UTICA — My most up-to-date search by means of classic regional postcards turned up this undated picture from Utica.
The enterprise could be recognized by its identify painted on the home windows: Wilson’s Financial institution. That permits us to slender down the timeframe.
In accordance with an article within the Newark Advocate in 1967, the historical past of Wilsons ran deep in Utica. A.J. Wilson, Peter Speery, and Jess Wilson joined forces to begin the Utica Financial institution in 1871.
In 1871, A.J. purchased out the opposite two buyers and renamed his operation Wilson’s Financial institution. It is extremely potential that he’s the person standing on the entrance steps of the financial institution. Who the opposite two males may be is unknown.
The image has so far from earlier than 1905, as a result of that’s when the financial institution acquired a nationwide constitution and formally grew to become the First Nationwide Financial institution of Utica. A.J. handed away in 1910, at which level his sister-in-law, C.B. Clark, grew to become financial institution president.
In 1939, Wilbur J. Wilson, Sr., A.J.’s son, grew to become the financial institution president, which he nonetheless was on the time of the Newark newspaper article.
The event for the article was that Wilbur J. Wilson, Sr., was president of the financial institution, his son Wilbur J. Wilson, Jr., was the financial institution vp, and grandson Wilbur J. Wilson III was working as a teller.
Years later the financial institution continued to vary. For a time it was BancOhio, and Wilbur J. Wilson III was president of it when he handed away on the tragically younger age of 38 in 1986. Though his obituary doesn’t go into explanation for demise, newspaper accounts could be discovered from 1983 that describe a extreme car accident that Wilson and his spouse had been concerned in.
They each survived the wreck, however later sued the opposite driver, alleging that the accident had prompted the Wilsons extreme hassle. Maybe Wilbur’s early demise was associated to that unlucky occasion.
Later, the financial institution was offered to Nationwide Metropolis Financial institution, going the company route like most every little thing else on this world. The company financial institution working in Utica right this moment is Park Nationwide Financial institution, with a generic web site which says nothing of historic curiosity. Yawn.
The postcard image preserves a second when a enterprise like this was an important small-town operation, one operated by and for the neighborhood, and the proprietor’s satisfaction is palpable.
The id of the opposite two males is a thriller. It might be significantly attention-grabbing to seek out out the id of the aged one-legged man.
Contemplating the timeframe of the image, might this previous gentleman have been a Civil Warfare veteran?
Anybody with extra data is welcome to contact us, although I am unable to assure promptness of response.
This coming week, I’ve my e book The Ceely Rose Murders at Malabar Farm popping out from The Historical past Press, and I need to file a podcast about it, in addition to proceed planning talking occasions and e book signings for this summer time and fall.
Additionally this week, I used to be invited to change into a live performance program annotator for the Cleveland Orchestra – one of many individuals who writes program notes for audiences concerning the music the orchestra performs. Fairly an honor to be invited to try this for one of many high orchestras on this planet.
That happened as a result of my in depth work as a music critic, which you could find elsewhere on the Web at Seen & Heard Worldwide.
Within the meantime, Historical past Knox is getting into its fourth yr this weekend. That is column quantity 157. I hope everybody goes again and explores the columns they’ve missed, and enjoys delving into the forgotten tales of central Ohio historical past.
We have lined numerous attention-grabbing occasions, and regardless of my busy schedule, I’ll do my finest to proceed Historical past Knox. I recognize those that have supported it and remained affected person on these events when it wasn’t good. It has been, and continues to be, a labor of affection.