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March 29, 2014

Delhi bank saw many ups, downs in 175 years


The Oneonta Herald reported on Nov. 17, 1858, that the robbers had been caught, re-printing an article from The Deposit Union Democrat of Nov. 13.

“The New York Herald, and Journal of Commerce, of the 11th inst. say it is reported that the burglars who robbed the Delaware County Bank, at Delhi, two weeks ago last Saturday night, were caught on the 10th inst. on board a ship in the lower bay, and over $30,000 of money found with them. Raft men who came in from New York this (Friday) morning’s train, confirm this report, and say that that was the report yesterday in New York. The burglars were English, and had taken passage for England with their ill gotten plunder. If this be so, then there is one or more living near Delhi, that must know more of this robbery than an honest man would know. We trust the report may prove true.”

In addition to this noted robbery, the bank endured some turbulent times in 1898. A major employer in Delhi went bankrupt, and the bank lost $150,000 that had been mortgaged to the business, Crawford Wagon Works.

The Oneonta Star reported on what was called a bank failure on June 7, 1898. The bank closed that day, but “no run was made by depositors.”

“The Delaware National is the only bank in Delhi and its failure is a calamity to the village,” the article stated. It turned out to be a fairly short setback. “The resumption of the bank depends entirely on the ability of the Crawfords to pay back a goodly portion of the enormous loans and discounts they secured,” it was reported on June 28.

Stockholders in the bank had to come up with 50 percent to keep the bank open. On Aug. 19, according to the Star, “It is reported in Delhi that Russell Sage of New York, the well known financier, is to come to that place today or to morrow (sic) and pass Sunday, and has given assurances that he will make a large loan to the Messrs. Crawford. The villagers are hopeful that the affairs will soon be straightened out.”

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