Bank of Milton Early Day History
as told by Wm. Hopson
The Bank of Milton was organized as a private bank in 1889 by E.J. Davis, the first cashier, W.W. Miller and N.A. Davis.
In 1892, the bank was incorporated with a capital of $25, 400, with the following directors and officers: A. Hopson, president; H.L. Frazier, vice president; A.M. Elam, Wm. Nichols and Wm. Talbert, directors, and N.A. Davis, cashier, and Wm. Hopson, Clerk.
Soon after the bank was incorporated the panic of the 90s struck the country and in the spring of 1893, the writer (Wm. Hopson) began working in the bank, but about the only thing of importance I can remember doing was to hand out the cash when the bank was robbed November 13, 1893, on a very foggy day.
My father was standing in the bank and N.A. Davis was counting some money. My father became suspicious when two men came in the bank and started for the vault where there was a gun. The robbers began shooting at once and one bullet went between the skin and ribs of my father’s left side and through his left arm.
Mr. Davis had not looked up and was so close when the shots were fired that his forehead was filled with powder and he did not know anything until the robbers had gone, as the powder had knocked him senseless and he fell behind the counter. I was the only one left in sight and was told to hand over the money and this is the first time I can remember of doing what I was told without wasting any time. I emptied the till as fast as I could and the money was more or less scattered. The robbers raked $874.25 into a sack and left about $125.00 scattered around. They were never caught, although the horses were later found in a barn near Echo.
The next day after the robbery Mr. Davis called in the business men and told them we had less than $1,100 in cash left and that it would be necessary for them to go easy. I am sure that not a single depositor drew his money, even though the total deposits were less than $10,000.
The bank was nationalized in 1908 and a new bank building in Freewater was built soon after.