Photographed by Frank B. Rodolph
UC Berkeley Bancroft Library

The Oakland Bank of Savings was established on August 13, 1867, and is the oldest Alameda county bank, as well as one of the oldest banks in the state of California. Its certificate of incorporation was signed by A. C. Henry, Ed. M. Hall, Samuel Merritt, P. S. Wilcox, W. W. Crane, Jr, and Joseph Becht.

The first elected officers of the bank were President A. C. Henry; Cashier E. M. Hall; and the Board of Directors consisted of E. M. Hall, Samuel Merritt, A. C, Henry, P. S. Wilcox, W. W. Crane, Jr.; Finance Committee, E. M. Hall, A. C. Henry, P. S. Wilcox; Auditing Conmiittee, Samuel Merritt, Henry C. Lee, and Edward C. Sessions.

Begun with $150,000 in capital stock, two years later in 1869 the bank had $300,000, which increased to $1 million in capital by 1871. In 1916 the bank had over $25 million in deposits, with capital of $1.250,000.

When the bank first started operations it was located on 9th Street and Broadway, in a little brick building. By 1877 the bank had relocated to 12th Street and Broadway. Over the years increased growth of the bank eventually led to the construction of an 8-story building designed by Charles W. Dickey in 1907-1909, and the addition of an 18-story tower designed by Reed and Corlett in 1922, of which the bank occupied the first three floors.

In 1887 Edward C. Sessions was listed in the Oakland City Directory as the bank president and W. W. Garthwaite as cashier. The bank had authorized capital of $1,000,000, with a capital and reserve fund of $500,000.

In 1905 after Isaac L. Requa died, vice president Henry Rogers was to be appointed president, and W. W. Garthwaite as vice-president. 3

By 1909 Garthwaite had worked his way up to president. 4

Oakland Bank of Savings 2 12th St. at Broadway from 1896 Illustrated Directory Oakland Bank of Savings, West Oakland Branch, West 7th Street near Adeline - 1916 (the building has since been torn down) 1



1874 Oakland Bank of Savings directory listing




  • M. L. Requa
  • Edson F. Adams
  • George H. Collins
  • A. Borland
  • Lewis Tasheira (the father of W. W. Garthwaite's son-in-law, Arthur Tashiera)
  • J. P. Edoff
  • W. B. Dunning
  • James K. Moffitt
  • Henry Rogers
  • J. Y. Eccleston
  • A. H. Breed
  • W. W. Garthwaite


  • W. W. Garthwaite - president
  • W. B. Dunning - trust officer and vice president
  • Henry Rogers - vice president
  • J. Y. Eccleston - vice president
  • J. A. Thompson - secretary-treasurer




Links and References

  1. Oakland Bank of Savings Oakland Museum of California
  2. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Center and Maps Division
  3. Rogers to Succeed Requa San Francisco Call April 2, 1905
  4. Bank President Elected San Francisco Call January 18, 1909

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