Albion Interactive History / Businesses / Peabody Exchange

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Banking

Peabody Exchange and Deposit Bank, 1876
    Closed 1886

The Peabody Exchange and Deposit Bank was founded in 1876 by John MurrayPeabody, who was the son of Tenney Peabody, the first settler of Albion. Born onJanuary 10, 1839, John held the distinction of being the first white male bornin Albion. He lived at 12 W. Mulberry St., on the corner of Mulberry and ClintonSts. John had come to the conclusion that the Albion Exchange Bank owned by hisbrother-in-law, James W. Sheldon, charged too much interest. 

Peabody located his bank in the building next the Sheldon’s bank, at 48 S.Superior St, on the S.W. corner of S. Superior and Porter St., in the north halfof the building. The premises had a history of banking, although hust prior to1876, it had been the location of C.S. Daskam’s boot and shoe store. Formerly,however, the location served as the headquarters for the Mayhew & IrwinExchange Office from 1859 to 1865., and the Nati9onal Exchange Bank of Albionfrom 1865 to 1872.

On Monday morning April 5, 1886 the bank failed to open its doors, and manylocal citizens lost their money. Included in the deposits of the bank was about$5,000 belonging to the City of Albion. The city treasurer, Wellington BidwellCrane was held personally responsible for the lost funds, according to the lawof that day, and was expected to pay the money back to the city.

The Recorder gave a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding thefailure. The figures showed real liabilities totaling  $28,042.90, whilereal assets equaled only $2,501.91. John Peabody was arrested and ordered toappear in court. The following month charges were dismissed. The bank premisesand office fixtures were sold at auction on Saturday, July 3, 1886. 

Disgraced, Peabody left with his wife and children to Denver, Colorado, wherehe engaged in real estate from 1887 to 1892. During the great silver panic inDenver in 1893, John Murray Peabody sold life insurance for the New York LifeInsurance Company. He died in Denver on the morning of June 15, 1893, of heartfailure. P19

Source: Frank Passic. Albion’s Banks and Bankers. Albion, Michigan:Albion Civic Foundation. 1985.

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