Bank’s presidents involved in multiple businesses
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First Citizens State Bank of Whitewater is located at 207 W. Main St. The history of this bank is connected to the First National Bank of Whitewater, which was founded on Oct. 25, 1863, with Sanger Marsh as president and Charles Morris Blackman as cashier. Its first day of business was Jan. 1, 1864. At the close of that day, assets shown were more than $33,000. This was the second national bank to be organized in Wisconsin.
Marsh served as president until 1872, when he was killed in a runaway horse and carriage accident.
The next president was C.M. Blackman. He also was one of the founders, and he served until 1913. Other presidents included T.M. Blackman (son of C.M.), H.G. Andersen, C.N. Peck and Alan J. Rogers. The current president, James Caldwell, began his tenure in 1979.
In 1883, Citizens National Bank was founded when several bank board members disagreed with the bank’s management. J. Partridge became its first president.
In 1893, this bank reorganized under a state charter and became Citizens State Bank.
In 1894, Citizens State Bank and the First National Bank of Whitewater consolidated and were operated under a single board of directors but in two separate buildings.
Because of their different charters, they were able to do different types of banking. Therefore, the consolidation made possible all types of banking activities.
In 1931, Citizens State Bank and the First National Bank of Whitewater merged to become the First Citizens State Bank of Whitewater. Thane M. Blackman continued as president of this new institution.
Sanger Marsh was born in New York. In 1845, along with J. S. Partridge, he headed west and settled in Whitewater. There he opened a general store. He started the bank after retiring from that. He was president of the bank until his death on Oct. 29, 1872.
C.M. Blackman was born in New York. He came with his parents to Wisconsin in 1847 and settled on the Rock Prairie in Rock County. In 1856, he moved to Stoughton and entered the mercantile business.
He moved to Whitewater in 1863 and helped organize the First National Bank. He was the bank’s first cashier. He kept this position until the death of Sanger Marsh. He then became president.
Blackman served for 14 years as the superintendent of the Sabbath school of the Congregational Church. He served as president and director of the state YMCA, a trustee of Beloit College, a treasurer and director of the state home missionary interests and as Wisconsin’s representative on the National Home Missionary Society. He died on April 19, 1912.
John S. Partridge came to Wisconsin with Sanger Marsh and was his partner in the mercantile business. When the railroads came to Whitewater, they built the “Big Warehouse” and dealt in grain and other produce.
In 1856, he ended his association with Marsh and partnered with Alex Graham for one year. Next he helped organize the Citizens National Bank of Whitewater and became the bank’s president.
In 1855, he served as an associate supervisor for the township. In the fall of 1857 he bought an interest in Winchester & DeWolf, which later became Winchester & Partridge. This company started out making plows.
In 1864, they began making wagons, making 350 their first year. By 1882, they had made 70,000 wagons. Partridge became president of the village in 1872. He died July 3, 1892.