Small Town Bank Failure

Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress

Like many rural banks, the Farmers Savings Bank in Haverhill, Iowa failed during the Great Depression. Arthur Rothstein captured what remained in 1939. But what is perhaps more interesting was how Rothstein described the village. He wrote that Haverhill was "a village in decline" and that local farmers would abandon the isolated village. Today the bank building is long gone; in its place is a larger yard for the neighboring house. But the village is hardly in decline. The hum of a nearby corn bin fills the village, a reminder of the strong local agriculture economy. A bank never returned to Haverhill, but a new restaurant, the Haverhill Social Club, opened this spring and reports "better than expected" business. (I will be visiting another small town in Iowa, where the local bank survived the Great Depression and is dealing with the current crisis just fine as well. Watch for that report tomorrow.)

Travis Fox/

By Travis Fox  |  October 23, 2008; 1:11 PM ET  | Category:  Then and Now
Previous: "I registered as a Republican when I turned 18" | Next: The Town the Economic Downturn Forgot


I'd say one reason that they are having a bang up year is all the government subsidies for their crops... Conservative banking helps too.

Posted by: jkwalsh4 | October 24, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

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