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Logan State Bank
Logan State Bank
Logan State Bank

Our History

The Founder

John William Wood, the son of John Hayward Wood and Lucy Miller Wood, was born December 14, 1833, at OAK HILL, a plantation on the western edge of Sperryville, in Rappahannock County, Virginia. In 1854, he left home on horseback and headed west to seek his fortune. The phrase "Go west, young man" had appeared in "The New Yorker," a weekly literary paper founded by Horace Greeley. This advice prompted many of the young, unemployed and ambitious to leave the eastern part of the country at that time.

John W. Wood's original objective was to save $10,000 and return to the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains and the plantation life he had known as a young man. His first step was Atchinson County, Missouri, where he became a partner in a mercantile business.

On September 6, 1859, at the age of 25, he married Eliza Ann Hopkins, age 16 of Linden, Missouri. Eliza was the daughter of Nelson Orlando Hopkins, an area farmer, who had been a '49er in the California gold fields. To this marriage was born five sons and six daughters.

Soon after the beginning of the Civil War between the North and The South, on April 12, 1861, John W. Wood attempted to return to Virginia to join his five brothers in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Traveling "home" was prevented due to the lines between the North and South being closed and he returned to Atchison County where he worked on his father-in-laws's farm.

During the closing days of the War it became apparent that a southern sympathizer is a border state such as Missouri, would have a difficult time in business so the decision was made to move further west.

In the Spring of 1865, the family, which by now consisted of two sons and a daughter, ages four, two and one, moved to Magnolia, Iowa. With the financial backing of Messrs Rudasill & Low of Atchison County, Missouri, a mercantile business was started under the name of Rudasill, Wood & Low. In the second year of operation, from the spring of 1866 to the spring of 1867, the store did $60,000 of business. The ability of John W. Wood to understand German was a big help in dealing with the German farmers in the Magnolia area who had emigrated from Germany.

In 1871, John W. Wood was elected Harrison County Treasurer and served in that office for two terms. Upon leaving the treasurer's office, he purchased the John Stocker farm northwest of Logan and conducted a general farming and cattle feeding operation until 1900.


The Bank

On November 15, 1888, the banking house, formally operated by Phineas & William Cadwell, was purchased for $1,800. A private bank, under the name John W. Wood & Sons, was started to provide a business for the Wood sons. The original managers were Charles Nelson Wood and WIlliam Henry Wood, the two oldest sons. Charlie, (C.N) as he was known to everyone, had taught school for one year, worked in the Harrison County Auditor's office for one year and worked in the holbrook bank in Missouri Valley before graduating from law school, he practiced law in Onawa, Iowa, and then was employed in a Kansas City, Missouri, bank. The bank statement for the close of business on November 15, 1888, showed Assets of $8,604.14, which included cash of $2,344.21.

In 1898, the original wooden bank building was torn down and a new building of Kasota red sandstone and pressed brick was constructed at a cost of $12,000.

Since the original name of the bank has been John W. Wood & Sons, it was only fitting that the younger sons, interested in the banking business, would be employed in the bank. John Franklin Wood, the third son, was engaged in farming next to the "Home Place" west of Logan. Subsequently, he moved to Delisle, Saskatchewan, Canada, where he homesteaded on a wheat farm and became the only son not to work in the bank. James Brereton Wood, Brue or B.J.) as he was known, was a student at the University of Nebraska in April 1898, when the United States declared was on Spain. He and several classmates enlisted in the army and after service in the Philippines, B.J. returned home and became the third son to be employed in the bank.

The bank continued as a private bank, with John W Wood, Charles Nelson Wood and William Henry Wood as partners, until incorporation on January 1, 1903. On May 3, 1903, the bank became a national bank under the name "The First National Bank of Logan" with a capitalization of $50,000. Currency was issued in the bank's name by the U.S. Treasury with the bills being signed by bank officers. Ownership of the bank's five hundred shares was divided as follows: John W. Wood, 300 shares; Charles N. Wood, 40 shares; William H Wood, 100 shares; B.J. Wood, 10 shares and John W. Read, 50 shares. Officers elected were John W. Wood, President, C.N. Wood, Vice President; W.H. Wood, Cashier and B.J. Wood Assistant Cashier. Salaries were $100 a month for C.N. and W.H. Wood, with B.J. being paid $50 a month. John W. Wood, although president and principal stockholder, was not an active employee and received no salary.

A statement for the bank dated June 9, 1903, showed assets of $178,605.13 and loans of $65,572.57. Deposits were $128,499.76, capital stock was $50,000 and undivided profits were $105.37.

John W. read, one of the original stockholders, was a valuable member of the Board of Directors and his contribution to the success of the bank in the early days cannot be overlooked. He was the son of Amanda Wood Read, sister of John W. Wood. At the age of 17, he had served as one of Mosby's Rangers in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he cam west and worked at the Ogden Hotel in Council Bluffs before moving to Logan as operator of a mercantile store under he name of Wood, Rudasill & Read. With the backing of Mr. Rudasill and "Uncle John", the Logan store has been started as a branch of the Magnolia store.

Between April 1, 1905 and June 21, 1905, several major changes took place at the bank. W.H Wood, who had been one of the founding partners in 1888, resigned to develop a 2000 acre farm he has purchased at Ascot, southwest of Missouri Valley, along the Missouri river. B.j. Wood became Cashier and Edward J. Wood (Ned) as he was known, became Assistant Cashier. Ned, the youngest member of the family, had been employed in the accounting department of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad in Chicago prior to joining the bank.

Prior to World War I, there were four banks in Logan. They were the First National Bank, the State Savings Bank, Logan Trust & Savings Bank and the Farmers State Bank. After W.W.I, The country suffered through a period of high inflation and all banks except the First National Bank were closed. As inflation was brought under control, banks previously closed were re-opened and operated until closed again when a severe drought and recession struck many parts of the country.

John W. Wood passed away on October 3, 1923, at the age of 89 and, at the time, C.N. Wood became President of the bank. W.H. Wood passed away on January 3, 1927, and Ned Wood, Vice President of the bank, passed away on August 14, 1931.

The bank holiday declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 6, 1933, resulted in the closing of all banks in the U.S. Depositors had been withdrawing their funds all over the country with such speed that many banks ran out of money.

On March 9, 1933, Congress passed the Banking Act of 1933. This Act allowed banks that had enough money to re-open, to do so beginning on March 13, 1933. The First National Bank was the third bank in Iowa to re-open on March 15, 1933.

The 1930s were very trying times for the bank and its customers. The great depression began in 1929 and along with the crash in the stock market, subsequent unemployment and drought in many parts of the country, money became a scarce item. The Minutes of the Board of Directors meeting of November 1, 1935, stipulated that any loan over $200 required the approval of all members of the discount committee. Operation of the bank during these difficult times was in the hands of C.N. Wood and B.J. Wood. Other directors who served during this period at varying times were: Lucy m. Wood, M.D., daughter of John W. Wood; Mary A Wood, widow of William H. Wood; Margaret Read, daughter of John W. Read; Jack E. Mellett, son of Mary Wood Mellett; Bonar B. Wood, son of B.J. Wood; Frank Q. Wood, son of William H. Wood and Quintan Wood, son of C.N. Wood.

After more than 50 years of being principal operating officer of the bank, C.N. Wood retired in January 1940, at the age of 78. B.J. Wood assumed full responsibility as operation Vice President & Cashier. Lucy M. Wood, M.D., who for many years had been the first and only woman doctor in Harrison County, became President. In 1938, James N. Wood (Jim), son of Ned Wood, joined the bank as bookkeeper. In September of 1941, he left the bank to work for the Bank of America in Pittsburg, CA. Replacing Jim at the bank was his brother Edward J. Wood (Ed), the second son of Ned Wood.

The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, interrupted the banking career of both Jim and Ed Wood. Ed went into the Army in January, 1942, and served in Aleutians, Italy, France and Germany. In 1945, he returned to Logan to continue his employment in the bank. Jim Wood, who went into the Air Force in September, 1942, and served in Africa, returned to CA and the Bank of America in January of 1946.

The growth of the economy and country after W.W.II was fueled by interest rates which would seem unbelievable to the younger generation today. Federal Lan Bank & U.S. treasury bonds were being sold with interest rates ranging from 1.5% to 2.5%. The Board of Directors minutes for October 6, 1949, reflect the sale of $100,000 of 1.5% Federal Land Bank Bonds due 1951/1953 and the purchase of $100,000 of 2.5%U.S. treasury Bonds due 1967/1972. Comparable U.S. Treasury Bonds today pay in the 9% to 10% range for similar maturities to those sold in 1949. In 1981 interest rates were as high as 19% on loans.

On June 1, 1952, Edward J. Wood left the bank and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. On November 25, 1952, B.J. Wood passed away at the age of 73 after following his brother C.N.'s footsteps and working in the bank for over 50 years.

At a special shareholder meeting held on January 13, 1953, Bonar B. Wood, son of B.J. Wood, who had resigned his position as Logan Postmaster assumed the presidency of the bank. Lucy M. Wood, M.D., who had served as the unpaid President since January 15, 1940, continued as a director. Rover M Baird (Mike), a council Bluffs, Iowa, attorney, son of Anna Wood Baird and grandson of John W. Wood, became a director.

On January 12, 1954, James N. Wood (Jim) resigned as an assistant Manager of of the Pittsburg, CA Branch of the Bank of America and returned to Logan as Vice President of the bank. Banking in these post was years was undergoing many changes. Automobile and house loans were increasing in volume to supplement previous loan activity which has ventured primarily on farm and small business loans.

On November 26, 1959, Bonar B, Wood passed away and Jim Wood assumed full responsibility for the operations of the bank. On September 2, 1961, bank records continued to show low interest rates with U.S. Treasury noted due October 1, 1965, paying 1.5% interest.

On January 8, 1963, Robert H. Wood, son of Ned Wood and brother of Jim Wood, was elected a director. On January 8, 1966, Donald P. Baird (Pat), a Council Bluffs, Iowa, attorney, was elected a director to replace his brother Mike who had passed away. At this time, Lucy M. Wood, M.D., at the age of 94, elected to retire from the Board of Directors after serving as a director for over 30 years.

IN the summer of 1966, Edward J. Wood returned to Logan from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and became a Vice President of the bank and a director.

In September 1968, LaDuskie Wood, widow of B.J. Wood and mother of Bonar B. Wood, passed away. She has been associated with the bank as Chairman of the Board, President and Director for many years.

In 1971, Edward J. Wood elected to return to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he had lived prior to returning to Logan in 1966.

During the past 100 years descendants of John W. Wood have continued to own and operate the bank. Since the founding of the bank on November 15, 1888, over 27 members of the family have been directly associated with its operations as employees or directors or both.

During the past 100 years banking has evolved from handwritten ledgers and note statements to the use of adding machines, typewrites, electronic bookkeeping machines and now photo copy machines and computers.

In earlier references to members of the family, it was noted that both Charles Nelson Wood (C.N.) and James Brereton Wood (B.J.) had been employed by the bank for over 50 years. The year 1988 marks the 50th anniversary of Jim Wood's entry into the banking business which was begun as a bookkeeper in 1938. INcluding employment in the Bank of America in Northern California, such employment in banking has been continuous except for service in the Air Force during W.W.II.

Some of our present customers represent the 6th generation to do business with the bank. Names of early depositors include Arthur, Berry, Bolter, Brown, Cadwell, Frazier, Giddings, Girton, Hetrick, Latta, McCabe, Myer, Oviatt, Reel, Seeley, Stern, and Vanscoy.

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