Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

First Bank, First Heist

West Side Development

 

—Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue —

 
First Bank, First Heist Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 22, 2012
1. First Bank, First Heist Marker
Inscription. Silver Spring's First Bank Robbery occurred in 1928, here on the southwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Oak Street (today's Bonifant Street).

Commerce in this block began on September 1, 1925, when the Colonial Revival-style Silver Spring National Bank, at 8252 Georgia Avenue, became the first business to open. Founded in 1910, the move of the community's first bank (from the corner of today's Georgia and Sligo Avenues) was necessitated by Georgia Avenue's widening and construction of the original "viaduct," or Baltimore & Ohio Railroad underpass.

The bank robbery occurred here on October 27, 1928 when Takoma Park, MD resident Hugh L. McDaniel told assistant cashier Fred L Lutes to "Give me all you've got." Lutes handed over $2,200 but followed up with two shots from his pistol. Cashier Ira C Whitacre joined in with three shots from his gun before running outside and firing two more at the bandit escaping in a taxi. Within hours McDaniel was apprehended and all but about $10 of the stolen money was recovered. Two months later, McDaniel, a photographer, was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in jail.

In 1938, the bank merged with the failing Takoma Park Bank and was renamed The Suburban National Bank. Expanded business resulted that year in the addition of a 16-foot-deep classical limestone
First Bank, First Heist Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 23, 2012
2. First Bank, First Heist Marker
facade designed by the noted Tilghman Moyer Company of Allentown, PA. A second merger occurred in 1951 with Prince Georges Bank Trust Co. Renamed The Suburban Trust Co, with Silver Spring as its headquarters, a rear addition in the international style was added. "Ghost" letters of The Suburban National Bank name are visible on either side of the Georgia Avenue entrance.
 
Erected by Silver Spring Historical Society.
 
Location. 38° 59.597′ N, 77° 1.61′ W. Marker is in Silver Spring, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Georgia Avenue near Bonifant Street when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8252 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20910, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spirited Entertainment (here, next to this marker); You Are Here - 1931 (within shouting distance of this marker); A New Deal in Town (within shouting distance of this marker); The Burger King (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Land, Lumber & Lyrics (about 300 feet away); Springing Up (about 300 feet away); A Community Grows (about 300 feet away); Visions Realized (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Silver Spring.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Gunfire in the Street image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
3. Gunfire in the Street
Silver Spring National Bank's (from left) Ira C. Whitacre, cashier; James H. Cissel, founding and long-time president; and Fred L. Lutes, assistant cashier, posed forthe October 27, 1928 Evening Star after the town's first bank robbery. Whitacre and Lutes fired their personal pistols at the escaping robber.
Close-up of photo on marker
Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library
Cornerstone of Commercial Development. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
4. Cornerstone of Commercial Development.
This original architectural rendering fo the front elevation of the Silver Spring National Bank was used on the banks 1934 letterhead. The bank, at 8252 Georgia Avenue, was designed and constructed by John M. Faulconer and Frank B. Proctor in 1925.
Close-up of image on marker
Silver Spring Historical Society and E. Brook Lee III
Inquisitive Spectators. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
5. Inquisitive Spectators.
This photograph of a crowd gathering shortly after the holdup of the Silver Spring National Bank appeared in the Oct. 27, 1928 Evening Star. Can you spot the difference in the bank's completed design form its original architectural rendering?
Close-up of photo on marker
Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library
Why is "Silver Spring" printed on this bill? image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
6. Why is "Silver Spring" printed on this bill?
"National Currency" was established by the National Banking Act of 1863, which chartered individual national banks to both guarantee their notes featuring the institution's name, a system that lasted until 1935. This $10 note was issued by Silver Spring National Bank in 1920 and featured then, as now, a portrait of the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.
Close-up of photo on marker
Silver Spring Historical Society and J. Fred Maples

Silver Spring National Bank, charter no. 9830, issued 970 sheets of these series 1929, type 1, ten-dollar notes. In addition to U.S. Register of the Treasury, E. E. Jones and U.S. Treasurer, W. O. Woods, the note is signed by cashier Ira C. Whitacre and president James H. Cissel.
Community Visionary image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
7. Community Visionary
Banker and lawyer Thomas Howard Duckett, from 1915 to 1965, guided the Silver Spring National Bank through its subsequent mergers, and through Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 "Bank Holiday" during the Great Depression, and World War II staff shortages, with the implementation of "Woman Power," Duckett, whose law offices were on the top floor of the bank, played seminal roles the establishment of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission in 1918 and the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission in 1927.
Close-up of photo on marker
Photo Source: Fifty Years of Suburban Banking, etc. 1915-1965
8252 Georgia Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
8. 8252 Georgia Avenue
Today the Suburban Bank Building is occupied by Bethel World Outreach Church, Bishop Darlingston G. Johnson & Lady Chrys Johnson, Senior Pastors.
8252 Georgia Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
9. 8252 Georgia Avenue
Architectural Detail image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
10. Architectural Detail
Decorative carving in Indiana Limestone
Demolished image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 17, 2016
11. Demolished
The Suburban Bank Building has been demolished to make way for an apartment building.The marker remains.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 400 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   11. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on July 13, 2016.
Paid Advertisement