View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (





Opening of bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Election of directors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Payment of capital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Discount operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Clearance system. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Federal Reserve notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cotton-crop movement . ............................................. _. . . . . .
Relations with member banks ....... _................................... .. ..
Scope of activity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .






E. 0. TENISON, Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent.
On May 18, 1914, pursuant to the summons o[ the reserve bank organization co~­
mittee, authorized representatives of the First National Bank of El Paso, Tex., Durant
National Bank of Durant, Okla., First National Bank of Shreveport, La., Frost
National Bank of San Antonio, Tex., and Union National Bank of Houston, Tex.,
met in Dallas and executed the organization certificate which, in accordance with
the provisions of the Federal Reserve Act, brought the Federal Reserve Bank
Dallas into corporate existence.
Following this, class A and B directors having been elected by the member banks,
according to the Act, and class C directors having been officially appointed and
announced by the Federal Reserve Board, a meeting of the entire directorate was
held at Dallas on October 16 and devoted to general discussions of the organization
of the bank. At this meeting the terms of office of directors of the different classes
were established, and the election of Mr. Oscar Wells as governor took place, along
with the selection of Mr. J. Howard Ardrey, of Dallas, as member of the advisory council. Immediately after this preliminary meeting a conference of directors of the
several reserve banks was held in Washington, at which a majority of the directors
of the Dallas bank were in attendance.
The second meeting of the board, held on October 29 at Dallas resulted in tb'e
election of Mr. R. L. VanZandt as vice governor and Mr. J. W. Hoopes as cashier, after
suitable by-laws had been adopted, and arrangements were made to perfect a clerical
staff preparatory to the opening of the bank, soon to follow. At this meeting C. C.
Huff was retained as counsel. The complete organization consisted of active officers,
as follows: E. 0. Tenison, Federal Reserve Agent; W. F. McCaleb, Deputy Federal
Reserve Agent; Oscar Wells, governor; R. L. VanZandt, vice governor; J. W. Hoopes,
cashier; with a staff which included Sam R. Lawder, auditor; Charles C. Hall, secretary to the Federal Reserve Agent; Fred Harris, manager discount department;
W. J. Donald, general bookkeeper; R. R. Gilbert, C. B. Cooper, C. J. Kinsolving, jr.,
A. P. Wooldridge, jr., and W. 0. Ford, tellers; together with 11 other employees.
Through the courtesy of those banks, the services of J. C. Tenison, of the City National
Bank, and John Crosthwaite, of the Security National Bank, both experienced and
capable tellers, were secured temporarily, and were of material assistance to the permanent staff.


The initial capital installments having been called for November 2, the work of
receiving these payments and issuing temporary certificates therefor was accomplished
prior to the actual op:ming of the bank on November 16, which was the date set by
Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo. Tho bank commenced business in temporary
quarters, which had previously been used as a banking room, and the first reserve
deposits were received according to the statutory requirements without undue
confusion. The transfer of approximately six and one-half millions of dollars in gold
and lawful money was accomplished within a few days.
At the time of the opening of the bank the business interests of this district were
tremendously depressed on account of the complete breaking down of the market



for cotton. Every factor in our economic life was in great distress by reason of the
fact that our principal product had fallen to a price below the cost of production.
The psychological effect of the war in Europe had created an incipient panic among
our productive interests and heavy losses in the aggregate had been borne before
'the remedial forces of our new legislation could be gathered. Immediately following
the opening of the Federal Reserve Banks, however, a change was discernible, and
within a short p 3riod of time a more normal condition was produced and was later
followed by appreciable advance in the price of agricultural products.
Discount op3rations gradually gained strength until the time when, by the terms
<>f the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, it became necessary to retire the emergency currency
'issued under that act. Member banks, having become more thoroughly familiar
with the operations of the bank and the rediscounting privileges afforded, practically
the entire amount of outstanding currency was retired through the aid of this bank.
This was one of the first evidences to the banking public of the real service that could
be expected of the reserve banks, and the easy manner of accomplishment of this
materially furthered the popularity of the bank with its members and brought home
to them the great potentialities of the system, thus causing a steady continuance
-9f our discount opuations during the summer months, until the high figure of
$7,729,000 was reached on September 30. Since that date the fall movement of
commodities has resulted in substantial liquidation, until at this time (December 31)
<>ur bills discounted aggrt'gate $4,870,000.
During the early op.> rations of the bank the clearing functions were limited to items
drawn by member banks on member banks in the several reserve cities of the district,
with the additional facility extended to members for transferring funds between this and
. other districts by the use of their drafts on us, and on ~Iay 27 the establishment of
the gold settlement fund in Washington for the clearing of balances between the
several Federal Reserve Banks made necessary the deposit of three and one-half millions of dollars in gold to settle the adverse trade balances accumulated against this
district. The reversal of trade conditions since that time, due to the seasonal movement of our products, has more than recouped this loss of gold, and our balance in
the gold settlement fund at this time is $8,341,00).
On February 24 Oscar Wells, governor of the bank, having accepted the presidency
of the First National Bank of Birmingham, Ala., tendered his resignation, and on
April 6 Vice Governor R. L. VanZandt was elected as his successor; J. W. Hoopes
acceding to the vice governorship, and Lynn P. Talley, at that time cashier of the
Lumbermans National Bank of Houston, Tex., was elected to the position of cashier.
The departure of Mr. Wells from the district necessitated the election of a class A
director in his stead, and on February 15 the chairman forwarded to member banks,
in conformity with the provisions of law governing, the necessary certificates and
ballots, and called the election, with the result that Mr. John T. Scott, president of the
First National Bank of Houston, Tex., was elected as Mr. Wells's successor.


Simultaneously with similar action on the part of various other reserve banks, on
June 1 an intradistrict collection system was inaugurated for the benefit of member
banks desiring to use this facility. Membership therein was optional, and contemplated the reciprocal clearing of checks at par through us. At the outset 74 banks
joined the plan, and since that date 36 additional banks have become members,
while 35 have withdrawn. The amounts of checks cleared under this plan have averaged $605,764 per day, and an average of 898 items have been cleared on country
banks, in addition to an average of 304 items on members of the local clearing house.
The rates of exchange charged for collecting and remitting checks which are received
by banks in this district, principally from their city correspondents, are higher than



charges made by banks in older sections of the country . These charges run from a
minimum of one-tenth of 1 per cent to a maximum of one-quarter of 1 per cent, favoring
the latter figure. The rates charged usually are either one-tenth, one-eighth, threetwentieths, or one-quarter of 1 p~r cent, and the estimat:Jd average rata. charged (not,
however, by any m~ans on the average volume of business), three-twentieths of 1 per
cent, or $1.50 pJr $1,000. Probably tho average exchange collected on the average
volume of business would be in the neighborhood of one-fifth of 1 per cent, or $2 per

The clearing operations have bad no appreciable effect in this district in reducing
exchange charges, the volume of business and the number of banks involved in the
clearing system being negligible. We believe that the matter of reduction in exchange
charges has not been pressed by the city banks since the op~ration of the Federal
Reserve Danks as before. Many accounts are maintained with city banks for the
purpose of having checks sent by them to the bank maintaining the account and
balance, to produce revenue by way of exchange charges for the drawee bank. Some
sentimental influence is therefore pres2nt looking toward the maintenance of these
accounts by the city banks. We believe, however, that if a system can be devised
where checks on member banks in this district, or their equivalent, can meet at a
common point and offset each other to a large extent, exchange charges and the
sentiment in favor of them will gradually disappear, and that such an arrangement
would in tho main be gracefully accepted by tho member banks. Under such a condition the transportation expense, upon which exchange charges are based, would
only have to be considered as relating to the difference in the amount of checks received !rom and sent to the Federal Reserve Dank.
During the activo cotton season in this district it has heretofore been necessary
for member banks to ship large amounts of currency and coin !rom central rcsrrve
and subtreasury cities [or use in gathering and marketing our products. Against
these shipments member banks receive deposits of drafts on eastern and northern
points, whic·h cover the proceeds of the sale of tho products, and these economic factors
affect the market priee of eastern and northern exchange materially from time to time.
It has been the effort of this bank to sen·e its m~>mbers more acceptably by becoming
a medium through which the supply of, and demand for, exchange in the different
sections of the distriet might be adjusted, making necessary the transfer of the minimum
amount of actual funds into and from the district at yarious seasons of the year. In
this manner we have purchased out-of-district exchange to the amount of $48,044,240
and sold f>XC'hange on othf>f districts in an aggregate of $23,828,750. No profit has
been contemplated in connection with this service, and the supply or demand baa
governed the rate entirely.
In line with the foregoing it may be of intertst to state that we have endeavored
to supply our member banks with currency and coin, and have, during the past
season, distributed to momb r banks an aggregate of $12,163,000 in currency, of
$597,000 in small bills and silver dollars, and $236,400 in fractional coin, including
nickels and cents. The bulk of this distribution will find its way back into the
vaults of the bank after it has served its purpose, and the facilities are ample to carry
it in storage until needed for a similar purpose during the ensuing year.
The issuance of Federal Reserve notes materially aided in this purpose, and since
the opening of the bank these notrs have been issued by the agent in the aggregate
sum of $16,180,000 against the deposit of bills rPceivable to se ure. The bank ha~
reduced its liability by the deposit of $11,4·10,000 in gold, and has presented its notes
for redemption to the agent in the amount of l ,035,000. Notes aggregating $61,000
have been forwarded by the agent to the comptroller for cancellation and destruction .
Following the decision of the Federal Reserve Board, on July 1 tho transfer of 121
member banks in Oklahoma to district J. o. 10 was effected, leaving 42 members,
in 8 countiPs in Oklahoma, atta!'hed to this bank. This tmnsfpr reduced the capital



of the Dallas bank $186,500, and was ac-companied by a reduction in its reserve deposits of $397,700, and at the same time rC'discounts of member banks to the extent
of $197,600 were transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The issuing power of the bank has never been subjected to a test of efficiency, and
the ease of the money market has made it necessary to reduce the regular rates of
discount, which wrre first fixed at 6 per cent for paper maturing within 30 days and
6~ per cent for pap ~ r of longer maturities, from time to time, to the present rates of:
4 per cent for paper maturing within 90 days and 4! per cent for paper of longer
maturities, 3! per cent for trade acceptances maturing within 60 days, 4 per cent for
trade acceptances maturing after 60 but within 90 days, and 3 per cent for commodity

On June 7 a cil·cular was is ued and diRtributed among tho various member and
other banks of the district in which was urged the gradual marketing of the prospective
cotton crop, by properly warehousing the staple and disposing of the supply over an
extended period, reminding the banks that paper secured by approved warehouse
receipts covering readily marketable staples was highly desirable for rediscount with
the Federal Reserve Dank. '!'his c·ircular, together with the efforts of the bankers
and bankers' associatiolll', had a decided effect in the desired direction, with the
result that the aYerage price of our principal product has been approximately double
that of last year. The deposit of '5,000,000 by the Secretary of the Treasury on
September 4 gave added confidence to our growers and merchants, and the board
of the Reserve Bank fixed a rate of:~ per cent for commodity paper having not more
than 90 days to run, where such paper was secured by approved warehouse receipts,
properly insured, and the maker was not being charged more than 6 per cent, either
as interest, or commissions, or both. It has not been deemed desirable by member
banks to avail themselves of this privilege extensively, the total amount of this class
of paper having been accepted by this bank amounting to $239,094.
Prior to the establishment of the rommodity rate the board had e~tablished a preferential rate on trade acceptances of 3t per ceilt for maturitie:; within 60 days, and 4
per cent for maturities, 61 to 90 days, and while some evidence is shown that this
class of paper has been created, the aggregate amount offered for rediscount has been
comparatively neglible, amounting to only $160,795.
Discount operations had now extended to considerable proportions, and the machinery necessary to intelligently perform this service for our members had kept abreast of
this advance. The bureau of credit information in this bank had been extensively
developed, and enabled the executh·e committee to act upon offerings with certainty. Analyses of the reports of member banks, and , where necessary, special
investigations disclosed their actual rondi.tion, and reque t~ for, and careful considerati.on of, information submitted in connection with indiYidual paper. made the extension of credit to members ronform in every way to the safest banking principle" In
several instances special investigations have been nec!ll'sary in order to properly
acquaint the executive committee with the condition of member bam, and these
investigations have, without exception, proved of ine.~timable educational advantage
to the banks themselves. Unfortunately, since the opening of the reserve bank, it
has been necessary for the Comptroller of the Currency to appoint receivers for four
of our members, but lt is hoped that with the facilities opened since the enactment
of the Federal Reserve Act, and the accompanying check to loose practices, the future
need not bring a repetition of such action.
The accomplishment of the transfer of the second and third capital installments was
materially aided by the Assistant Treasm:er of the United States at New Orleans, Mr.
W. W. lleard, who extended the facilities of his office in receiving direct from member
bank shjpments of gold coin and gold certificates for these payments. The transfer



of reserve, the second installment of which wa" made on Kovember 16. was accomplished without the physical labor incident to the transfer of the first installment, for
the reason that the change in banking conditions, and the establishment of the gold
settlement fund at Washington. made lt possible to receive transfers from reserve and
central reserve citie:<, instead of the actual shipment of gold or la1vful money. The·
depo~it~ of the bank were in<"reased by this in~tallment to Fome $9,200,000.


During the month of AuguHt our vice go,·ernor. :1\fr. Iloope~. visited practic-ally all
of our member bankR in LouiHiana. with the view of bringing into closer relationship
the interests of that <"Ommunity and apprising them more thoroughly· of the advantages of membership in the Federal re.>erve system. Later, in November, ~Lr. IIoopes
attended the meetin~ of the .\rizona State Bauker:l' Association at Castle llot Rprings,
Ariz., where he addrc.•sed the Convention, taking a~ his subject "The practical operation of the FE>dE>ral ReHen·e Bank." On his return trip ~fr. IIoope.;; visited several of
the member banks in that seetion. Prior to the.;e visits, and ~ince the opening of
the bank, several of our ofli~ers havE' attrnded various bankers' con\'entions in the district and have delivered addre~:<es 011 the ""orkings of the Federal reserve system.
In May, the chairmau accompanied i\!J·. Harding, member of the Federal Reserve
Hoard, to the meeting of the Texas Bankers' As~oeiatiou, at ·waco.
The effect of this intPrcour~e has been far-reaehing and the tangible results therefrom have been great. It i~ the policy of the hank to use every effort to bring the
advantages and protection afforded by membership in the reserve system to the attention of both National and State bankR.
Up to the preHent time only 10 State banks luwe affiliated th€'rn."elve~ with us, and
as long as exiRting ea~y c·onditionH last it i~ doubtful whether they will ~ee the necessity for memberRhip. This l_>ank made an extensive edueational campaign with a
view of placing before the Rtate banks the advantages of thE' syHtem and the steps
neces~ary for affiliation. and it iH hoped that thE' recent rulingH of the Federal Reserve
Board, for the bE-nefit of, tate banks, will prove an added incentive to them to join.
The temporary quartere of the bank, affording no faeilitie~ commensurate with the
volume of business tran~arted, the bonrd of directors, after conAiderable deliberation,
caused the purchase of a five-story building on the corner of Commerce and Martin
Streets, and the same wa~ remodE-led and fitted with modern fireproof vaults. with a
capacity Aufficient for our nePclR. On Novemlwr 1 the phy~i<"al removal took place,
and the quarters arE> quite adequate for the expanding requirements of the bank. The
cost, when complete. will lw approximatdy t%,000. induding building, fixtures,
and equipment.
Beginning October 1:~ the chairman took the proper steps prcn·iding for the election
of one class A and one clasH B director, to succeed the incumbents whose terms expire
on December 31, and Mr. John T. Scott, of IIouston, Tex., was reelected as class A
director, and Mr. Frank Kell, of Wichita Falls, Tex., was reelected as clas& B director·
each to serve for three years beginning January l, 1916.
Fiduciary powers have been granted to 19 banks, and several applications are
pending. The board has taken every possible safeguard to the end that fiduciary
powers be granted to only such banks as are without doubt entitled to, and worthy
of, this responsibility. The laws of the States have been carefully canvassed by
counsel, who has rendered an opinion in connection therewith for the guidance of
the directors. Each application is submitted to counsel before action by the board,
and the merits of the individual case are weighed carefully before any recommendation is made.






AcTrvn Y .

As an evidence of the usefulness of the system, during the bank's existence it has
served, in the matter of rediscounting, 366 banks, to an aggregate extent of
$27,795,797, and for the calendar year of 1915 the service has been extended to 360
banks, in an aggregate amount of $26,756,905, the total number of notes handled
being 21,648.
While the earning capacity of the bank is a subsidiary consideration, it is gratifying
to report that earnings from all sources, principally bills discounted, show an exceBI!
of $75,388 over all current and organization expenses.
The directors have held 14 regular and 3 special meetings, and in each case there
has been a quorum present, and in most all instances full representation. At these
meetings detailed reports of the operations of the bank are submitted by the governor
and chairman of the executive committee, M well as the report of the auditor, etc.,
and matters of import are discussed frankly between the different classes of membership. It is gratifying to report that these discussions have been harmonious to a marked
degree. Experience has shown that monthly meetings, :wprovided in the by-laws,
are sufficiently frequent to meet the nece::.Sitie . Our executive committee is composed of the governor, as chairman, Federal Reserve Agent, and one other director
chosen by our board, selections being made in rotation from the others, and serving
from one board meeting to the next. This committee meeth daily and pwses on the
paper offered for rediscount, and other matters of importance to the bank's interest.
The general work of the bank hM gone on without friction between the two departments. The Federal Re3erve Agent and the governor have at all times been in complete harmony, and all matters of importance have been discussed between them
before being put into operation.
Conditions in this district continue to improve. There hM been a pronounced
recovery from the depre~sion that existed a year ago; in fact, from the opening of the
Federal Reserve Bank a gradual improvement hM been shown in practically all
lines. That this bank has contributed its dhare in bringing about such a change
there is no que3tion. A very salutary lesson was learned during the unsettled conditions of last Fall, and forced economies by all have tended to put business of practically all lines on a better bMis. The excellent prices reoJized by farmers have
made possible liquidations of indebtedness that had been carried over from the past
year, as well as their current o1ligatiom, and at the present time the outlook for the
corning year is bright.