Thursday, August 12, 2010

Remembering the Charles Schreiner Bank

Standing on the corner of Water and Earl Garrett streets, on the river side of the street, opposite Schreiner's department store stood the old Charles Schreiner Bank.   It had humble beginnings: Charles Schreiner, in the early days of his store, used to put "deposits" from customers under a loose plank in the floor, which he then covered with a flour barrel. This is how the old bank looked when I was a boy:
Click on any photo to enlarge
The Charles SchreinerBank as it appeared in the 1960s.

This space-age facade covered up an earlier building, which I suppose was the bank's second location.  The thing I remember about the 1960s "look" of the bank was an old brass plaque at the door which said "Chas. Schreiner Banker, Unincorporated."  It was the 'unincorporated' that stood out in my mind.   I also remember a scale on which I weighed myself each time I had an errand near the bank, a large longhorn bull mounted on the wall, and little fence-like partitions surrounding the 'offices' of the officers of the bank.  I remember Louis Schreiner at his desk in this bank, but he was a very old man when I saw him.
The bank looked a lot different before the 1960s skin was put over it.  Here's a nice image from Lanza Teague's collection of the old bank building.
The Charles Schreiner Bank, 700 Block of Water Street,
Kerrville.  From the collection of Lanza Teague
Recently I received several photographs of the interior of the bank from kind readers of my column.  One of the photos included a note which revealed the name of the stuffed longhorn was "Ol' Meany," who had belonged to Louis Schreiner.
Interior, Charles Schreiner Bank, taken in the 1920s
These photos were taken later, but have more of the detail of the bank.   "Ol' Meany" can be seen easier here.
Charles Schreiner Bank, interior, date unknown

Charles Schreiner Bank, featuring Ol' Meany
Another reference to the old Charles Schreiner Bank can be found on an old Sanford Map.   Click on this image to magnify it.  You'll see that the bank was once in the store building, in the part closest to Sidney Baker Street.
Schreiner Bank, when it was in the same building as the store, is
shown at the bottom right of this April 1910 Sanborn map.
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