Local Deposits: Part II

Posted on 7/18/2017

The conclusion to a two-part article discussing Florida hometown notes.

Welcome back to the sequel of Local Deposits: Part I! Florida makes for interesting “hometown” notes due to the small amount of charters that were issued in Florida compared to other states. The population of Florida was small at the beginning of the 20th century due in part to the not-so-temperate climate in the summer. The low population and the low amount of circulation notes, makes some Florida nationals exceptionally rare.

Part I of this article series focused on Sarasota’s hometown notes. Part II will be about Bradenton and Arcadia, two other areas close to PMG's Headquarters that have a great collectible heritage about them. In 1920, both towns only had a combined population of less than 8,000 people, making South West Florida a great hunt for rare notes!

The First National Bank of Bradentown, front
Graded PMG 25 Very Fine
Click image to enlarge.

Dr. Joseph Braden, one of the earliest settlers in the area, moved to Bradenton in 1842 and established a sugar plantation. Dr. Braden built a fort to protect his plantation along with the “Braden Castle”. Soon after, possibly to his exuberant spending, he lost it all. Dr. Braden moved away from the area in 1857, but left his mark on the town as it continued to grow. The town was named after Dr. Braden but Bradenton actually started as Braidentown in 1878, likely due to a typo at the post office. Later as the town developed, the name was changed to Bradentown, to correct the spelling error. In 1912, the first hometown notes were produced by the First National Bank of Bradentown. The name remained Bradentown until 1924, when it was changed to Bradenton. However, the National Bank didn’t change the name of the town on the bills until 5 years later in 1929! The notes from Bradenton make for a great set to have by showing the town’s unique name changes.

Arcadia was a small town like many in Florida in the early 1900s, but that quickly changed as the phosphate boom began. The mineral is a key component to fertilizer and was in high demand to feed the growing population in the United States. Arcadia, located near the Peace River, is where huge deposits of phosphate were found. The close proximity to these deposits caused an influx of business from phosphate and drove the economy for Arcadia. The town had its first national bank charter in 1900 under the name of the First National Bank of Arcadia. The charter lasted until 1932, when the Great Depression had taken its toll. During this time, the bank was absolved, leaving only one national bank in Arcadia, the Desoto National Bank of Arcadia. The Desoto National Bank started in 1907 and endured through the depression unlike its competition. The bank changed its name in 1984 to Sun Bank, lasting for almost 80 years under its original name, making this charter a cornerstone of history for Desoto County.

The De Soto National Bank of Arcadia, front
Graded PMG 45 Choice Extremely Fine
Click image to enlarge.

Like most hometowns, Arcadia and Bradenton have unique histories that make for great sets to own. The "Sunshine State" does not disappoint whether you are here for the beaches or the great banknotes.


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