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First National Bank of Medicine Lodge, Kansas Serial Number 1 $5 Brown Back

Stack’s
Bowers Galleries is pleased to offer for the first time to the collecting
community an incredible serial number 1 $5 Brown Back from the First National
Bank of Medicine Lodge, Kansas in the upcoming Official Currency Auction of the
Whitman Coin and Collectibles Spring Expo. This note represents a remarkable
feat of survival as just $285 of the bank’s total issue of $40,060 in National
Currency remained outstanding in 1910. This is the only known surviving example
of National Currency issued by the bank.

The
town of Medicine Lodge is located in Barber County. Before the area was settled
by whites it was occupied by the Kiowa people who believed the nearby Medicine
Lodge River, or A-yadalda P’a as they called it, was sacred due to its high
content of healing Epsom salts.  The
Kiowa constructed a tabernacle a few miles south of the present day town for
the celebration of their annual sun dance in 1866. The area was also the site
of the Medicine Lodge Treaties signed between the United States and a number of
different Plains Indians tribes including the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Arapaho
and Cheyenne.

A
group of white settlers led by John Hutchinson founded the town of Medicine
Lodge on a 400-acre site north of the confluence of Elm Creek and Medicine
Lodge River in February 1873. The sleepy rural Kansas town grew slowly aided by
a bustling local livestock trade. The First National Bank received its charter
there on September 24, 1884.

The
bank issued only $5 Brown Backs in sheets of four notes each. A total of 2,003
sheets were issued by the bank before it was liquidated on March 1, 1894. The
note to be offered is the Plate C note from the first sheet of notes ever
issued by the bank. Medicine Lodge had one other note-issuing National bank,
the Citizens National Bank of Medicine Lodge, which operated from late 1886
until early 1891. That bank remains unreported with just $175 outstanding in
1910.

A
number of light folds are seen, likely from storage rather than circulation.
The printed inks retain much of their original boldness while the hand signed
bank officers’ signatures are neatly inked and very legible. The note is graded
Very Fine 30 by PMG with the grading service mentioning “Minor Restoration”
which is limited to the margins of the note. This is a fantastic National currency
rarity with an excellent location name and the always coveted serial number 1.
The note carries a pre-auction estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auctions of the Whitman
Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo will be held March 29-31, 2017 in Baltimore,
Maryland. To consign to a Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction please contact
Currency Specialist Brad Ciociola at bciociola@stacksbowers.com or
Director of Currency Peter Treglia at petert@stacksbowers.com.


 


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