Maplewood History: Citizens Bank of Maplewood

Mary also provided this image showing the 1925 Citizens' bank building ca. 1950.

Just when you think you know everything, one like this comes along.  Quite a while ago I did a series of posts about the Bank of Maplewood.  Matter of fact here are the links if you’d like to take a look at them again.

Bank of Maplewood – Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Three (continued).

If you didn’t look at any of those links at least look at Part Three, will ya?  In Part Three an image from the 1915 Maplewood Directory and a letterhead are shown that make it clear the bank was not still in its original location at the NE corner of Oakview Terrace and Manchester.

This story is actually about the Citizens Bank of Maplewood.  Notice that the name is almost the same as the Bank of Maplewood.  Just one word was added.  Just why was this new bank formed is a question that one of the banks longest serving members, Mary Piles, is trying to solve.  I’m curious, too.  Why did these folks feel like they needed another bank only one block away from the one they already had?  What about the Swinks?  John was the president of the Bank of Maplewood and the owner of the building in 1904.  Robert was involved in the start up of Citizens Bank.  Were those guys brothers?  Were the banks competitors?

Those are a few of the unknowns to us.  Perhaps some of my readers will be able to shed some light on this?

J.L. Swink was the obvious man in charge at the Bank of Maplewood when this article from the 1904 Suburban Journal appeared. I believe his first name was John.
This article appeared on June 12, 1925 in the News Champion as the Citizen’s Bank, now 10 years old, was preparing to move into their new building.  Their third location.
The first location of the Citizens Bank was upstairs in this building at 7314 Manchester as mentioned in the previous article.
In this 1917 article, provided by Mary Piles, Citizens’ Bank now occupies what was once the Bank of Maplewood building. Later photographs show that the parapet over the building entrance still bore The Bank of Maplewood in terra cotta. Doesn’t this seem odd?
Mary also provided this image showing the 1925 Citizens’ Bank building ca. 1950.  This building was located at the site the bank presently occupies.  It was consumed by the fire that destroyed the Golde’s department store.
Mary also sent this view of the interior.
This wonderful and rare image, also supplied by Mary, is the only one I have ever seen (other than an aerial) that shows the very large homes that once lined the western side of Oakview Terrace.  The home on the far right with the tower belonged to J.L. Swink.
Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
From Mary Piles.


There are many many more images of photographs and documents that the tireless researcher and caretaker of the historic material at Citizens’ Bank, Mary Piles, has sent me.  I had planned to make this post much longer but either the interface with this digital publishing program is failing or perhaps it is in my own computer.  Oh joy.  All of these images loaded extremely slowly until I couldn’t load another one.  Wish me luck.

Much thanks to Mary.  Hopefully I’ll be back soon.

Doug Houser       September 12,   2020




  1. I had heard about the spring in the bank but never knew if it was a for sure thing or not. I guess that makes sense since water I would guess collects off Lohmeyer and runs down hill and needs some place to come out. I have to wonder if it runs year round or only after a rain. Doesn’t seem like a lot of area to collect water and form a spring but maybe more of a seep? Maybe Dan or Mary could get us a picture or tell us a little more about it and how they deal with it. I think of my grandfather’s spring house where he kept his metal milk cans full of milk in a large vat of water that was spring fed. Water constantly running thru it to keep the milk cold.

  2. It is a shame that we lost all of those neat old homes in the redevelopment of that area. My mother worked at Citizens National Bank, the current building, years ago and it always fascinated me that they have a spring in the basement. Thanks for all of the other cool information!

          • I knew of this spring as well. No pun intended. While we’re on the subject of springs, many moons ago I invited a group of spelunkers out to assess a Maplewood cave that I asked them to list as Sutton’s Cave. You can refresh your memory here.


            The reason why I bring this up is these nice fellows asked me if I would like them to show me the location of a very active spring that was nearby. I said I would so they did. You can have a look at it too if you like.

            Go south on McCausland until it turns into Wabash. The road makes a hard left and then you pass under railroad tracks and the Highway 44 overpass. The spring gushes out from under the overpass on the east side of it. It immediately flows into a drain that takes it underneath Wabash and empties into the River Des Peres. To pull over safely you should be headed towards Maplewood on Wabash. Then pull over on your right just before you go under the highway.

    • Years ago, I had a house that was built at the bottom of a street that was put in above my house and yard. When it rained it all drained down from up there into my back yard, and surprise one year, I had a spring out there in my yard and a whole lot of water there. Once I called and had someone look at all the water out there (I had the house up for sale) and I needed to see where it was coming from., that’s what I was told.they told me it would probably dry up, when the rain stopped….and it did I believe. So I am thinking it did the same there at the bank too.

      • Pat, that is fairly common around here. I’ve heard it called a wet weather spring. Water flows downhill through the soil and leaks out to the surface when it finds the bottom of the slope.

  3. You teach me something every time I open your posts, Thank you Doug, enjoying your insight. Still looking for a photo of William Stites and Daniel Sheerin, waiting for our libraries to reopen. You’re the best

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