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Special Home > Guide to the Salmon Falls Bank Account Books, 1851-1929

Guide to the Salmon Falls Bank Account Books, 1851-1929

Collection number: MC 192

Size: 4 boxes (1.33 cu.ft.)

About William H. Morton and the Salmon Falls Bank

The Salmon Falls Bank of Rollinsford, New Hampshire was incorporated on July 3, 1851 with capital of $50,000. Mason & Lawrence Company of Boston, who had recently acquired the Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company, directly influenced the bank’s incorporation. They built housing and sponsored business in the area in order to draw workers to the Salmon Falls Mills. On September 15, 1851 William H. Morton was selected as the cashier for Salmon Falls Bank, a position he held until his death on June 4, 1903. After Morton’s death in 1903, John Q. A. Wentworth became cashier and served the Salmon Falls Bank until his death on January 30, 1929. In June 1964 the bank merged with the Somersworth Bank and became the Somersworth-Rollinsford Savings Bank.

William H. Morton was born on February 14, 1814 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to William and Sarah (Griffith) Morton. In 1823 the Mortons moved to Somersworth (now Rollinsford), New Hampshire. William Morton, Sr. was a carpenter who built and serviced several of the mills at Salmon Falls. At the age of 16 William H. Morton was hired by the Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company to sort wool. He worked there for 4 years. In 1834, after the mill had burned down, he moved to Grafton, Massachusetts where he worked two years in another woolen mill. Then, in 1836, he and a partner opened a general store. In 1841 Morton married Sarah Putnam Merriam of Grafton and a daughter, Georgietta, was born in 1844. Morton moved the store from Grafton to Blackstone, Massachusetts in 1842 before returning to Salmon Falls in 1845 where he ran the general store business from his new house. Tragedy struck the family when Sarah died in 1849. After being appointed cashier of the Salmon Falls Bank in 1851, William abandoned his general store business to devote his full attention to the bank.

Morton was very active in politics. He served as a selectman of Somersworth for two years before the incorporation of Rollinsford and then as a selectman of Rollinsford from July 3, 1849-March 1, 1852. He also served as Rollinsford town clerk from 1849-1898, town treasurer from 1849 to February 1901 and as a Justice of the Peace. William H. Morton was elected to the New Hampshire Senate and served for two years as the Chairman of the Legislative Committee on Banking. Morton Park, a Civil War memorial, in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, was built with funds from his estate in 1909.

About the Salmon Falls Bank Account Books

The collection consists of eight account books pertaining to the Salmon Falls Bank in Rollinsford, New Hampshire. Included in the collection is William H. Morton’s personal cash book (1852-1865). Morton recorded Rollinsford Town treasury information in this book as well as his own personal income and expenditures. At one time the pages that contained the town treasury information were glued together. Also found in this book were nineteen pieces of paper: blotters, adding tables, bills and a letter. William H. Morton, as cashier of the Salmon Falls Bank, kept six of the other books in this collection, which were vital to the operation of the Salmon Falls Bank: a discount book (October 16, 1851), two note books (1851-1864 and 1864-1894), two cash books (1868-1871 and 1881-1888), and a waste book (1875-1881). The eighth book, a deposit book (1903-1929), was kept by John Q. A. Wentworth for the Rollinsford Savings Bank. Found in this book were 45 pieces of correspondence and other miscellaneous items dating from 1926 to 1929.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Salmon Falls Bank Account Books, 1851-1929, MC 192, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchase: Carmen Valentino, November 14, 2005 (Accession number: 2005-15)

Collection Contents

Series I: Account Books, 1851-1929

(4 boxes)

Box 1
Box 1, Item 1 October 16, 1851 – November 1, 1898. “Notes Discounted,” Salmon Falls Bank

This account book records the very beginnings of the Salmon Falls bank. Early transactions involve relatively small amounts. However, on October 29, 1852, Samuel Lawrence, treasurer of the Bay State Mills, deposited a 5-month $10,000 note and the next day Morton began heading his pages “Salmon Falls Bank”. Each entry records the date, name, investment, and dividends. Please wear gloves when using this book.

Box 1, Item 2 December 1851 – August 1864. “Notes Discounted,” Salmon Falls Bank

This account book follows the due dates of the notes recorded in “Notes Discounted” above. Entries include the Town of Rollinsford, Somersworth Machine Company, Somersworth Savings Bank, Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company, Bay State Mills, and Great Falls Manufacturing Company.

Box 2
Box 2, Item 1 April 1, 1852 – July 11, 1865. “Cash Book,” William H. Morton

In this account book William H. Morton details his personal income and expenses. His income includes his salary as bank cashier and the fees he collects as town clerk and treasurer. Household expenditures include food items (“oranges,” “cider,” “eggs,” “Thompson for beef and tongue,” “Ice cream and Berries”), services (“housekeeper,” “repairing gold pen,” “Boys for bailing water”), church ( “pew rental, ” “church subscription,” “Methodist subscription”), entertainment (” Uncle Tom’s Cabin Play,” “panorama,” “exhibition and concert,” “library subscription”), charity (“Indian,” “charity to freeman,” “man without hands”), and his family (“2 kites,” “wife,” “Etta music lesson,” “toys,” “candy,” “Seamen Society for daughter”). Also included in this account book are ledgers regarding Rollinsford Town treasury. Town tax collection is recorded in detail as well as town expenditures. Civil War bounties and state aid are clearly recorded in some of the last pages. The nineteen paper items found in this book are located in Box 4, Folder 1.

Box 2, Item 2 September 1864 – May 1894. “Notes Book,” Salmon Falls Bank

This account book also follows the due dates of the notes recorded in the “Notes Discounted” account book. Note holders include Bay City Bonds, the Town of Somersworth, and Sedalia Planing Mill. The last pages of the account book detail bonds and notes held by the bank on May 1, 1895 with corresponding values. Examples of bonds include Burlington Electric Railroad, Denver Consolidated Electric, and Bay City 8% Water Bonds.

Box 3
Box 3, Item 1 May 11, 1868 – April 15, 1871. “Cash Journal,” Salmon Falls Bank

Records the daily cash flow of the bank. The left page details cash coming in and the right page details cash going out. Cash coming in reflects cash deposits from customers and affiliated banks. Cash going out reflects expenses, dividends, and bond coupons.

Box 3, Item 2 January 3, 1875 – May 7, 1881. “Waste Book,” Salmon Falls Bank

Waste books were used by bankers to track daily bank transactions. At the end of the day this information would be organized into a different set of books. For a waste book this account ledger is remarkably organized. Each set of pages represents the business of the bank for one week and at the end of the week debits and credits would be tabulated. Each debit and credit expenditure is entered under a category. These categories include: cash, deposits, Eliot National Bank, bills receivable, and interest. (Please wear gloves when using this book.)

Box 4
Box 4, Item 1 May 16, 1881 – October 24, 1888. “Cash,” Salmon Falls Bank

Records the daily cash flow of the bank. Like the “Cash Journal” above this book details bank debits on the left and bank credits on the right. Bonds are recorded in detail, as well as customer transactions and bank expenditures. These records also detail some Rollinsford Town transactions.

Box 4, Item 2 May 10, 1904 – December 31, 1929. “Deposit Book,” Rollinsford Savings Bank.

This book was kept by John Q. A. Wentworth. Records account deposits. Each entry includes the date, account number, name, amount deposited and sometimes includes accrued interest. The forty-nine paper items found in this book are in Box 4, f. 2-4.

Series II: Letters and Miscellaneous, 1851-1929

(1 box)

Subseries A: William H. Morton

Box 4, Folder 1 Loose Pages, 1850-1860:

Bill from Atwood and Bingham of Georgetown, Massachusetts. September 11, 1850.

Bill from Atwood and Bingham of Georgetown, Massachusetts. June 21, 1851.

Written note regarding payments. November 1856 – March 1857.

Categorized expenses for the year 1860.

Categorized expenses for the year 1861 with notes on 1860.

Categorized expenses for the year 1863.

Notes on copy of death certificate. April 16, 1864.

Letter. From Rollinsford Selectmen to W. H. Morton, Town Treasurer. Details tax collection procedures. May 20, 1864.

Categorized expenses for the year 1864.

State of New Hampshire Certificate of Marriage, blank. Undated.

Written note regarding Mrs. Lodge of Lansing, Iowa. Undated.

Categorized expenses for the year undated.

Seven scraps of paper.

Subseries B: John Q. A. Wentworth

Box 4, Folder 2 Loose Pages, 1926:

Note from Hannah A. Nowell, North Berwick, Maine, regarding deposit. January 2, 1926.

Note from Louise J. Haine, North Berwick, Maine, regarding account interest. January 4, 1926.

Note from A. T. June, Somersworth, New Hampshire, regarding deposit and account interest. January 5, 1926.

Note from Olivia A. Estabrook, Berwick, Maine, regarding deposit. January 6, 1926.

Note from Mrs. Charles H. Joy, Lakewood, Ohio, regarding account interest. January 11, 1926.

Note from Martha A. Kelley, Dover, New Hampshire, regarding account interest. January 13, 1926.

Rough Draft of letter from John Q. A. Wentworth to Everett Stackpole, Stoneham, Massachusetts. January 1926.

Note from Everett Stackpole, Stoneham, Massachusetts regarding passbook. January 13, 1926.

Deposit slip. Louis Guyise. August 21, 1926.

Note from Susan E. Brown, Sanbornville, New Hampshire, regarding deposit to account of Lillian May West. November 6, 1926.

Box 4, Folder 3 Loose Pages, 1927:

Note from Martha A. Kelley, Dover, New Hampshire, regarding account dividends. January 5, 1927.

Note from Florence Kelley, Dover, New Hampshire, regarding account dividends. January 5, 1927.

Note from Olivia A. Estabrook, Berwick, Maine, regarding deposit and account interest. January 6, 1927.

Note from Sarah A. Rollins, Somersworth, New Hampshire, regarding interest for the account of Darcus L. Towle. February 10, 1927.

Note from Teresa Harrity, Berwick, Maine, regarding account interest. February 16, 1927.

Note from Rose T. Cheney, Somersworth, New Hampshire, regarding account interest. February 17, 1927.

Note from Rosana Towle, Somersworth, New Hampshire, regarding account interest. February 17, 1927.

Deposit slip. Estate of John Censor. April 13, 1927.

Note from Anna H. Heikis, Alburn, Maine, regarding account interest. July 4, 1927.

Note from Guy Smart, Rochester, New Hampshire, regarding interest on the estate of Charles L. Estes. July 5, 1927.

Note from Ora Ham, Somersworth, New Hampshire, regarding deposit. November 30, 1927.

Note from Clara W. S. Sanderson, Charlotte, Vermont, regarding deposit. December 3, 1927.

Note from Olivia A. Estabrook, Berwick, Maine, regarding deposit. December 12. 1927.

Box 4, Folder 4 Loose Pages, 1928-1929:

Note from Florence S. Wentworth, South Berwick, Maine, regarding account interest. January 1, 1928.

Note from Martha A. Kelley, Dover, New Hampshire, regarding account interest. January 11, 1928.

Note from Ethel F. Abbott, Everett, Massachusetts, regarding deposit. March 13, 1928.

Note from E. E. Bickford, Shapleigh, Maine, inquiry into bank services. March 22, 1928.

Note from Maryanna Eastman, Exeter, New Hampshire, regarding account dividends. March 30, 1928.

Damaged deposit slip. E. A. Stevens. April 4, 1928.

Note from Olivia A. Estabrook, Berwick, Maine, regarding deposit. June 18, 1928.

Deposit slip. Charles Stuart Chase, Haverhill, Massachusetts. December 10, 1928.

Deposit slip. Charles Stuart Chase, Haverhill, Massachusetts. March 14, 1929. Note from Olive A. Estabrook, Berwick, Maine, regarding deposit. December 2, 1929.

Deposit Slip. Elbert Shurthuff. December 6, 1929.

Note from Olive D. Couture, Sanford, Massachusetts, notice of withdrawal. December 16, 1929.

Christmas Club. December 1929.

Deposit Slip. Blank with adding tables.

Green paper with adding tables.

Scrap paper on offering sheet for Municipal and New York City Bonds.

Scrap paper. Adding tables.

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