Canton Historical Society


The Neponset Bank

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More than 111 years ago the Neponset Bank, which, with its successor institutions, has served the town of Canton for well over a century, opened its doors for business.

    It was an auspicious time to start for all over the world gigantic forces are awake and stirring. Andrew Jackson was serving the final year of his second term as President of the United States and the era of the common man had been launched in the land. Texas had proclaimed her independence from Mexico not more than two months before forty-eight of Canton's most prominent citizens were petitioning the general Court of the Commonwealth for a special act incorporating the new Neponset Bank. The Battle of the Alamo had made a rousing bid for a Nation's remembrance only a few days before the General Court took favorable action on this petition, Horace Mann signing as President of the Senate. The bank was a mere yearling when a wilful young lady assumed the responsibilities of Empire and, as Queen Victoria, gave Britain a long, prosperous, illustrious and peaceful reign.

    Yes, the times were propitious and the bank opened for business Monday, June 27, 1836 in the Stone Building formerly the School House belonging to District No. 3." The bank started with capitol of $100,000. Its first President was Frederick W. Lincoln and James Dunbar was the first Cashier. The records show that Lincoln gave his services gratuitously, and Dunbar's annual salary, in good banking parlance, ran in the middle three figures. Total expenses in those days must have made the stockholders purr with contentment just as they would have made the collective mouths of today's Internal Revenue fairly drool with anticipation.

    Eleven Directors comprised the first Board. They were:

    Frederick W. Lincoln
    Leonard Hodges
    Leonard Everett
    George H. Mann
    George Downs
    Jonathan Messinger
    Simon Presbrey
    Jonathan Robinson
    Lyman Kinsley
    Zachariah Tucker
    Thomas Tolman

They were conscientious in their attendance, sagacious in their judgement and the bank prospered. On September 15, 1846 it moved to new quarters--"a building near South Canton station lately erected by Dr. Simeon Tucker, consisting of Banking Rooms and dwelling house."

    No mention of either the Mexican or Civil Wars is encountered in the minutes of the Secretary of the Board. War and its aftermath seem to have left the calm of this official and his bank in unruffled serenity. Both disturbances were simply taken in stride. When the National Banking Acts were passed in 1863 and 1864, the Neponset Bank sought and was granted a national charter. It became Neponset National Bank in the latter year and continued to operate under Federal laws until 1916 when it returned to State jurisdiction. Again, the name was changed, this time to Canton Trust Company.

    In January, 1935, Canton Trust Company merged with Boulevard Trust Company of Brookline, Dedham National Bank of Dedham, National Mount Wollaston Bank of Quincy, Needham Trust Company of Needham and Stoughton Trust Company of Stoughton to form Norfolk County Trust Company.

    Deposits at the time of the merger exceeded $14,000,000. Consolidations and, more especially, consistent growth during the past decade have lifted deposits today to a figure in excess of $60,000,000.

    Moreover, in an effort to make its many services more convenient to its rapidly growing clientele, the number of the banks offices has increased from six, at the time of consolidation, to eleven today. They are located in Brookline, Canton, Dedham, Franklin, Needham Heights, Norwood, Quincy, Stoughton, Walpole and East Walpole.

    To each of these communities, Norfolk Trust Company has brought the facilities of an institution with resources exceeding $65,000,000. These services offer great advantages to the individual as well as to the corporation.

    Thousands of people in the bank's territory use some of its three types of checking accounts; thousands likewise, maintain Savings accounts with the bank and again, thousands have availed themselves of the bank's many credit services such as Personal Loans, Consumer Credits, Collateral Loans, Business Loans, Mortgages and the like.

    Norfolk County Trust Company started as a neighborhood bank and it is a neighborhood bank today. It believes that its primary mission is to assist financially in the development of any community of which it is a member. It knows when the community prospers, the bank is sure to grow. This is the conviction that underlies the bank's zealous regard for the preservation of the genuine "neighborhood" atmosphere in all of its offices.

    Faithful adherence to this precept throughout the years has enabled the bank to start with "the small business man", to meet his problems with him and the two to grow up together. Mutual confidence and cooperation have surmounted countless hurdles with the overall result that the community has expanded and prospered, supporting, as it has, a strong neighborhood bank.

    Now a neighborhood bank with resources exceeding $65,000,000 is of sufficient size to be of major assistance in the development of the community's larger business and industrial life as well. Modern facilities, comprehensive services, convenient location and a substantial loan limit are prime requisites. The growth of the Norfolk County Trust Company in the past decade is ample proof that it has met these exacting requirements in full measure.

    Moreover, this growth attest, too, that the banks slogan "A Strong Neighborhood Bank….at Your Service!" has the substance of history behind it and can be taken at full face value by individuals and corporations large and small.

    Were it possible for Messrs. Lincoln and Dunbar, the first President and first Cashier respectively of the Neponset Bank, to visit their Bank today, the conclusion that they had worked arduously but had wrought well could scarcely escape them.



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