The Fourth National Bank of Greenville, South Carolina

The Fourth National Bank of Greenville



Charter Number:



July 1908


March 1919

    As the bank’s title suggests, The Fourth National Bank of Greenville was the fourth of six banks to nationalize in the city.  Early on in the national bank era (1863 and 1864) the only options for the title of a bank were numerical.  A bank had to be called the first, second, third, etc national bank.  That requirement was changed in 1864, and after that period numerical names for banks, with exception of the first national bank, really fell out of favor with bankers.  For a bank to be chartered in 1908 and to choose the title of Fourth National Bank was unusual.  In fact The Fourth National bank of Greenville was the only non-first numerically named bank in the state.
The bank was open from 1908 until 1919.  In 1919 The First National Bank of Greenville bought out The Fourth National Bank.  After the merger the current president, WC Cleveland, moved to a management position at The FNB; and the cashier, HJ Winn, became the cashier at The FNB.
    It is currently thought that only two national bank notes from The First National Bank have survived destruction by The Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  However, the law of averages suggests that several more notes should be found at some point.  The bank issued over 85,000 bank notes.  A reason for the poor survival rate is likely related to the fact that the bank was sold to a rival.  Many times when a local bank bought another bank, the purchaser went out of their way to ensure that the acquisition bank didn’t have any currency in circulation.  It is very possible that any time a note from The Fourth National Bank hit the till of the First National Bank that The FNB saw to it that those notes were sent in for destruction.
    The Fourth National Bank of Greenville was located at 106 North Main Street.  The picture above was taken after a snow storm.

    If you have some currency from The Fourth National Bank of Greenville, please tell me about it.  Whether it is for sale or not, I always like hearing about notes.

First President:

JP Rickman

First Cashier:

JE Johnston

James Pinckney Rickman Sr.

4/7/1856 – Hendersonville, NC
6/2/1910 – Greenville, SC

    In 1883 James Pinckney Rickman moved to Hendersonville, NC from the nearby Mills River area.  He took a position with the Southern Railway right away.  A short time later he opened the mercantile firm Fletcher & Rickman.  He would eventually buy out Dr. Fletcher’s share.  He later sold the company to Brooks & Williams so that he could open The Bank of Hendersonville.  In 1901 JP Rickman opened The Bank of Hendersonville and was the president there until 1908.  The same year he moved to Greenville to organize and become the first president of The Fourth National Bank of Greenville.  When he passed away in 1910 WC Cleveland became president of the bank.  JP Rickman was also twice the mayor of Hendersonville.

Joseph Emil Johnston

9/03/1881 – Blackville, SC
9/26/1948 – Greenville, SC

    Joseph Emil Johnston was born in Barnwell County; however, he would spend most of his adult life working in and around Greenville.  He graduated from Furman University in 1902 and by 1907 he was the cashier of The City National Bank of Greenville.  In 1908 he left City National to be the first cashier of The Fourth National Bank of Greenville.  He would only hold that position for two years.  We know that in the 1920 census he was listed as a bank president in Allendale, SC.  JE Johnston would later move back to Greenville to be the business manager for the city schools.  At the end of his life he was in the real estate business.

Other People Associated with the Bank: AL Mills, WC Cleveland, HJ Winn