Marine Bank (original)

Marine Fire & Insurance Co., second building from left, in about 1860. View is of Sixth Street across from present-day Old Capitol State Historic Site. (Sangamon Valley Collection)

Marine Fire & Insurance Co., second building from left, in about 1860. View is of Sixth Street across from present-day Old Capitol State Historic Site. (Sangamon Valley Collection)

 

Springfield Marine Bank, originally chartered as the Springfield Marine & Fire Insurance Co. in 1851 and now part of JPMorgan Chase, is the oldest banking institution in Illinois. Abraham Lincoln banked at Marine, and a record of his account is on display in the lobby of the main bank at Sixth and Washington streets.

Original stockholders included Jacob Bunn Sr., Robert Irwin, John Williams, Stephen T. Logan, Samuel H. Treat, and Gov. Augustus French, but the bank was controlled for most of its independent existence by the Bunn family.

Presidents were: Antrim Campbell (1851-1854), Thomas Condell (1854-1868), Reuben F. Ruth (1868-1881), Benjamin H. Ferguson (1881-1903), John W. Bunn (1903-1920), Jacob Bunn Jr. (1920-1926), George W. Bunn Sr. (1926-1938), George W. Bunn Jr. (1938-1961), Willard Bunn Jr. (1961-1974), Robert J. Saner (1974-1977), James D. Fagan (1977-1980). Willard Bunn III became president of Marine in 1980; following Marine’s merger with Banc One in 1992, Bunn became chairman and CEO of Banc One Illinois, a post he held until 1994.

Under the name Bank One Corp., the institution was merged into JPMorgan Chase in 2004.

Springfield’s current Marine Bank, founded in 1993, is not related to the historic Marine Bank.

More information: John Bucari conducted a number of interviews with bank officials and employees in 1973 as part of a Springfield Marine Bank project for the oral history program at what is now the University of Illinois Springfield.schs logo (2)

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2 Responses to Marine Bank (original)

  1. J.D. Young says:

    There seems to be some discrepancy in the “oldest bank in Illinois” claims. It has always been my understanding that the Shawneetown bank AND their building pre-date Marine Bank.
    http://thesouthern.com/progress/section3/shawneetown-bank-the-oldest-in-illinois/article_7db4775c-f40f-11e0-8429-001cc4c03286.html

    • editor says:

      Mr. Young: Thanks for the note. Here’s the distinction:

      The Bank of Illinois opened its new building in Shawneetown in 1841, but the bank folded in 1842, according to the article you linked. The building was empty until 1854, when the State Bank of Illinois opened there. By then, however, the Springfield Marine and Fire Insurance Co. had been operating in Springfield for three years. The Shawneetown bank building certainly predates Marine, but Marine (and its various incarnations through all the takeovers) is apparently the oldest bank in continuous operation.

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