The Merchants and Mechanics Bank was established as a branch of a bank in Wheeling in 1860, and was originally housed in a storefront of the Despard Block. In 1894, the Merchants Bank Building was constructed and housed three storerooms, all of which are still in their original state today. In 1961, Merchant Bank’s assets were purchased by Union Bank, and the building was then purchased by its present namesake, Community Savings and Loans.
J.G. Jackson of Clarksburg, then Virginia, was the attorney
for the Muskingum Bank in Zanesville, Ohio in 1814, and also owned stock in the
Bank of Marietta in Marietta, Ohio. Jackson was aware that a charter to
establish a bank in Clarksburg would be in the files of the assembly in
Richmond due to the salt works in the area. The Virginia Saline Bank was
established by Benjamin Wilson Jr. and John Webster in a stone building on the
south side of West Main Street between Water and Second Streets in Clarksburg
in 1812. Jackson joined Wilson and Webster to promote his investment in salt
works in Clarksburg, and to strengthen a bank that was 300 miles away from the
state capital. The Virginia Saline Bank served as a wildcat bank, a bank that
was chartered by state law without any federal
oversight, for a few years, and was eventually sued by the United States
because the bank had no funds.
When a bank in Wheeling received a charter from
the Virginia Assembly, a branch was established Clarksburg in 1860 under the
name of Merchants and Mechanics Bank. Nathan Goff served as the Merchants and
Mechanics Bank with Luther Haymond as the cashier. When Clarksburg was
threatened with invasion by the Confederate Army, Luther himself carried assets
and records of the bank to Grafton for safe-keeping.
Merchants Bank has
existed on the same block in Clarksburg since its establishment in 1860; the
first location of Merchants Bank was in a storeroom in the Despard Block. The
Merchants Bank Building was established in 1894 on the corner of the Despard
Block, at the corners of West Main and Third Streets. The Union Bank purchased
the assets belonging to Merchants Bank in 1961, and the building was sold to
Community Savings and Loan.