Old Missoula

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Sec A Page 2 Missoulian Centennial Cashier Kennett Acts Quickly to Save Gold

E-mail Print PDF

Cashier Kennett Acts Quickly to Save Gold

The panic of 1873 had its effect on the small city of Missoula.

It was only 35 days after the First National Bank in Missoula had opened its doors in 1873 that the banking house of Jay Cooke & Co. of New York failed.

This came as a severe blow to Cashier Ferdinand Kennett. Kennett was aware that the First National Bank had $8,000 on deposit with Jay Cooke & Co. in addition to three purses of gold which were en route to New York.

Obviously the $8,000 deposit was lost, but the gold was still on the way. Kennett had to act quickly. Through Daniel Corbin in Helena and by way of the nearest telegraph office, Kennett sent messages to Wells-Fargo and Austin Corbin in New York.

He asked Wells-Fargo to not deliver the gold to Jay Cooke. Of Corbin he requested that a representative of the Austin Corbin firm haunt the Wells-Fargo office to keep check on the situation.

Weeks passed after those few moments of panic. At last, Kennett received the assay report and letter of credit. For Kennett at least, the panic was over.