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Guide to the Katanyan Bank Bank Notes, 1857-1861 MSS 004

Guide to the Katanyan Bank Bank Notes, 1857-1861

MSS 004

Summary Information

Bank notes, 1857-1861, of the Katanyan Bank, La Crosse, Wisconsin's first bank. The bank was owned by La Crosse resident Wilson Colwell. When Colwell was killed in a Civil War battle in the fall of 1862, the bank crashed.

There are no other records with this collection other than the ephemeral bank notes.
Collection Title
Katanyan Bank Bank Notes
Date of Materials
Katanyan Bank (La Crosse, Wis.).
Call Number
MSS 004
0.2 cubic feet
Physical Description
1 archives half box
Language of Materials
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Katanyan Bank Bank Notes, MSS 004, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

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Historical Note

Wilson Colwell, a Pennsylvania native, was born in 1827. He was the son of Alexander and Margaret (Henry) Colwell, natives of northern Ireland and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Colwell came to La Crosse in 1856 and founded the city's first bank, the Katanyan Bank. Colwell owned it and served as its president.

In 1858, he married Nannie Hammer, and their only child, Nannie Colwell, was born in 1859. In 1860 he and Nannie purchased property in La Crosse at present day 330 So. 6th St. He was elected mayor in 1861. In April of that year, Colwell enlisted in the U.S. Army as Captain of the Light Guards who then came to be known as Company B, 2nd Wisconsin of the Iron Brigade. Colwell was killed in the Battle of South Mountain, September 14, 1862. The Katanyan Bank crashed shortly after his death.

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Scope and Contents

This small collection consists solely of bank notes (cancelled checks) of Wilson Colwell and his Katanyan Bank from 1857-1861. There is no ledger or listing of loans to accompany these notes.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 1989 August

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136

Access to Materials

Materials in this collection are available for patron use.

Acquisitions Information

Donor unknown. (Accession No. x.026)

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Taylor Doering, Aug. 1989.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Katanyan Bank (La Crosse, Wis.).

Personal Name(s)

  • Colwell, Wilson


  • Bank notes--Wisconsin--La Crosse
  • Banks and banking--Wisconsin--La Crosse

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OCLC Number


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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Cramer & Clinton bank notes, undated 

1 1

Bank notes, 1857-1861 

1 2-3