Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware

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The Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware was incorporated on February 4, 1807. After the liquidation of the Bank of Delaware in 1930, it was the oldest surviving bank in the state. The State of Delaware held the majority of the stock, but the bank was privately managed. The Farmers Bank encountered financial difficulties in the mid-1970s and was sold to the Girard Bank of Philadelphia.

The chartering of the bank was designed to provide banking and credit facilities to the state's farmers, particularly those in Kent and Sussex Counties. As established in 1807 there were three semi-autonomous banks: the main office in Dover, and branches in New Castle and Georgetown, i.e., one in each county. The bank was to have 27 directors, equally divided among the three offices, with 9 to be elected by the General Assembly. The bank was established as the custodian of certain state and county government funds, and the income from the state's stock holding was applied to the state school fund.

In 1810 the bank was authorized to issue insurance on lives and property, although life insurance was never actually issued. A fourth branch was established in 1813 in Wilmington, the commercial and manufacturing center of the state. Each of the branches assumed the character of its surrounding territory. The Georgetown branch served a primarily agricultural district as a small country bank. The Dover branch served the state government. The Wilmington branch became a typical city bank catering to business and industry. The New Castle branch shared the decline of the bypassed colonial port and was closed in 1899. The operations were coordinated by a de facto executive committee of the branch presidents and a general board. In the early years there was considerable friction between the two northern and two southern branches regarding their dependent relationship to the large Philadelphia banks.

The Farmers Bank was selected as a local depository for federal revenues by the Second Bank of the United States in 1816 and as a depository for the distribution of the federal surplus in 1837. Disagreement between the northern and southern branches prevented the Farmers Bank from incorporating under the National Banking Act in the late 1860s. It was eventually reincorporated under the new Delaware State Corporation Law in 1913.

From the description of Records, 1785-1900 (bulk 1807-1900) [microform]. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122396859

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Samuel Breck collection, Breck, Samuel collection, 1833-1877, 1835, 1837-1839 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954. Papers, 1880-1954. Hagley Museum & Library
creatorOf Bank of Delaware. Delaware banking records, 1797-1946. Historical Society of Delaware
creatorOf Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware. Records, 1785-1900 (bulk 1807-1900) [microform]. Hagley Museum & Library
creatorOf Cooper, Richard, 1755-1818. Cooper collection, 1796-1935. Historical Society of Delaware
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bank of the United States (1816-1836). corporateBody
associatedWith Bayard, James A. 1799-1880. person
associatedWith Blackiston, Ebenezer, d. 1829. person
associatedWith Cardon de Sandrans, Alexandre, b. 1787. person
associatedWith Caverly, Peter, fl. 1805-1830. person
associatedWith Chauncey, Elihu, 1779-1847. person
associatedWith Comegys, Cornelius P. 1780-1851. person
associatedWith Cooch, Francis L., fl. 1805. person
associatedWith Couper, James, Sr., fl. 1810-1835. person
associatedWith Crawford, William Harris, 1772-1834. person
associatedWith Dallas, Alexander James, 1759-1817. person
associatedWith Du Pont, Charles I. 1797-1869. person
associatedWith Du Pont, Eleuthère Irénée, 1771-1834. person
associatedWith Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954. person
associatedWith Gilpin, Thomas, 1776-1853. person
associatedWith Harper, James, d. 1820. person
associatedWith Johns, Kensey, 1759-1848. person
associatedWith McLane, Louis, 1786-1857. person
associatedWith Read, George, 1765-1836. person
associatedWith Richardson, Joseph, d. 1833. person
associatedWith Ridgely, Henry M. 1779-1847. person
associatedWith Rumsey, John, fl. 1810-1825. person
associatedWith Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902 person
associatedWith Swift & Breck corporateBody
associatedWith Waples, William D. d. 1841. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Delaware
New Castle (Del.)
New Castle County (Del.)
Wilmington (Del.)
Subject
Banks and banking
Banks and banking--Government ownership
Banks and banking--Insurance business
Insurance
Banks of issue
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1797

Active 1946

Information

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