Monday, August 15, 2011

Columbus Wisconsin Bank Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary with "Hidden Treasures" Found in Basement

Bank workers discover objects that shed light on history. (Beaver Dam Daily Citizen, 8/12/2011)

Excerpt:   Tasmiski, loan officer Schultz and board of directors member June Waterworth have been working together with the 150th anniversary committee at the institution to delve into the bank’s history. Kasmiski works in the bank’s information technology department and also helps coordinate marketing with Schultz.

The women have been looking for hidden treasures as they prepare to display some of the bank’s history at an anniversary celebration on Sept. 1.

Recently they found two large trunks full of books hiding in the basement that date back to the start of the bank.

“We had to dig these out,” Kasmiski said. “They were covered in stuff.”

The books were owned by bank founder John Russell Wheeler. 
[See pages 246-247.]  They include many works of history, philosophy and poetry, as well as a number of Bibles and religious books – and even a book of Greek grammar.

A book on needle work – doubtless owned by Wheeler’s wife – still contains a pressed flower.

Perhaps the most unusual item in the trunks is a Civil War field syringe.

And these two trunks were not the only things that have come to light as Kasmiski and Schultz have been getting things organized for the anniversary.

“So far I have archived more than 1,400 items that I have found in the basement,” Schultz said.

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank was designed by noted American architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924).  It was not a typical commission for him.

Read more about it and then take a trip to Columbus to see for yourself.

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