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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Seneca in Nemaha County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The First National Bank

 
 
The First National Bank Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 11, 2013
1. The First National Bank Marker
Inscription.  
The First National Bank, with its Queen Ann turret, is a landmark on Main Street. Designed in the Richardsonian style with decorative ramparts and brickwork, it reflected grandeur and permanence, signs of Seneca's growing success in 1889. The cornerstone inscription reminds customers that the bank was originally founded in 1874. Tiffany-inspired windows adorned the banking hall which had ornate wooden cashier counters and a tile floor. Upstairs were apartments and professional offices.

During the Great Depression, the bank failed and was sold. New owners later subdivided this grand old building into apartments. A hailstorm broke many of the windows on the west side which were then covered with cedar shakes. Like many Victorian gems in rural Kansas, the building began to deteriorate; it was placed on the Kansas and National Register of Historic Places in 2006, which marked the beginning of preservation efforts.

In 2008, the building was purchased by enterprising Senecans who converted it into the Cornerstone Coffe Haus. All the windows with colorful art glass were restored and the building utilities upgraded. Owners also
The First National Bank and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 11, 2013
2. The First National Bank and Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
rescued the popular soda fountain from Harsh's Drug Store, which stood on Main opposite the bank, giving it a new life. Today, the restored building is once again thriving - a bright and comfortable meeting place in a re-energized Seneca.
 
Erected by City of Seneca and Kansas Humanities Council.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1889.
 
Location. 39° 50.065′ N, 96° 3.747′ W. Marker is in Seneca, Kansas, in Nemaha County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and 5th Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 431 Main Street, Seneca KS 66538, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Railroads (within shouting distance of this marker); The Buggy Store (within shouting distance of this marker); The Smith Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pony Express Home Station (about 300 feet away); The Felt Block (about 300 feet away); City Hall (about 400 feet away); The Seneca Post Office (about 600 feet away); The Seneca Free Library (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Seneca.
 
Also see . . .
1. City of Seneca, Kansas. (Submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
The First National Bank Date Stone image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 11, 2013
3. The First National Bank Date Stone

2. Seneca Main Street Historic District National Register Nomination. (Submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
The First National Bank Window image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 11, 2013
4. The First National Bank Window
Former Harsh Drug Store Counter image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 11, 2013
5. Former Harsh Drug Store Counter
In the former First National Bank
The First National Bank Interior image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., The First
6. The First National Bank Interior
Cornerstone Coffee Haus
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 331 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 17, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Jan. 20, 2022