Monadnock Moments No. 85: The Bank in the Jewelry Store

Herbert Fay’s jewelry store and future bank was located in the lower right corner of the Clarke Block on the corner of Central Square and Washington Street

In March of 1897, the Mayor and board of aldermen approved electricity as the motive power for the proposed city trolley, Bullard & Shedd advertised Bromo Quinine Tablets at 25¢ a box as a “sure cure for a cold,” and the Elliot Hospital admitted ten patients during the month.

It was also during that month that a new savings bank opened in the rear of Herbert Fay’s jewelry store on Central Square.  Jeweler Fay was the secretary-treasurer of the new bank.  The first day of business was active, with Fay issuing 25 deposit books by 11:00 a.m.  Deposits were limited to $1000.  The name of this new bank was the Keene Savings Bank.  Distinguished physician Gardner C. Hill was elected as bank president and James S. Taft, owner of the Hampshire Pottery Company, was vice president.
At the end of three months of operation, deposits totaled nearly $11,000.  By the end of the first year $111,000 had been deposited with Fay in his jewelry store, and $37,000 in loans had been approved.
The new bank grew rapidly.  Deposits exceeded half a million dollars during the tenth year of operation and topped $1,000,000 by 1921.
From its small beginnings in the rear of Herbert Fay’s jewelry store on March 15, 1897, the Keene Savings Bank continued to grow and serve the community for ninety years.