The opening of the new Dukes County Savings Bank last Friday proved to be an event on a national scale. From all the country over came letters and telegrams of congratulation and encouragement extended by other mutual savings banks, and the new banking house opposite the courthouse was abloom with no fewer than twenty-seven baskets or sprays of flowers, all gorgeous.
The total deposits during banking hours on the first day exceeded $37,000, represented by 114 separate depositors. Pass book No. 1 went to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. MacNeill, now in Arizona, who had made their arrangements way back before the bank was chartered. Rumor spread that the first depositor was a big Texas oil operator, but this was somewhat exaggerated.
The most distant bank offering felicitations was the Puget Sound Mutual Savings bank of the United States, which up to Friday was the baby savings bank of the United States. That is, it was reorganized in 1951 and held title as youngest for this reason. The only mutual savings bank in Minnesota sent congratulations. This was the Farmers and Mechanics of Minneapolis.

Relinquish the Honor

The Community Savings Bank of Lawrence telegraphed: “We graciously relinquish to you the distinction of being the youngest savings bank in the commonwealth. YOu have our best wishes for a long, prosperous future.”
Telegrams came from Patchogue, Saugerties, Providence, Albany, Bay Ridge, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Syracuse, Turners Falls, Bangor, Harwichport, Buffalo, New Britain, Hingham Gardiner, Me., Brookline, Warwick, N. Y., Salem, Plainfield, Brooklyn, Yonkers, Catskill, Worcester, Walden, N. Y., Fall River, Cambridge, Houlton, Me., Rochester, Meredith, N. H., Kingston, Taunton, West Chester, Pa., East Boston, Lee, Mass., Kennebunk, Elizabeth, N. J., Philadelphia, Lowell, Norwich, Hopkinton, College Point, Pittsfield, Nantucket, and Binghamton, among numerous others.
One of the most informal messages was this from Middleboro: “Hi, Neighbor! We hope you decide to join our forum group. Best wishes for a long successful voyage. From all of us at the Middleboro Savings Bank.”
J. Reed Morss, West Chop summer resident and president of the Boaton Five Cent Savings Bank wired the good wishes of that bank. Harris A. Dunn, Edgartown summer resident and long a friend of John W. Osborn, president of the Dukes County Savings Bank, telegraphed his felicitations as vice chairman of the Bowery Savings Bank of New York, the largest of all. A formal message from the officers and trustees of this bank was also wired by the president.

From New York Banks

Other New York city banks sending telegrams were the Central Savings Bank, Empire Savings Bank, Broadway Savings Bank, American Irving Savings Bank. From this last bank came the message: “Our sincere congratulations upon your opening for business on April 15, the first newly organized mutual savings bank in the United States since 1934. May your bank be most successful in encouraging the saving habits of your community and in becoming an important institution on the Island.”
Telegraphed greetings came from the Savings Bank Association of Connecticut, the Mutual Savings Banks of Rhode Island, the Savings Bank Association of New Hampshire, the Savings Bank Association of the State of New York, among other state associations.
Ellery L. Vogel, formerly of New Bedford, and now president of the Springfield Savings Bank, sent congratulations by wire.
Frederick J. Longley, president of the Hudson City Savings Institution of Hudson, N. Y., a summer resident of Oak Bluffs for the past twenty-five years, sent a cordial letter in which he spoke of having followed the course of the new bank in the columns of the Gazette. There were dozens of letters, the number still increasing during the first days of this week, from cities and towns nearby and far off.
Charles P. Howard, state commissioner of banks, wired Mr. Osborn his regrets at his inability to be present, also extending his good wishes.

Fresh and Shining

The bigger and more famous banks of Boston, New Bedford banks, and other Vineyard banks were represented in the form of bouquets. The new banking house of the Island institution, fresh and shining with bright linoleum, fresh paint, appropriate prints on the walls, and modern fixtures without the old-style cages, was adorned with roses, lilies, gladioli, iris, roses of many hues, carnations, and a variety if combinations worth a special trip to see.
On duty during banking hours were Mr. Osborn, the president, and Mrs. Robert L. Hill, treasurer. But Frederick H. Chirgwin, clerk, Edward L. Stevenson of the security committee, Henry Corey, vice president, and others of the incorporators were in and out.
Flowers in profusion came from the three older Vineyard banks, the Savings Bank Association of New York, the First National of Boston, Mechanics Savings Bank of Holyoke, Cohoes Savings Bank, Uxbridge Savings Bank, Bass River Savings Bank, New Bedford Institution for Savings, Merchants National Bank of Leominster; Hanover Bank, New York; Savings Bank Association of Massachusetts; Beneficial Savings Fund Society of Philadelphia, Federal Savings Central Fund, Plymouth Five Cents Savings Bank, The Old Colony Group of the Saving Bank Association of Massachusetts, National Shawmut Bank of Boston, and Million Savings Bank.
Locally, flowers came from the employees in the nearby town hall, Mary and Manuel Correira, the Martha’s Vineyard Printing Co., Henry Corey, and K. T. Galley & Co.

Crowd in Spite of Weather

A wet and foggy Friday morning did not discourage the crowd that gathered for the ceremony of the opening of the Island’s savings bank at 9 o’clock. The newly painted white building at the corner of Main and School streets stood out brightly in its fresh paint, as approximately forty people waited on the steps for the pictures to be taken, the ribbon cut and the doors opened.
Edgartown’s oldest resident, Capt. John Foster, looking trim and erect, posed with bank officers for photographs and cut the ribbon that officially opened the bank for business. This ceremony was preceded by a short prayer for the prosperity of the institution in future years, made by Rev. Arthur Kennan, pastor of the Federated Church of Edgartown.
As the door of the new savings bank swung open for the first time at a little after 9, many people swarmed in to inspect the premises and make some of the first deposits. James Chirgwin of Edgartown was credited with making the very first deposit across the shiny black counter.
The bank itself seemed to be universally admired, many visitors and depositors expressing surprise at the ample space in a building always considered very small, and surprise and pleasure at the light pouring through the windows and at the arrangements awaiting the depositors.
After banking hours closed at 2, the open house began at 3, and some 500 visitors attended. Rudolf Fiebich and musicians of the school orchestra gave the association a send-off with selections played in the side yard, and wives of the officers and incorporators aided with hospitality including the traditional punch bowl.