SUSPENDED - B. F. Allen, Esq. 1875
Posted By: Cheryl Locher Moonen (email)
Date: 4/6/2017 at 22:23:48
The Clinton Age, Clinton, Iowa, January 15, 1875
There are two kinds of suspensions in this naughty world-one by the presence of the rope and other by the absence of greenbacks. It must be next to hanging to go to bed at night thinking you are worth a cool million, and wake up suspended.
B. F. Allen, Esq., was considered the wealthiest man in Iowa. He was a generous, whole-souled banker, who thought he made money fast. But not content with a million, he sought to double it, and in the attempt he tripped and failed.
We hear words only spoken in praise of Mr. Allen. His misfortune brings to him thousands of sympathizing friends, who hope out of the wreck he will save something to start anew with.
His suspension will cause hardly a ripple in the monetary circles of the west.
A Financial Crash-The electric wire flashed an item of news yesterday that will create a profound sensation, not only in Iowa, but throughout the entire northwest. B. F. Allen, the famous Des Moines banker, the man whose income for a number of years past has denoted him to be the wealthiest individual in Iowa, whose lucre had been counted by the hundred thousands, and whose generosity and openhandedness has become almost proverbial, has failed, closed his doors, vanished, gone up the spout, collapsed, and now of all the hosts who ones worshiped his princely magnificence we suppose that not one is left so poor as to do him reverence. Of late years, Mr. Allen has made his headquarters in Chicago, as president of the Cook County National Bank, and the dispatch of yesterday states that his institution has closed its doors and gone into bankruptcy. This news is confirmed by a private dispatch received by J. K. Graves, Esq., and others of our leading businessmen. The shareholders of the bank have voted to go into voluntary liquidation while the depositors are assured that full payment is only a question of time. At present no statement of the assets or liabilities of the institution can be procured, and the full extent of the catastrophe is not known. We hope, however, to be able to give the full particulars in our next issue.
It is a well-known fact in business circles that Mr. Allenís paper has been at a discount upon the streets for several months past, and as the banks through the country generally were fighting shy of him, we presume that none will be badly scorched. It is probable, however, that a few will come in for small amounts. Mr. Allenís failure is a sad illustration of the fate that usually overtakes a man when he endeavors to do too much. Besides Cook County National Bank, Mr. Allen had branches in Des Moines, New York, Colorado and California, all directly connected with the Chicago institution with a network of other smaller banks scattered all over the state. He was also dipping in heavily in the real estate and pork business, and was carrying along a number of railroad schemes. This heavy accumulation of different interest was too much for one man, it would smash up old Astor, or the Commodore himself, and hence the crash came, and now it only remains to be seen what can be picked up out of the ruins. It is probably the heaviest western failure known for years, and is now the all absorbing topic of interests in financial circles. Ė Dubuque Herald.
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