Good day folks! Have you come to see the new bank? Wilburt Wheeler is the clerk on duty today and will be happy to help you.
Who am I? Oh my apologies. I am Andrew Kauffman, what a pleasure it is to meet you all today. I am beyond pleased to see so many folks want to open an account at the Central National Bank.
I can promise you that your money is safe with us! Our bank vault is surrounded by walls of fireproof brick that are 24 inches thick. The two outer doors of the vault as well as the inner door have many combination locks. There is also a steel grate which will remain closed and locked during the day. The Corliss burglar proof safe located inside the vault not only weighs over 4 tons but it also is locked tight with two combination locks and a timed lock which can only be unlocked during certain hours.
It was a lot of hard work but thankfully it seems to be “paying off.” The idea to start the Central National Bank started almost a year ago. Some subscriptions had been secured and the preliminary papers filed but it wasn’t until Mr. Morris and I took an interest in the bank that there was any real success.
I know it is impolite to boast but I have no doubt that my experience in law and business is what made this project possible. I’ve practiced law for 24 years, ever since I was admitted to the bar in Lancaster County in 1864. I also believe my involvement with the community was a great aid in acquiring bank investors. In years previous I have filled the position of the school director and solicitor to the school board. For many years and even today I’ve filled the role of solicitor for many organizations as well as the Columbia Borough.
All of the hard work paid off in March when I was elected to be on the board of directors.
Three days later when the board met to organize themselves I was honorably elected President. Frank Bennet was elected as Vice President and Joseph Zeamer was elected as Cashier. With $100,000 capital we confidently opened our doors at 261 Locust St on May 7th, 1888 and now we already have a surplus fund of $5000.
I do say, look at the time – I must get back to work. If you are looking for someone to chat with I suggest paying a visit to the Schroder and Hinkle Pharmacy and restaurant, there is always a good tale to be heard there, and of course good food to be enjoyed.
Columbia’s Central National bank opened on May 7, 1888.
The question of starting a new national bank in Columbia was agitated during the summer and fall of 1887, when some subscriptions were secured and the preliminary papers filed, but the project did not appear to succeed until Andrew J. Kauffman, Esq., and Mr. Wm. Morris took an interest in the enterprise. Through their active efforts, the interest revived and the entire capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars was subscribed.
The building cost $32,000 to build a new structure in 1911. Today, the building is the home to a BB&T Columbia branch.