the community that the bank be maintained. It is the duty of every patriotic citizen to lend every possible assistance in maintaining the high standing and unbounded confidence which this bank has always enjoyed.

"It is unthinkable that the people of this community should allow this splendid bank to be destroyed by lack of confidence and by idle rumors. We trust that you will continue to support this institution.

L. R. Charter, Jr.,
"Commissioner of Banking for West Virginia."

Monday was a normal day in the Citizens Bank, the excited ones having cooled down, and Tuesday nothing unusual occurred. Both days very substantial deposits were made by individuals and business leaders. These facts are attested to by the officers of this bank which for forty years has been one of the leading financial houses of the state of West Virginia. The people now seem convinced that their funds are absolutely safe in the keeping of the Citizens Bank and realizing the dire necessity of at least one bank it is believed that the thousands of depositors will do everything within their power to maintain the bank and to cooperate to their fullest toward that end. We suggest that they refrain from carrying tales and gossip no matter from what source it is derived. We suggest, too, if they have a mind so to do that they go directly to the officials of the bank and give them their personal assurance of their help and assistance. We know they will appreciate the word.

On Wednesday afternoon the cashier and board of directors met and completed the statement in another column. It is an open, frank, and clear statement and we suggest that you not only read it but take the trouble to see that your neighbors read it. Every individual can do much to safeguard the future of Weston and Lewis county by showing an open spirit of cooperation now, if he will but do that we shall soon return to a normal condition of affairs here in the central part of West Virginia.

Rotary Expresses Confidence

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE ROTARY CLUB OF WESTON, that we have confidence in the integrity of the officials of The Citizens Bank of Weston, and of the solvency of said institution, and that we feel, as business people, that it is up to us to stand firmly to uphold this institution, and,

We further believe that there exists no doubt of the ability of this Bank to maintain its long record for solidarity and solvency, provided it receives the cooperation and fair treatment from its depositors to which, upon every consideration of right, justice and fair dealing, it is entitled.

The above Resolution by unanimous action of the Weston Rotary Club was adopted at its regular meeting of October 5th, 1931.


Officials Make Statement

"In view of the unfortunate closing of two of the banks in Weston, we feel that, in justice to ourselves and to the thousands of our depositors, a statement should be made at this time concerning the condition of this institution.

"We say unqualifiedly and without reservation that The Citizens Bank of Weston is solvent. We make this statement for the purpose of quieting unfounded rumors that have been circulated over the county during the past few days.

"This bank will remain open for business so long as the people of this community desire it that way. Our position is simply this: We are solvent, and have for years enjoyed the confidence of the people generally. This confidence we have tried to merit. Now, if the friends and supporters who have so loyally stood back of us through the years, together with those who have recently become depositors at this bank, will with faith and renewed confidence lend us their support at this critical period, when a great wave of financial hysteria is sweeping over the land, then we say without the slightest hesitation that this bank will continue to serve the people to the same extent it has served them in the past.

"However, we are determined that this institution shall not surrender any of its business and moral principles simply because those who tear down instead of helping to build up go about the country and seek to arouse a state of fear and distrust when there is absolutely no cause or call for it.

"We want to continue to open our doors every day for the benefit of the people of this community. Lewis county must have a financial institution, and we will continue to offer the public every facility at our command for the convenient and safe transaction of all financial business affairs.

"If, however, for lack of confidence, the people of this community set out to destroy this institution, and succeed in tearing down our financial structure which is now and always has been upon a firm foundation, then in no sense of the word can the blame be placed upon our shoulders.

"If our depositors will cooperate in their best way in our effort to keep this bank open for every legitimate banking purpose, then there is no question as to the future.

"Dark as the business life of the entire world may seem at this particular time, we have faith in the future, and we submit this statement to the people generally in the belief that confidence in time will be restored, and that we will receive from our depositors that whole-hearted cooperation which is so necessary if we are to continue to provide this community with banking facilities that will take care of our every need.

Respectfully submitted,


T. A. WHELAN, Cashier
R. H. HALL, President
A. F. WHELAN, Vice President
JOHN A. BARNES, Director
J. E. GRIFFIN, Director
G. L. BLAND, Director

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