The National Bank of Gaffney, South Carolina

The National Bank of Gaffney

County:

Cherokee

Charter Number:

5064

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Opened:

March 1897

Closed:

February 1930

    The First National Bank of Gaffney originally began as a state bank by the name of Carroll and Stacy.  Carroll & Stacy was formed in 1891 when James Alexander Carroll and Fred G. Stacy opened a state banking institution in Gaffney.  Both men knew each other from years of being in the cotton industry together.  In 1897 Carroll & Stacy nationalized as The National Bank of Gaffney.  Carroll stayed onboard as a vice-president and Stacy moved up to president.
    The National Bank of Gaffney was the first of two national banks to locate in Cherokee County.  In fact it was the nationalization of The Merchants and Planters National Bank of Gaffney in 1914 that prompted The National Bank of Gaffney to change its name to The First National Bank of Gaffney.  It would go by that second title until it was closer by the receiver early in 1930.
    In 1919 Maynard Smyth was promoted from cashier to president of the first national bank to replace DC Ross.  Smyth would be president of the bank until he unexpected committed suicide on January 14th of 1930.  His actions were completely unexpected and only weeks before CW Hames had reported a favorable annual report to the stockholders.  However, no more than five weeks after Smyth’s suicide The First National Bank of Gaffney went into receivership.
    The First National Bank of Gaffney issued only a paltry sum of 1929 small size national bank notes due to the bank’s early closing in 1930.  It issued enough large size notes to make the acquisition of such a note much easier than it is.  In fact there are no national bank notes known to exist with the bank’s first title, The National Bank of Gaffney.

    If you have some currency from Gaffney, please
tell me about it.  Whether it is for sale or not, I still always like hearing about notes.

First President:

FG Stacy

First Cashier:

DC Ross

Frederick Graham Stacy

12/19/1858 - Gaffney, SC
06/24/1904 - Gaffney, SC

    Fred G Stacy was the president of The National Bank of Gaffney from its nationalization in 1897 until his unexpected death in 1904.  Mr. Stacy was from a very large family and had many business interests in Gaffney.  In addition to his position at the National Bank, at the time of his death Stacy was also president of The Gaffney Savings Bank and The Gaffney Telephone Company.  He was secretary of the Cherokee Lime Works and the Turner Lime Works.  
    However, despite all of his business accomplishments in life, for many years after his death he may have been the classic example of winning the battle but losing the war.  FG Stacy’s demise was a direct result of punching another man in the face.  During a physical altercation Stacy cut his hand on another man’s teeth.  The wound to his hand immediately became infected and two weeks after the blow landed, Stacy succumbed to blood poisoning.

D. Claude Ross

01/14/1866 - Spartanburg Co.
03/30/1930 - Gaffney, SC

    D Claude Ross was the first cashier of The National Bank of Gaffney and later became the president of the institution under both of its titles.  Ross received his early education in Gaffney and attended The University of South Carolina for a period of time.  His friends and colleagues called him Colonel Ross even though it appears he never served in the military.  DC Ross was promoted to president of The National Bank of Gaffney upon FG Stacy’s passing.  He would hold that position until 1919 when Ross decided to leave the then First National Bank and start a new venture, The American State Bank, which was also located in Gaffney.  Ross was president of The American State Bank during its entire existence.  However, that bank was closed by the receiver in February of 1930.  DC Ross committed suicide a few weeks after the bank closed when it became clear that he was going to face charges due to his poor management and the bank’s failure.

Other People Associated with the Bank: M Smyth, JG Wardlaw, CW Hames, JA Carroll