Howard National Bank

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1887 | Abandoned: 1990s
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places (December 22, 2020) Register of Historic Kansas Places (2020)
Status: AbandonedEndangered
Contributor: Abandoned Atlas Foundation

In April of 1877, the Elk County “State” Bank was organized with George W. McKey as President. Just a few short years later the bank was converted to the Howard National Bank. And in May of 1888 work would start on a massive castle-like building for the bank. The Citizen newspaper states, “The Howard National Bank has had the old buildings removed from the lot cornering on —- and — and will commence at once the erection of a handsome business house. The corner room will be occupied by the bank, the second story would be cut up into commodious offices that will be rented.” On June 8, 1888, The Howard Courant reported the contract would soon be let in a few days for the stonework. The basement excavation had been completed, and work on the drain was underway. By the end of June The Citizen indicated Ephron Nichols was laying the foundation. J.B. Anderson was awarded the contractor for the construction of the building.

In later years the offices above were turned into apartments, at one point rented by Lela May and Grover Cooley. But alas the apartments were vacated and the roof compromised after years of abandonment. But in recent years there has been a movement to preserve and save the historic building. The Elk County Preservation Society has been working to raise money and applying for grants to restore the building. As of December 22, 2020 the nomination to put the building on the NRHP was accepted making applying for federal and state grants to fund the restoration a bit easier. If you would like to donate click here.

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