World War I Liberty Bond drive in Banks


World War I Liberty Bond drive in Banks


The Washington County Bank building on Main Street in the small town of Banks, Oregon, decorated in support of the military during World War I. The front of the building is decorated with two service flags and a wheel showing progress towards a war bond fundraising goal. This photograph, which was issued as a postcard, was probably taken in late 1917 or early 1918.

The large service flag (left) is similar to other ones produced in this region during World War I. Each of the small stars on such flags typically represented one man from the community who had entered military service. Blue stars signified men who had joined the war and were still alive, while gold stars signified those who had died in service. The smaller flag (center) with three stars may have belonged to the family who operated the bank, signifying that they had three sons in service. These flags symbolized the town's commitment to the war and the seriousness of the need for raising funds.

The wheel on the right demonstrated progress towards a community-wide goal for purchasing Liberty Bonds. These war bonds were issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a way to finance the war effort. People who bought bonds would gain a return of around 3-4%, but they were promoted more as a means of demonstrating patriotic sentiment, rather than as an investment. This wheel shows that the town of Banks was about 1/4 of the way towards their goal for purchases.

The Washington County Bank was the first bank in the town of Banks, having opened in 1909. It was a postal savings bank, which was a part of a limited service banking system backed by the federal government. Outlets often served rural communities. The building had a false front with a neoclassical facade, featuring three Doric columns, holding up a rectangular pediment with false columns etched along beneath its top. A wooden sidewalk surrounded the building. An unpaved road and several Model T -like cars are visible on the left.
[back] [pen] The first Bank Bldg - In Banks. Bond Drive.

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photographic postcards






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