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Encyclopedia Dubuque



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COMMERCIAL NATIONAL BANK. The bank was organized on April 11, 1871 and located at 92 Main Street. Officers of the bank included R.E. GRAVES and Henry L. STOUT.

The Commercial National Bank Of Dubuque issued 2,400 sheets of $1 original series national bank notes. A print range between 1,000 and 2,500 is small. Some notes had a red charter number, others do not. Some had red serial numbers and some had blue serial numbers. Some were printed on white paper and others are printed on paper with a slight blue tint. (1)

The bank printed 2,400 sheets of $2 original series national bank notes. All $2 bills printed before 1875 are very rare. Most survivors represent the only known example for that bank. Collectors call these $2 bills "lazy deuces". The large two on the face of the bill was pictured horizontally making it look lazy. (2)

There were also 5,400 sheets printed of $5 original series national bank notes. Each five dollar original series bank note had a spiked red seal, the only design difference between it and later issues. The back of each note has a vignette of the state seal. (3)

The Commercial National Bank Of Dubuque also printed 2,780 sheets of $1 series of 1875 national bank notes. Hundreds of banks had sheet outputs between 2,500 and 5,000--typical for a medium sized national bank in the 1870s. Series of 1875 one dollar first charter national bank notes were only printed between 1875 and 1878, the shortest production period of any national bank note. (4)

A total of 2,780 sheets of $2 series of 1875 national bank notes were also printed by the bank. (5) The Commercial National Bank Of Dubuque printed 10,533 sheets, a high issue number for a national bank, of $5 series of 1875 national bank notes. (6)

The Commercial National Bank closed its doors March 20, 1888 with $444,059 due to depositors. The total liabilities were $518,310. Certain members of the bank had withdrawn large sums.

E. P. Welles, of Clinton, was appointed receiver. He charged violations of the law by the bank officials and on that ground asked for the forfeiture of its charter; he also charged that false statements had been made. In the end the bank paid about 70 cents on the dollar.




1. "Old Money from the Commercial Bank of Dubuque," Online: http://www.antiquemoney.com/national-bank-notes/iowa/old-money-from-the-commercial-national-bank-of-dubuque-1801/

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

"Butchers, Bankers, and Cabinet Makers," Booklet accompanying the Robert Reding exhibit at the OLD JAIL 2007-2010

Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-21-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml