FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ARCATA. - A distinct advance was made in the financial affairs of Arcata and vicinity
with the opening of the First National Bank in October, 1913, and with the chartering of the institution to conduct
a general commercial banking business. Local association with the new enterprise appears in the fact that the capital
stock of $50,000, fully paid up, is held almost wholly by Arcata citizens, only small blocks of stock being in
the hands of outside people. The first officers of the bank, the men who are guiding its financial policy in these
early years of growth and development, are as follows: President, Isaac Minor; vice president, Peter Johansen;
and cashier, J. C. Toal. The president and vice president also act on the directorate in conjunction with A. N.
Hunt, Frank Graham and Thad A. Smith.
The structure occupied by the bank, owned by President Minor and leased to the bank officials for a term of years,
was erected especially for banking purposes and contains every equipment suggestel by modern banking necessities.
In exterior appearance it is simple but substantial, the reinforced concrete being not only fireproof, but also
able to withstand the ravages of time for several generations. On the northeast corner of Tenth and H streets,
occupying a space 35x75 feet, in a large lot, the building with its cheerful finishing of light tan stone paint,
with its illumined sign over the large double doors and its large windows lettered in gold, forms a durable and
modern addition to the business section of the town. Entering the bank one finds an L shaped lobby 10x25 in the
south end and 10x65 on the west, finished with a six inch marble base and three oak wall desks. The floor is a
variety of mosaic known as the Terrauzo finish. Around the walls are plaster pillars twelve feet apart, surmounted
by ornamental caps. A beam ceiling, together with a five foot wainscoting, of native pine in the working space
and fumed oak in the lobby, and a quartered oak counter and partition separating the working space and lobby, complete
the interior woodwork design.
The electric fixtures of the bank are modern and the ground glass globes give a soft and mellow light. Artificial
light, however, is not often found necessary, for the building is exceptionally well lighted by large windows on
the south and west and by two skylights, each ten feet square, over the main working space, together with another
of the same size over the directors' room. The vaults are of modern construction, with sixteen inch reinforced
concrete walls, ceiling and floor, and steel railroad iron set a few inches apart in concrete, giving a strength
that even a modern sixteen inch gun would have some difficulty in battering to pieces. The outer door is of very
heavy design and is fitted with a seventy two hour, double time lock, and also a combination lock of most modern
design. The safe deposit department is equipped with one hundred and forty eight modern safe deposit boxes, weighing
twenty five hundred pounds and lined with heavy steel. Some of the boxes are fitted with combinations and others
with keys, and all are adapted to the storage of valuable papers, jewelry or coin. A private room known as the
coupon room has been fitted up for the use of people desiring to rent boxes. A strong steel grill and a steel door
separate the safe deposit department from the bank vault, in which is the Diebold coin safe, the last word in burglar
proof safes. It is fitted with a seventy two hour triple time lock, working automatically from the inside, no bolts
being exposed on the outside of the safe. The interior is equipped with chests for gold and silver with combination
locks on each. The interior of the vault is lined with Bessemer steel, with a four inch space between the steel
and the concrete, which keeps the interior of the vault entirely dry. A feature of the bank interior is the ladies'
rest room, in the north end of the public lobby, where may be found a desk telephone for the free use of women,
also writing materials and easy chairs. In the rear of the building there is a direetors' room twenty feet square,
while opening off the public lobby is the office of the vice president. In the construction of the building it
was the aim of Mr. Minor to utilize the services of the workmen of Arcata as far as possible, and he also endeavored
to secure the materials in Humboldt county, thus proving his loyalty to the people and products of his own locality.
In the modern structure with its substantial equipment he has realized his ambition to secure the best facilities
and has made it possible for the bank to adopt for its slogan the motto, "Equipped for service."
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915
Humboldt County, CA
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