Bank of Hobbsville Records

Manuscript Collection #527
Bank of Hobbsville (Hobbsville, N.C.)
Physical description
25 Cubic Feet, 15,000 items , consisting of correspondence, financial records, minutes, legal papers, estate records, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
Bank of Hobbsville Records (#527), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Records (1910-1856) including correspondence, financial records, minutes, legal papers, estate records, World War I and II, pamphlets, and miscellaneous.

Biographical/historical information

Cashier Walter M. Hollowell (1919-c.1953) was a central figure in Hobbsville and he took care of the majority of bank business. His personal letters, intermixed with the bank's correspondence, usually relate to financial matters and his position. He was a member of the School Board (1919) and Mintonville Township Road Commission (1925); was a Deacon in the Hobbsville Baptist Church; advised the Agricultural Credit Corporation on loan applications (1933); was appointed to the N.C. Commission on Interracial Cooperation (1938); was a representative to the Agricultural Committee of the N.C. Bankers Association (1939); and was a member of the Boy Scouts Troop Committee (1940s) before his retirement in the mid-1950s.

Scope and arrangement

The bulk of this collection consists of general files concerned with the bank's financial dealings with other North Carolina banks; regional Federal Reserve Banks; state and federal agencies; and local bank patrons (1910-1956). Correspondence between commercial customers and the bank concerned individual accounts; currency and silver requests; registered bonds and notes lists; fund transfers; and loans. Ledger books contain financial information for various bank holdings and activities, including customer estate records; bond, certificate, and stock registers; liabilities; and stockholders lists. Scattered throughout the files are annual reports to the Corporation Commission of N.C. and bank meeting minutes.

Major topics in the bank's files include financial matters connected to World War I and World War II. Information (1919) related to World War I in correspondence and bank ledgers relate to Liberty Loan Bonds, War Savings and Thrift Stamps; payments on Victory Liberty Loans; new bond and note issuance; anti-scalping campaigns; and War Savings Certificates presented for redemption (1918-1919). The post-war U.S. Blind Veterans of the World War program (1924) is also described. World War II related information (1942)includes war bond sales reports; war risk property insurance within U.S. territories and possessions; efforts to achieve "Regulation V" war industry loans; capital and labor limitations; Federal Reserve actions requiring freezing of accounts of persons of German and Japanese extraction; United Service Organization fund-raising drives; Office of Price Administration local price surveys, weekly price letters, and rationing programs (1942-1946); price and salary controls (1943-1944); black market activities (1943-1945). Correspondence also mentions veterans programs and war bond redemption (1946).

During the post-World War II transition period, bank correspondence greatly concerns the power and influence of the Federal Reserve Bank. Various speeches, reprints, articles, and banking publications discuss Federal Reserve measures to curb inflation (1947); the Federal Reserve's continued war-time power control (1948); the expected post-war economic slump; the Housing and Small Business Acts (1950); Korean War investment policies; price regulation effects on bank service charges; lists of regulated products; inflation and anti-inflationary measures; credit restraints; and interests rates.

Beginning near the end of World War I, bank correspondence chronicled changing local and national financial conditions, its relation to a heightened awareness and incidence of crime, and the increased poverty of American citizens. Subjects mentioned in these materials include farm loans and the Farm Loan Act (1919); the decision to increase capital and not pay dividends (1920); the over-extension of banks; crop price fluctuations; bank robberies, attempted robberies, theft, counterfeit bills and gold certificates, fraud, and forgery (1922-1953); teacher voucher payments (1923); loan problems (1929); lower taxes and tax relief organizations (1930-1931); and bank closures (1927-1932). Many mailings discussed the Lindbergh, Urshel, and Stall kidnappings (1932-1935), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation lists of serial numbers of bills used as ransom. Other crime-related materials document two embezzlement cases, one in Hendersonville (1931) and the other at the Bank of Hobbsville (1946). The Hobbsville case involved a female employee and correspondence concerns a confession, insurance coverage, a settlement, and Hollowell's detailed memorandum of the crime's chain of events.

Another economic issue addressed in the correspondence pertains to gold and its regulation, exchange, licensing, and export, including an Executive Order banning gold hoarding (March-May 1933). The restructuring of banking regulations was detailed (1933-1934), as were the financial recovery activities and plans of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The N.C. Bankers Association published regular bulletins concerned with proposed and approved banking legislation. Also discussed were the increase in prominence of the Federal Reserve Banks (1934); the reduction of the dollar's gold content (1934); the Works Progress Administration's efforts to secure the cashing of worker's paychecks (1935); and the implementation of Social Security (1935).

Legal matters were discussed in a series of letters (February 1921-March 1922) concerning the par clearance exchange fight between N.C. banks and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Much of this correspondence originates with the Bankers Protective Association of N.C. and the N.C. Bankers Association and includes a list of plaintiff banks in the injunction suit (February 1921). Other similar controversies were mentioned such as the Supreme Court decision involving the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a pamphlet on the Coventry Banks Case with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (June 1921). Par clearance decision commentary continues with a copy of the Supreme Court decision on appeal involving. the Federal Reserve Bank (July 1921); a Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond comment on the Atlanta par clearance decision (March 1922); and comments and a pamphlet from the Banker's Protective Association about the "par clearance case" and the Federal Reserve Bank's renewal of the par fight (1923).

Daily bank correspondence, cashier's minutes, and director's minutes deal with specific issues such as account service charges (1928, 1932); country bank financing difficulties and bank closings (1928, 1932); consolidation of Gates County banks (1929-1930); and the National Bank Holiday (March 6-8, 1933). The Bank of Hobbsville was cited for non-compliance with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation regulations (1936) and was subsequently criticized and audited by the N.C. State Banking Commission for violation of specific acts (1937).

Throughout the correspondence political issues were noted including the Smith presidential campaign (1928) and various N.C. campaigns (1931-1942). Local concerns were often about Post Office consolidation issues and personnel. Several cashiers from Gates County townships enlisted the aid of politicians Josiah Bailey, Robert R. Reynolds, and Lindsay Warren to work against local postal consolidation (1938).

Hollowell's business correspondence often related to his personal interests in education, the Hobbsville Baptist Church, and the Boy Scouts of America. Issues discussed include teacher's employment, housing, and salaries (1919-1920, 1926); Gates, Pitt, and Rockingham County school bond reports; Gates County Board of Education notes including loan concerns for school improvements (1921-1923, 1927); Board of Deacons minutes (1921); Thomasville (later Mills Home) and Oxford Orphanages funding (1922, 1945); and Southern Baptist Convention information (1933). Many letters (1942-1946) pertain to Boy Scout fund-raising activities and possible financial assistance from the bank.

Other materials pertain to Hollowell's appointment to the NC Commission on Interracial Cooperation.. His papers indicate that the Gates County Farm Bureau invited "every white man and his wife" and the "adult public, white" to meetings and dinners (1937, 1944). Other related correspondence chronicles the Commission's reorganization and efforts to establish "better race relations. The Commission's bulletin noted some changes that included a new full-time director; ties to the Southern Regional council, equal Veteransservices for Negroes; increased Negro police officers throughout N.C.; and support for local commissions (1946-1947). Despite the Commission's efforts, correspondence indicates that a joint Cooperative Extension Service / N.C. Bankers Association high school speaking contest (1948) was only open to "all white high school students." Another program offered separate contests for students of both races (1949-1950), and the N.C. Bankers Association finally sponsored a "negro public speaking contest" with promotional support from the N.C. Agricultural and Technical School (1953).

Other materials included are estate ledgers (1911-1919) and individual estate records of Hobbsville area residents for which Hollowell served as executor. Other records include stock, bond, and reconcilement ledgers; various certificate, draft, and expense account books; and a Liberty Loan register.

Miscellaneous items include correspondence pertaining to a university hospital in Berlin (1933); a pamphlet and information on rural electrification in North Carolina (1936-1937); a letter from a physician in Mexico describing native doctors and the general condition of the country (1946); pamphlet and correspondence concerning the American Red Cross blood program (1949); information on the conservation program, "Keep North Carolina Green" (1949); a pamphlet on "The Bank Wire," a Western Union telegraph connection between banks around the country (1950); and a letter from "National Negro Credit Counselors" concerning delinquent accounts (1951).

Administrative information
Custodial History

May 19, 1987, 25 cu. ft; Records (1912-1956), including correspondence, reports, financial statements and other materials. Gift of Mr. Randy C. Lassiter, Belvidere, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. Randy C. Lassiter

Processing information

Processed by M. Boccaccio, March 1994

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Hollowell, Walter M.
Corporate Names
Bank of Hobbsville (Hobbsville, N.C.)
Banks and banking--North Carolina
World War, 1914-1918--Economic aspects--North Carolina
World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects--North Carolina

Container list
Box 1 General Files: April 1910-October 1920
Box 2 General Files: November 1920-October 1921
Box 3 General Files: November 1921-Undated 1922
Box 4 General Files: January 1923-February 1924
Box 5 General Files: March 1924-February 1925
Box 6 General Files: March 1925-August 1926
Box 7 General Files: September 1926-June 1928
Box 8 General Files: July 1928-March 1930
Box 9 General Files: April 1930-November 1931
Box 10 General Files: December 1931-Undated 1932
Box 11 General Files: January-November 1933
Box 12 General Files: December 1933-October 1934
Box 13 General Files: November 1934-Undated 1935
Box 14 General Files: January 1936-Undated 1937
Box 15 General Files: January 1938-September 1941
Box 16 General Files: October 1941-March 1943
Box 17 General Files: April 1943-March 1944
Box 18 General Files: April 1944-May 1945
Box 19 General Files: June 1945-Ocober 1946
Box 20 General Files: November 1946-November 1947
Box 21 General Files: December 1947-December 1948
Box 22 General Files: Undated 1948-December 1949
Box 23 General Files: Undated 1949-December 1950
Box 24 General Files: January 1951-Undated 1951
Box 25 General Files: January 1952-February 1953
Box 26 General Files: March 1952-November 1956; and Estate Records: Ephraim Bunch; J. W. Bunch; J. O. Burch; Chappell Family; Robert E. Cochrane; Eason Family
Box 27 Estate Records: N. W. and Q. T. Hobbs; Etta Holley; William S. King; J. Curtis Overman; Nannie Riddick; J. S. Rountree; Walter Russell; Carlyle Spivey; Inez White; J. W. Wiggins; Cato Wilson
Box 28 Estate Records: Ledgers August 1911-July 1914
Box 29 Estate Records: Ledgers July 1914-May 1919
Box 30 Folder a Ledger: Millbook 1932-1937
Box 30 Folder b Ledger: Millbook 1930-1932
Box 30 Folder c Bond Register 1930s-1950s
Box 30 Folder d Liabilities 1940s-1950s
Box 30 Folder e Liabilities 1940s-1950s
Box 30 Folder f Liabilities 1940s-1950s
Box 31 Bank of Hobbsville Ledgers: Liabilities 1940s-1950s(loose); Miscellaneous Financial Papers
Box 32 Folder a Bank of Hobbsville Ledgers: Stock Ledger 1911-1951 with director's minutes 1911-1923
Box 32 Folder b Director's Minutes and Stockholders Lists 1921-1929, undated
Box 32 Folder c Notebook (Tickler) 1911-1919
Box 32 Folder d Certificate of Deposit Register 1911-1920
Box 33 Folder a Bank of Hobbsville Ledgers: Draft Register 1920(includes drafts drawn on National Bank of Suffolk, V.A. 1911,the 4th National Bank of New York 1912,and cashiers checks 1913)
Box 33 Folder b Liberty Loan Register 1918
Box 33 Folder c Register of Bills Discounted 1919
Box 33 Folder d Daily Ledger 1920
Box 34 Folder a Bank of Hobbsville Ledgers: Bond Register 1935-1943
Box 34 Folder b Expense Account 1936-1945
Box 34 Folder c Reconcilement Register 1950-1954