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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Business and Banking

 
 
Business and Banking Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 10, 2021
1. Business and Banking Marker
Inscription.  Four years after Ann Arbor's First National Bank was established in 1863 under strong new federal banking laws, dry goods merchant Philip Bach and foundry owner Volney Chapin joined other local investors to build a brick business block to house their bank. Next door was the Phoenix Insurance Company, one of the nineteen local companies thriving on business stimulated by the constant threat of fire. Demonstrating the new strength of the local business climate, fueled by the economic boom of the Civil War, the Ann Arbor Business College and Telegraph Institute opened above Bach's dry goods shop on the corner.

The college advertised courses in "Bookkeeping, Railroading, Steamboating, Banking, Jobbing and Importing, Commercial Law, Business Penmanship, and Telegraphing." Fees for "ladies" were $5 less than those for "young men." Judge Thomas Cooley, professor of law at the University conducted the law department and brought to this lectures "the fresh and forcible illustration of actual experience."

Other banks soon followed First National on Main Street: Ann Arbor Saving in 1869, Farmers and Mechanics in 1883, State Savings
Business and Banking Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 10, 2021
2. Business and Banking Marker
In 1926, Kresge, a chain selling mass produced goods, replaced Hangsterfer's with a dollar store in a Spanish-style building. Next door Kresge's 5 and 10 cent store, built ten years earlier, sold less expensive items.
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in 1892, and German-American Savings in 1906.

In 1886, in order to reduce dependence on University prosperity, promote existing business interests and attract other ventures, the Business Men's Association - the forerunner of today's Chamber of Commerce - was formed.
 
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
 
Location. 42° 16.815′ N, 83° 44.914′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and East Washington Street, on the right when traveling north on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 S Main St, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First National Building (a few steps from this marker); Hardware (within shouting distance of this marker); Dry Goods (within shouting distance of this marker); Eating and Drinking in Ann Arbor (within shouting distance of this marker); Downtown Movie Theaters (within shouting distance of this marker); Changing Retail Patterns (within shouting distance of this marker); The Main Street Shopping Experience (about 300 feet
Business and Banking Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, September 10, 2021
3. Business and Banking Marker
Inset photo (lower left above main text)caption: First National's final home opened in the city's then tallest structure, the 1929 terra cotta building behind you. The bank failed to reopen after the 1933 bank holiday. The building was restored in 1985. Photo 1950.
away, measured in a direct line); Main Street Shopping Expands (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 60 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 13, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 16, 2021