The Bank of Starbuck

The Bank of Starbuck has stood for over 100 years and looks ahead for the next century. When the bank was constructed in 1904, there were no federal protections for depositors. What kept money safe were the strong walls for protection. In even the smallest towns, like Starbuck, the banks were stoutly made of brick and stone and have often outlasted the wooden structures around them, defiant of the times.

The Bank of Starbuck was strong but small. It had one floor with three rooms: an office, a meeting room with a large table, and the vault. W.E. Sprout was the first President of the bank, A.M. Baker was the first Vice President and E.A. Ashton was the assistant Vice President. They were known for welcoming anyone who wanted to do business with them, including local Indians. Moses Kentuck, a Palouse Indian, sometimes borrowed money from the bank, leaving something behind as collateral until he paid the loan off, which he always did.

Banks attract bank robbers. In 1920 a robber entered the Starbuck bank, held up the place, and walked away with $3,000. He was caught later that year and served seven years in prison, while a thief in 1921 got away with $3,500 in cash and was never caught. This led to the bank closing the same year, all assets where handed over to the National bank of Dayton. The bank building was sold for the grand total on $10 during the Depression. Though not used as a bank anymore, the building still stands to this day on Main Street. It's used as the city hall today.