City Directories and History: 1908 – E.C. Stahn, 1940 – Peoples National Bank, William A. Corkill, Home Builders Association, 1958 – Peoples National Bank, 1978 – Board of Commerce and Development, 1986 – Chester Chamber of Commerce
“The National Bank of Chester is an indispensable agent in the transaction of business at this place. It is well and wisely managed. The officers are John J. McLure, president; Joseph Wylie, vice-president; J. L. Harris, cashier; David Hemphill, assistant cashier. The directors are J. J. McLure, Joseph Wylie, James Hemphill, Matthew White, J. L. Agurs, J. F. Wallace, W. H. Hardin, S. B. Latham, and J. J. Hemphill. The capital of the bank is $150,000, and it pays an annual dividend of 8 per cent. During the past commercial year from September 1,1886, the bank paid out $605,000 for cotton bought at this place. It paid out an additional amount for cotton bought at Richburg, Blackstock, Lowryville, and other places in the county. Chester is surrounded by fine cotton lands and is one of the best cotton markets in the State.”
It appears the National Bank of Chester was a predecessor of the People’s National Bank of Chester. Reprinted from South Carolina in the 1880s: A Gazetteer by J.H. Moore, Sandlapper Publishing Company – 1989
The Rock Hill Record reported on July 27, 1907 – Chester has a new brochure “the center of prosperity” printed by the Chamber of Commerce.
The Peoples Bank, chartered in 1905, occupies this site in downtown Chester is one of the most distinct on Gadsden street. The marble wainscoted porch with its two fine Ionic columns distinguishes the building as a stable institution. In 1878, E.C. Stahn opened his jewelry business here it was called the Wilks Building. Stahn’s business operate until after 1908 but closed shortly thereafter. Mr. Stahn had been the General Manager of the S.M. Jones Company in the late 19th century. In 1914 the building was remodeled to its present appearance for the People’s National Bank. The bank closed in 1971. It remains one of Chester’s most impressive facades.
This building was remodeled by Rock Hill architect and builder, Mr. Julian S. Starr in 1914 for the impressive amount of $10,000.
Informative link: National Register
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