The area of the modern city of Jacksonville has been inhabited for thousands of years. On Black Hammock Island in the national Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a University of North Florida team discovered some of the oldest remnants of pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BC. In the 16th century, the beginning of the historical era, the region was inhabited by the Mocama, a coastal subgroup of the Timucua people. At the time of contact with Europeans, all Mocama villages in present-day Jacksonville were part of the powerful chiefdom known as the Saturiwa, centered around the mouth of the St. Johns River. One early map shows a village called Ossachite at the site of what is now downtown Jacksonville; this may be the earliest recorded name for that area.
European explorers first arrived in the area 1562, when French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault charted the St. Johns River. In 1564, René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement, Fort Caroline, on the St. Johns near the main village of the Saturiwa. On September 20, 1565, a Spanish force from the nearby Spanish settlement of St. Augustine attacked Fort Caroline, and killed nearly all the French soldiers defending it. The Spanish renamed the fort San Mateo, and following the ejection of the French, St. Augustine’s position as the most important settlement in Florida was solidified.
Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763 after the French and Indian War, and the British soon constructed the King’s Road connecting St. Augustine to Georgia. The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Pilatka and the British named the “Cow Ford”, both names ostensibly reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there. Britain ceded control of the territory back to Spain in 1783, after its defeat in the American Revolutionary War, and the settlement at the Cow Ford continued to grow. After Spain ceded the Florida Territory to the United States in 1821, American settlers on the north side of the Cow Ford decided to plan a town, laying out the streets and plats. They soon named the town “Jacksonville,” after Andrew Jackson. Led by Isaiah D. Hart, residents wrote a charter for a town government, which was approved by the Florida Legislative Council on February 9, 1832.
During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle being shipped from Florida to aid the Confederate cause. The city was blockaded by Union forces, who gained control of the nearby Fort Clinch. From 1862, they controlled the city and most of the First Coast for the duration of the war. Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville proper, the city changed hands several times between Union and Confederate forces. Warfare and the long occupation left the city disrupted after the war.
During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Jacksonville and nearby St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous. Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad. President Grover Cleveland attended the Sub-Tropical Exposition in the city on February 22, 1888 during his trip to Florida. This highlighted the visibility of the state as a worthy place for tourism. The city’s tourism, however, was dealt major blows in the late 19th century by yellow fever outbreaks. In addition, extension of the Florida East Coast Railway further south drew visitors to other areas. From 1893 to 1938 Jacksonville was the site of the Florida Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home with a nearby cemetery.
On May 3, 1901, downtown Jacksonville was ravaged by a fire that started at a fiber factory. Known as the “Great Fire of 1901”, it was one of the worst disasters in Florida history and the largest urban fire in the southeastern United States. In just eight hours, it destroyed the business district and left approximately 10,000 residents homeless. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia, and the smoke plumes seen in Raleigh, North Carolina. Architect Henry John Klutho was a primary figure in the reconstruction of the city. More than 13,000 buildings were constructed between 1901 and 1912.
C.W. Denny was a partner in Denny and Brown, a private bank established in 1870, and failed in September 1874. This “Certificate of Deposit” was engraved by Florida Union Printing. It is counterstamped vertically “I certify that the resolutions of the public meeting of Sept. 30, 1873 have been complied with in this certificate of deposit” and signed by the chairman of the supervising committee. Hand dated October 4, 1873. The note was printed to cope with the financial panic that began on Sept. 18, 1873. To date, this is the only note known.
Organized in 1851 under the leadership of Dr. Abel Seymour Baldwin to go from Jacksonville to Alligator Town (later renamed Lake City in 1859). Completed March 13, 1860, with disruptions during the Civil War, but remained the only railroad serving Jacksonville until 1881. Notes were engaved by North, Sherman & Co. N.Y. Handwritten dates between 1856 and 1859, with various signers.
Dr. Edward P. Webster was a druggist from New York who gave away medicine to those who could not pay during the 1857 yellow fever epidemic. The very interesting legend on the notes reads “These are issued merely as a mutual convenience during the scarcity of silver change.” They further state “On demand, we promise to redeem this bill, either in goods from our store, to its value, or in current funds, when presented to the amount of one dollar, or upwards.” Notes are signed by E.P. Webster & Co.
Printed on the back of Bank of Jacksonville notes, these payroll scrip notes payable to the bearer at the Bank of St. Johns were signed by George Mooney, as contractor.
Samuel Fairbanks operated a sawmill and store at the west end of town, he issued these notes payable at the Bank of St. Johns.
Theodore Hartridge was a physician from Georgia who became a dry goods retailer on Bay Street. Notes were “payable to Bearer, on return of this Certificate, in current Bank Bills.” Bank of St. Johns
Cyrus Bisbee and Lawrence Canova owned a grocery store on the south side of Bay Street. Bank of St. Johns
William Grothe was a Prussian watchmaker who operated a jewelry store, he was also postmaster from April 19, 1854 to April 8, 1862. His notes, like others, were redeemable at the Bank of St. Johns, and dated Feb. 22, 1862, and signed by J.H.H. Bours, cashier.
National Bank of The State of Florida, Jacksonville received its charter on March 30, 1885 and was liquidated on September 8, 1903.
The National Bank of Jacksonville was chartered on April 20, 1888 and was liquidated April 14, 1908. A very rare Jacksonville charter with only 4 notes known on the bank, which was the beginning of the Barnett Banking empire of Florida. Amazingly all three Barnetts signatures are represented on the above two notes.
Merchants National Bank of Jacksonville was issued its charter on June 2, 1890 and fell into receivership on March 17, 1897. This recently discovered note is the only one known on this bank!
The Atlantic National Bank was an American bank based in Jacksonville, Florida. It existed from 1903 until 1985, when it merged with First Union (which was subsequently acquired by Wachovia and then Wells Fargo.) The company constructed two significant buildings in Downtown Jacksonville: 121 Atlantic Place (formerly the Atlantic National Bank Building) and the Schultz Building (formerly the Atlantic National Bank Annex).
Founded in 1903 by Edward W. Lane, railroad magnate Thomas P. Denham, and Fred W. Hoyt, Atlantic National Bank was one of the most significant locally based banking institutions of its era. As time passed the bank went national, and developed correspondent relationships with banks in other regions of the country, including Wells Fargo in San Francisco.
The bank was initially based in the Dyal-Upchurch Building in Downtown Jacksonville, but built its own building, the Atlantic National Bank Building (now 121 Atlantic Place) between 1908 and 1909. The building narrowly lost out in a race to become Jacksonville’s first skyscraper, but at 135-foot (41 m) in height, it was slightly taller than its competition, making it the tallest building in Florida at the time. By 1926 the bank had grown so much that it opened the Atlantic National Bank Annex (now the Schultz Building) directly behind the main building. Both buildings are among the most historically significant in Jacksonville.
In 1961 Edward Lane, Jr., son of founder Edward Lane, was named president. In 1976 he became chairman of the holding company, and the bank grew to include assets of $3.9 billion. In 1985 Lane negotiated the merger of Atlantic National Bank with First Union of Charlotte, North Carolina. First Union was subsequently absorbed by Wachovia and then Wells Fargo.
Edward W. Lane (1903-1928)
John T. Walker, Jr. (1929-1934)
Edward W. Lane (1934-1942)
Thomas P. Denham (1903-1912)
D.D. Upchurch (1912-1915)
D.K. Catherwood (1916-1918)
W.I. Coleman (1919-1923)
C.O. Little (1924-1925)
Gerald E. Therry (1926-1933)
J. Taliaferro Lane (Edward’s Son) became cashier in 1933
The Atlantic National Bank of Jacksonville was chartered July of 1903. To this day the Atlantic National Bank of Jacksonville continues to serve the people of Jacksonville.
Captain Charles E. Garner (1906-1913)
Arthur F. Perry (1913-1930)
Alfred I. Dupont (1930-1932)
George J. Avent (1932-
W.A. Redding (1906-1915)
George J. Avent (1915-1920)
Charles B. Campbell (1920-1926)
John A. Newsome (1926)
Nathan A. Wakefield (1927-1942)
Florida National Bank of Jacksonville was chartered August of 1906 and was later merged with First Union National Bank of Florida.
View video of The Barnett Bank Building- Jacksonville’s Tallest Skyscrapper 1926-1954. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bqO4Mhj5O0
This is the new building built to house Barnett Banks Headquarters in Jacksonville
This was the old National Bank of Jacksonville building.
View video of “A Century of Banking in Jacksonville (August 8, 1877) The history of Barnett Bank http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOomehokF2c
Barnett Bank, founded in 1877, eventually became the largest Commercial Bank in FL with over 600 offices and $41.2 billion in deposits. The purchase by Nations Bank was announced August 29, 1997, but even before signs on Barnett’s branches were changed, NationsBank merged with Bank America in 1998, creating Bank of America.
The Fourth National Bank of Jacksonville was chartered January of 1910 and was eventually liquidated on December 29, 1913. One of Jacksonville’s scarcer banks with only 7 large size notes known.
The Heard National Bank of Jacksonville was organized on February 2, 1912 and only less than 5 years the bank fell into receivership on January 17, 1917. Issuing only large size notes there are 15 singles and 3 uncut sheets known at this time. Two of the uncut sheets are featured in this collection.
- Browse Videos of Florida’s Historical Towns and Banks
- Collecting Florida National Bank Notes
- Recent Acquisitions
- State of Florida Civil War Currency
- Florida Currency Museum Open Showcasing The William Youngerman Collection
Notes & Currency
- 18__ Fernandina $3 Obsolete Note
- 1882 $50 Jacksonville Note Charter #3869
- 1902 $10 Punta Gorda Note Charter #10512
- 1882 $5 Palatka Note Charter #3223
- 1902 $5 Key West Note Charter #7942