Monday, May 1, 2017

Little Man To The Rescue

I remember Dad talking about Grandpa Powell taking stuff to Green Forest to sell in 1929-30 and bringing it all back home in the wagon.  They sold eggs, cream, and such things to grocers in Green Forest.  With the stock market crash came confusion and fright.  No one would buy what Grandpa had to sell.  He brought it all back home.

Aunt Fleta graduated from School of the Ozarks in 1935.  I don't believe Daddy had gone to the school in 1929.  I believe he still lived at home.  I doubt Grandpa had money in either of the banks in Green Forest, but I am sure if he did he would have wanted to get his cash in hand.  There was no FDIC then.  No insurance on the money in the banks.  Folks that did have money in banks after the 1929 stock market crash hurried to the bank to get what little they had or what "a lot" they had.  No bank had enough money to cover all it's deposits.  They had cash to give out to those who came needing it in a timely manner, but not every person who had an account.  Banks failed all over the country and the people who had money there lost out.

Richard told me the story of what happened in Green Forest in late 1930.  Ray Anderson and his father saw the "hand writing on the wall".  They knew there would be a run on their bank.   So to stave off the run they locked the doors giving them a little time to decide what to do.

On December 18, 1930, Ray Anderson stood in the back of a wagon as a spokesman for the Farmers and Merchants Bank and the First National Bank and told a large gathering of citizens of Green Forest that they could not draw any of their money out of either bank. He gave them his personal assurance that they would not loose any money and by cooperating, would help get the banks open sooner. The banks both closed as a choice of the directors to prevent the possibility of a run on the banks due to the closing of 12 nearby banks. 

Cash was understandably hard to come but Lum Anderson and his sons, Ray and Tom, knew an older man who did not believe in banks. This man and his wife lived out on Cisco road.   Lum Anderson grew up near Cisco, AR and he knew this man who did not trust ANY bank, Albert D. Buell.  Albert ran the post office and a county story.  He did not deposit any money in any bank.  He had no love for banks.   He was just what we call a "little man".  

The Andersons went to see Albert D. Buell and explained what they needed. He and his wife rolled back the rug to show rows and rows of money. He told Lum, “There it is, just take whatever you need.” They also went to the pantry and took rolls of money out of jars of dried beans and corn. The Andersons borrowed $5,000.00 and all three of them signed the note.

You see, Albert did not LOVE the bank, but he did not want all his neighbors to lose their money.  Richard said Lum stacked the money up behind the teller bars--locked--so the people could see their money was there.  He posted a guard holding a shot gun by the stacked cash.  The confidence of the people grew.  The Banks were saved.  The two banks were soon consolidated into one.
Ruth and Albert D. Buell
Green Forest was one of a very few places where the banks did not fail.  They stayed open and strong not because of help from the U S Government or any banking industry.   They held strong because of the "little man" from Cisco, AR who cared about his neighbors.

Birth: Jun. 22, 1884
Carroll County
Arkansas, USA
Death: Sep. 11, 1966
Carroll County
Arkansas, USA

Albert Dunlevy Buell was the son of Thomas Marion Buell and Mary Marie (Watt) Buell. Albert was born in Green Forest, Carroll Co., AR, but lived most of his life in the community of Cisco, in Carroll Co., AR. He became the manager of a general store purchased by his father in that community in 1907. He operated the store for 40 years. He also operated a Grist Mill there and was the Postmaster of the Cisco Post Office from 1914 until 1949.

Albert was married to Ruthie Shipman June 21, 1908 by Rev. Standley and they became the parents of five children:

Jasper Bledsoe "Jap" Buell
Alberta Jack (Buell) Cloyes
Troy Benjamin Buell
Arch Carroll Buell 

Josephine (Buell) Marrs

There is a little story about this event at ARStaff Bank, formerly First National Bank of Green Forest.  Their story is not nearly as good as the one Richard to me about what happened.  Richard said a lot of the old houses had a cellar that one could enter from the house and this is where Albert had his "cold" cash.  I think AnStaff should have let Brother tell their story and it would have been more entertaining and colorful.

1 comment:

  1. Albert's wife was Ruth Shipman--of the Denver, AR Shipmans. That is an entire another story interwoven in our Gaddy history. Maybe Fleta will know it but probably no one else.