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    Serial Number 1 Guernsey Brown Back - Unique for Both the Bank and the Location

    Guernsey, WY - $5 1882 Brown Back Fr. 477 The First National Bank Ch. # 5295 PMG Choice Extremely Fine 45.
    Few notes have excited the community of National Bank Note enthusiasts more than this newly discovered serial number 1 $5 Brown Back from Guernsey. The First National Bank of Guernsey was the shortest lived note issuing National Bank in Wyoming, lasting less than thirteen months between its organization in April of 1900 and the closing of its doors forever on May 1, 1901. During its short tenure, a minuscule 400 sheets of $5 Brown Backs and 362 sheets of $10 and $20 Brown Backs were printed, with none reported to date until this serial number 1 note was discovered. Other than one Territorial issue from Douglas, which sold for more than $100,000 nearly twenty years ago, it is the only serial number 1 $5 Brown Back extant from Wyoming, and the sole state issue serial number 1 $5 Brown Back known from the state.
    The note's discovery was a matter of the most fortunate happenstance, as it was unearthed after years of laying undisturbed in a file cabinet that was part of a west coast estate. The note was tucked in an envelope (which is included with the note) that bore the return address of the Stock Growers National Bank of Cheyenne City, Wyoming along with the penned name of Mr. Chas. A. Guernsey as the addressee. Charles A. Guernsey was a New Yorker who moved west and purchased land in what was then Laramie County. It was on this land that the town was established, although, by 1910 when the first census was conducted, the town's population stood at only 274. Guernsey, the author of Wyoming's Cowboy Days, published in the 1930's, was a legislator, rancher, and mining entrepreneur. Although not yet settled, Guernsey was sited directly on the old Oregon Trail, and is famous for its "Oregon Trail Ruts," which were carved into the soft sandstone by the thousands of covered wagons, carts and conestogas drawn by oxen, mules or horses which are still well preserved today. Register Cliff, which stands immediately outside the town, was one of only a handful of "registers" upon which pioneers crossing the country on the Oregon Trail inscribed their names. The names, dating back to 1847, are still visible today as well.
    The bank was organized by a father and son team, Henry G. Hay, who signs as president, and Harry G. Hay, whose formal name was Henry G. Hay, Jr., who signs as cashier. Thanks to research contributed by Peter Huntoon, the elder Hay had a long career in Wyoming banking circles, having served first as cashier and then as president of the Stock Growers National Bank of Cheyenne for more than two decades, along with twice serving as Wyoming State Treasurer after being elected in 1894 and 1902. His son went on to organize the Wind River National Bank of Shoshoni in 1906 and served as the cashier of that institution until its absorption by the First National Bank of Shoshoni two years later.
    Any estimate for this pen signed beauty (which in the interests of full disclosure, does display a couple of pinholes)is simply a guesstimate, as all the money in the world could not supply another example of any kind from this one bank community, let alone a serial number 1 specimen. Your cataloger, who has been researching, cataloging and dealing in National Bank Notes for over fifty years, considers this the National Bank Note discovery of the year, and perhaps of the decade. If rarity, condition and desirability are any guide, our estimate may well prove conservative. (Total: 2 items)

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-14th Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,220

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