Handing ‘Em Cash: ALL NIGHT AND DAY THE RUN AND BANK.
Crowd of Men, Women and Boys in Line a Block Long Moving on the Paying Teller’s Window to Get Money Out – Some Depositing.
Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1910 — Between 11 and 12 o’clock yesterday morning, a run was started on the All Night and Day Bank, Sixth and Spring Streets, and early this morning hundreds of tired-looking men and women, boys and girls were still anxiously awaiting their turn at the paying teller’s window.
Inside the banking institution, apparently there was no great excitement and business was being transacted as tranquilly as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
Newton J. Skinner, president of the bank, was directing the work of paying off depositers, and while no particular haste was apparent, the affairs of the bank were moving along like clockwork.
Outside the banking-house, two police sergeants, with ten patrolmen, had brought order out of chaos, and the hardest part of their duties seemed to be to keep pedestrians from breaking through the lines.
DEATH AT WINDOW
The scene, otherwise without tragic incident, was marred about noon by the sudden death, at the receiving teller’s window, of Israel Schulman, an old friend of President Skinner. Mr. Schulman, who was about 65 years of age, to show his faith in the institution, about noon walked into the bank and made a deposit of $400, in addition to paying a note of $300. After chatting with some of the bank officials, and expressing his opinion that the run on the institution was regrettable and uncalled for, the old gentleman was overcome with heart disease and expired on the floor of the bank. The body was at once removed to the Schulman residence, No. 235 West Thirty-fifth street.
Mr. Skinner was much affected by the sudden death of his friend, especially under such circumstances. He said that Schulman was one of the first depositers on the bank after the opening of the institution, holding $200 for some time so he could place it in the All Night and Day Bank.
Early in the run Skinner stated that the bank had $750,000 in cash, either here or on deposit in other banks, and in addition about $200,000 in demand paper that is perfectly good, and $600,000 in other paper which he said would be available within a short time. The commerical account deposits, he said, amount to a little over $800,000, and the savings deposits to about $400,000. As notice is required on the withdrawal of savings deposits, and this has been taken advantage of by the bank, Skinner figured that the institution is in good condition to weather the storm.
LONG LINE OF DEPOSITERS.
At 6 o’clock last evening the line of depositors who were after their money extended from the paying teller’s window, out through the Sixth-street entrance to Spring street, and along the latter thoroughfare to the Security and Trust Company building, a full block away. In the line were gray-haired women, young girls with school books under their arms, old men and young men, Japs, Greeks, in fact all classes and most all nationalities whose habitat is Los Angeles.
In the early stages of the scrimmage for money, the police had their hands full to keep everything in like order, but after ropes had been stretched and those in line had come to a realization of the tiresome wait ahead of them, the rough-house phase of the situation faded away and the officers did not have so much trouble.
Sometime in the afternoon it was discovered that there were in line certain persons who were imposters, not depositers in the bank, and that they were making money out of the unrest of their brothers. The scheme was to sell their places in the line of whatever they could get and at once seek other positions in the ranks for the purpose of selling out again. Of course, it was almost impossible to catch all these thrifty individuals, but several were detected and kicked out of the line with an admonition to not return.
PAY OUT BIG SUM.
At 6 o’clock in the evening Skinner said that the bank’s employees, up to that time, had paid out during the day $120,000. He said that on February 24 the All Night and Day Bank had paid our $140,000, because it was immediately after a holiday, but had taken in the same day $189,000. He admitted yesterday that it was mostly going out and not so much coming in at that time, but while a representative of The Times was in the bank in the afternoon he saw several persons deposit instead of draw out money.
Asked if any special plans had been made to pay off the depositors, Skinner said that the working force of the institution would remain the same as it had been under the ordinary conditions. When it came time for the paying teller to go to dinner he would be relieved as usual, and the people in line would receive their money each in turn.
The great string of people in front of the bank all day and night naturally attracted the attention of all passers-by and hundreds, without money at stake, spent the greater part of the day “rubbering.” It was a hard job to keep the automobiles on the move, and Spring-street pedestrians were a source of much worry to the police. Taken en masse, however, the crowds were good-natured and not disposed to start trouble.
BIG SIGN PUT UP.
One of the striking features of the occasion was a big banner displayed in front of the bank on which appeared in red and black letters the following announcement:
“This bank can pay every dollar on deposit.
“It is one of the strongest banks on the Pacific Coast.
“It has been your friend. Jealous competitors have worked to bring you here.
“Every person in this line should show their loyalty by leaving at once. Your money is safe. Why, then, remain here, doing an unkind and foolish thing? BREAK RANKS.”
It was thought by most persons who saw this banner that it had been put out by the bank officials, but such was not the case. G.B. Lyons of Pasadena, a real estate dealer with offices in the Story building, had the banner printed on his own initiative and paid two men to hold it aloft throughout the day. Last night it rested against the front of the bank building. Lyons served notice that he did it as a friendly act. It was one of the many incidents that enlivened the occasion.
Another incident, and one that was appreciated by the weary ones, who had been in line most of the day, was the serving of hot coffee and sandwiches between 6 and 7 o’clock by the officials of the All Night and Day Bank. The request was made that the wrappers about the sandwiches be kept as souvenirs. Printed in red letters on the wrappers was this inscription:
“Open until midnight, Saturday, May 7.
“Sorry not to be able to pay faster. Sorry also to keep you waiting. Have a little lunch with us while you wait.
“Compliments of the All Night and Day Bank.”
The sandwiches were greedily devoured and many in the line appreciated the more or less grim humor contained in the words on the wrappers.
At 2:30 o’clock in the afternoon the following notice was posted on the window of the bank:
“The bank is paying off its commercial depositors and is in condition to pay off every depositor. Friends of this bank are asked to be as loyal as they always have been.
“N.J. SKINNER, President.”
After 7 o’clock last night the crowd in line had dwindled to an appreciable extent, but the crowds in the streets had been augmented to an alarming extent, from a police standpoint. There was some trouble and the patrol wagon was called once or twice, but it was not the patient people in the line who caused the disturbance.
By midnight the line of depositors did not reach along Spring street, as it did earlier in the evening as far as Fifth street, but fell considerably short. Among the persons in line were many women and most of these had managed to connect with some sort of a box or chair to make their vigil more comfortable. On the faces of some was seen the grim determination to stick it out “if it took all summer,” but others frisked about as if they were on a vacation and intended to have a good time.
Inside the bank striking scenes were being enacted throughout the evening hours. Friends of the officials of the institution came to tender expressions of good will, and in some cases to extend aid if needed. Also during the evening there was what might be termed “a constant stream” of despositors. The story of this end of the day’s proceedings is told elsewhere in the midnight statement issued by Skinner.
One of the incidents of the afternoon that served to divert the crowds in the streets about the bank was the unloading of a goodly wad of currency that anybody is glad to accept under almost any conditions. It might be said here, too, that the officials of the bank made no secret of what the bags contained. They felt that it was an object lesson that would be good for what ailed the big crowd in line in front of the institution.
Throughout the day there were human interest incidents galore. It was told that one man stood in line until he nearly succumbed to physical exhaustion, and when it finally came his turn to present an anxious face at the teller’s window, he drew out – 75 cents.
GETS NINETY CENTS.
Another incident is related of a woman who stood in line for hours and drew out her mite, which happened to be 90 cents. The claim is made that most of the depositors in the waiting line have small accounts in the bank, and that the big depositors are the ones that are not worrying over the conditions of the institution.
Since the opening of the All Night and Day Bank, according to statement of Cashier Conner, there have been opened over 24,000 accounts, and there are probably over 15,000 standing accounts at the present time. Estimates on the number of persons in line yesterday varied greatly, but at one time there were many hundreds.
Skinner believes that the action of the Clearinghouse Association in giving out a statement that the All Night and Day Bank was not considered elgible to membership in the association, after its examiner had made a report, precipitated the run on the institution. Stoddard Jess, acting president of the association, declined yesterday to make a statement.
The present officers of the All Night and Day Bank are: Newton J. Skinner, president; W.J. Conner, vice-president; H.H. Ostrom, F.W. Gollum, E.R. Millar, B.H. Smith, assistant cashiers. The directors are Newton J. Skinner, W.J. Conner, J.L. Conner, H.B. Stafford, B.A. Stiles, W. Ons Morton, C.E. Shank.