The Ellensburgh National Bank, Territory of Washington (3867) was chartered on 4/14/1888 and liquidated on 7/18/1896.
Austin Mires [VP] (1852-1936) was Vice-President of the bank from its opening in 1888 until 1894. Mires was also an attorney (Michigan State Law, 1882) and Chief Clerk of the Oregon State Senate (1882-1883). He began a private practice in 1883 and was elected Ellensburgh’s first Mayor in 1886. Mires was Prosecuting Attorney for Kittitas County (1904-1907), Ellensburgh City Attorney (7 terms), and the Ellensburgh Treasurer (3 terms).
Ralph Kauffman [Cash] (1860-1943) received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1886 and that same year opened loan and trust company in Portland, Oregon. In 1888 he organized the Ellensburgh National Bank and was Cashier for two years. In 1890 Kauffman began practicing law and in 1907 he was appointed to the Superior Court where he remained until 1916. He served as City Attorney for two terms and was Chairman of the Kittitas County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The Merchants and Planters National Bank of Montgomery, Alabama (2029) was chartered on 8/19/1872 and liquidated on 5/19/1903. They issued $383,650 in Original, Series of 1875, and 1882 Brown Backs. In 1910 $4,630 remained outstanding. Signed by Thomas B. Jordan (Pres) and Robert Goldthwaite (Cash). Two notes are reported in the census. This is the only Original or Series of 1875 $20 known for the state.
The Commercial National Trust and Savings Bank of Los Angeles, CA (#6864) was chartered in 1903 and closed in 1927. It is not a rare bank with 55 notes reported in the census (www.nbncensus.com). What makes this note particularly rare (one of two known) is the Vice-President who signed the note: Cecil Blount deMille.
Cecil Blount deMille was born August 12, 1881 in Ashfield, Massachusetts. He made his acting debut on stage in New York (1900) and in 1913 formed a partnership with Jesse Lasky and Samuel Goldwyn founding the Lasky Film Company, later known as Paramount Pictures. His film production credits include The King of Kings (Director, 1927), The Ten Commandments (Director, 1923), The Greatest Show on Earth (Producer, 1952), The War of the Worlds (Executive Producer, 1953), The Ten Commandments (Director & Narrator, 1956), and he played himself in Sunset Boulevard (1950). deMille was a co-founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. During his career he directed and produced over 80 films.
deMille signed the illustrated note in his capacity as Chairman and Vice-President of motion picture loans for the bank.
The attached article “Our Circulating Medium” was found in the Bismarck Daily Tribune (10/9/1907) and provides insight into the diffusion of National Bank Notes throughout the county.