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    Attractive Montana Territory Original Series Five
    The First Reported Note for the Bank

    Bozeman, Montana Territory - $5 Original Fr. 399 The First National Bank Ch. # 2027 PMG Very Fine 25 EPQ.
    A fabulous note, this offering is a newly discovered Montana Territorial example which is presented here to the numismatic fraternity for the first time. It's also the first note to surface from a short-lived issuer that briefly operated in this southwestern Montana city.

    The city of Bozeman was named after John M. Bozeman, who founded the Bozeman Trail, and was a founder of the community in 1864. However, just three years later, Mr. Bozeman was murdered under mysterious circumstances. Five years after that, in 1872, the First National Bank of Bozeman was established under the leadership of President Leander M. Black and Cashier George W. Fox. However, like many ill-fated ventures in the rough-and-tumble Wild West, what began with high hopes soon came to an ignoble end. After just six years in business, the First National was closed by the receiver on September 14, 1878. Over those six years, the bank had a total issuance of just $91,600, all Original Series and 1875 $5s. By 1916, just $560 remained outstanding. Prior to this evening, despite decades of searching by the most dedicated collectors, there had not been even a hint of a surviving note from this small Territorial bank.

    That situation has now changed with the surfacing of this Original Series $5. Not only is it the first note to surface from this bank, it's also only the second example to be reported from any of the three Bozeman charters that issued Territorial notes. The only other known piece, according to the National Currency Foundation census, is a very low grade $10 Brown Back from the Gallatin Valley NB that has never been offered for public sale.

    Tonight's offering is quite the opposite. It is an absolutely beautiful note whose face retains virtually all of its original ink colors. The back does have several hard folds indicating that this Five spent a considerable amount of time tucked away in someone's wallet, which undoubtedly accounts for its survival today. It also features a very attractive bank title layout and dark pen signatures. The fact that PMG has assigned its EPQ designation to this pretty note should reassure prospective bidders that this example is fully original and has not been "improved" in any way. With the surfacing of this note, the total of Territorial notes for all Montana banks increases to a mere 39. Certainly a highlight, if not the highlight of this auction, this is truly a note fit for the finest of collections. It's a true trophy item worth whatever it costs to bring it home tonight.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2021
    21st-25th Thursday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,943

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