The True Reformers Bank: First US Black Bank
The True Reformers Bank was the first black bank founded in 1888 by Reverend William Washington Browne and opened on April 3, 1889. Although the True Reformers bank was the first black-owned bank chartered in the United States, the Capitol Savings Bank of Washington, D.C. was the first to actually open on October 17, 1888.
The True Reformers Bank first location was out of Browne’s home at 105 West Jackson Street in the Jackson Ward district of Richmond, Virginia. On the first day of operation $1,269.28 was desposited. Even during a financial panic in 1893, this was the only bank in Richmond that continued to operate.
Even after Rev. Browne’s death the bank continued to expand by owning property, a retirement home, a real estate agency and a newspaper. There were even other bank branches in Kansas and by 1900 the bank was operating in 24 states
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