Image of State Bank of Illinois

State Bank of Illinois

The 1834-35 Illinois legislature created the State Bank of Illinois, which became Springfield, Illinois's first official bank, ten years after the selection of Springfield as the county seat. The first bank lasted until 1848, when it failed. In 1839, the Illinois legislative committee that investigated the State Bank of Illinois found evidence of unsound management and various law violations. Springfield had no bank for three years until the Springfield Marine and Fire Insurance Company, which later became the Springfield Marine Bank, was founded in 1851. The State Bank of Illinois was forced by the crash of 1837 to suspend specie payments. The legislature in 1839 forbade it to accept new business. In 1843, the legislature ordered the bank to liquidate its assets within five years.
"History of City Banks Dates Over 100 Years," Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 2 April 1959; William Gerald Shade, Banks or No Banks: The Money Issue in Western Politics, 1832-1865 (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1972), 31-33, 75-79, 90-94. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.