Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Before & After: First National Bank of Yorba Linda

Today's "then and now" photos, from 1961 (above) and 2010 (below) come from Ken Stack of OutsideTheBerm. They show the site of the First National Bank of Yorba Linda. The building became a Bank of America branch in 1945, but is now just another historic parking lot.
Historian Phil Brigandi shared some details about the before photo:
"That's the old First National Bank of Yorba Linda building. Not sure when it was built, but it was probably around 1916, when the bank opened for business.
"Eldo West (1879-1969) was one of the original directors. In his memoirs, Notes Concerning Yorba Linda (written for his daughter, author Jessamyn West, in the late 1950s) he recalled:
'Another development worthy of note was a promotion of a bank which was undertaken by J.W. Hargrove, a former resident of Minot, South Dakota, where he had been in the banking business. Mr. Hargrove had some $25,000 capital and secured the balance by sale of stock at $100 per share.

'I was asked to buy five shares as a civic duty, but I turned the offer down on plea that I didn't have the money and for the further reason that I considered I could use the money for quicker turn over and bigger profits in private business.

'However upon insistence of an Anaheim banker who offered to loan me the money for that purpose, I did buy five shares to enable Hargrove to qualify for a permit. I sold the stock after a few months later at par and paid back the money.

'Looking back I can congratulate myself that I did not retain the stock. It never did pay very well, and went under in the crash of '29 losing the stockholders quite a bit. Even depositors lost money."
"John W. Hargrove served as president of the bank from its founding until his death in 1931 at the age of 68. The bank survived him by less than three months, closing its doors in January, 1932 (one of a number of smaller Orange County banks to go under during the Depression).
"Yorba Linda did not have a bank again until the Bank of America opened their branch in the old building in 1945. As the sign next door indicates, they built their new office next door in 1961. I do not have the date handy when the only building went down, but I suppose it was not long after."


Connie Moreno said...

How sad it is that the old building no longer exists. I can only imagine all of the gorgeous wood crown moulding and shelves, desks, etc. that would have been inside!

outsidetheberm said...

Would you like to see a bit of the inside too, Connie? We've got a few slides of that, as well!

Glad you could use this, Chris! Sometimes they just don't fit an 'amusement park' theme...

EV said...

Well, at least the church (?) building in the background is still there.
Thanks for the post, Chris.
I'd love to see more before/after comparisons of OC's old downtowns.

Marcy Massura said...

I bank there (in the newer building built in the 50's I guess every week.
And yes, that is the adorable church of Yorba Linda in the background.