The Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank was founded in 1854, opening its doors for business on June 3rd. Sixty-four accounts were opened on that day with deposits totalling $864.64. Woburn was a thriving community at that time with a population that included mechanics, shopkeepers, manufacturers, and professional men, although many of the town's citizens were employed in its principal industry, leather.
The bank's first location was in Nathan Wyman's store, but it outgrew those quarters within the first year of business. It moved to the store of William Woodbury on Main St. Continual growth necessitated the bank's removal to four more locations until 1888 when the bank erected its own building on its current site. It occupied the second floor of the building until 1912 when the city's post office (it had been incorporated as a city in 1888) moved from the first floor of the bank building to a new post office building.
Although it remained on the same location, the bank outgrew its 1888 building, resulting in the construction of its present structure in 1931. Above the windows are symbolic carvings representing Capital, supported by Prosperity and Wealth; Mechanics, Art and Agriculture, and Industry, supported by figures representing Banking and Recording; and the Beehive of Industry.
The Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank was acquired by the Sterling Bank of Waltham in 1991. In August of 1994, the Sterling Banks were acquired by Fleet Bank.
100th Anniversary 1854-1954: A Century of Community Service. April 7, 1954, Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank, Woburn, Massachusetts (Boston: L.E. Muran Co.), 1954.
The records of the Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank consist of 57 volumes stored offsite in 17 record cartons and 1 oversize box stored onsite at Ms. N-347. The collection has been arranged into three series: I. Bank records, 1854-1984; II. Customer records, 1854-1906; III. Bank history materials, 1854-1954.
Series I. Bank records contain minutes of the board of trustee meetings, 1854-1984, most including the records of the Committee of Investment and early financial records of the bank, including early account books, 1854-1882, and quarterly audit receipts, 1854-1881. The bank records also include the minutes of the Cambridge University Trust bank, 1926-1973.
Series II. Customer records contain three volumes listing customer names by savings account numbers from 1854 to 1906. Most also list the customer's address and some note family or occupational information. The bulk of the series consists of individual savings account records kept by account number in what appear to be three series (see container list for a detailed volume list), 1854-1906. Carton #17 contains five volumes of alphabetical indexes to the customer records from name to account number.
Series III. Bank history materials contains one folder of miscellaneous historical materials, including the first bank book of J.P. Converse; two copies of 100th Anniversary 1854-1954 ; A Century of Community Service (Woburn, Mass.: Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank, April 7, 1954); an oversize folder containing photographs and drawings by Marjorie A. Kenneally of bank and town scenes used in the pamphlet; and several copies of the dedication edition of Woburn Daily Times, Sept. 21, 1931.
In July 2001, the records were appraised and processed. As a result, the collection was reduced from 47 record cartons to 11 record cartons, 6 XL record cartons, and 1 oversize box.
Minutes of the trustees were kept to the most recent date (1984), while the remainder of the collection was weeded extensively. Detailed financial information can be found only in the customer records and in early bank records. Detailed customer accounts were retained through 1906; this is the date through which there are lists of customer names with demographic information and for which there are alphabetical name indexes.
See the curator of manuscripts for more information.
The Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank records were the gift of the Sterling Bank, August 1994.
The bulk of the Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank records (except for oversize) are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.
The collection is organized into the following series:
Woburn Five Cents Savings Bank records, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.
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