The first bank in Sioux City was a tin box about the size of a cake box. George Weare brought the box with him to Sioux City December 26, 1855. At the time of his arrival from Cedar Rapids with the tin box with $1000 dollars in gold, Sioux City consisted of 6 log cabins! Three or four feet of snow covered the ground.
He found a place to work in the attic of a log cabin on the corner of third and Pearl . The bottom floor was occupied by the United States Land Office. His furniture consisted of an old drygoods box that served as the counter and his tin box that served as his safe. The box is now on display in the Public Museum.
This was a difficult time to start a bank in Iowa. The state constitution prohibited banks in the state. Many small banks had started and then collapsed leaving their investors with no money. People were suspicious of putting their money into something that could close at any time.
In the spring, George built a log building to serve as his bank on Douglas Street near sixth. He stayed here until 1857 when his banking business was expanding and he needed more room.
In September of 1860, Weare formed at partnership with John P. Allison and a new bank was built. The old log building was purchased by the pioneer school board and moved to Fifth and Pierce. The new building was of frame construction and painted to look like it was made of stone.
By 1862 the business district had moved west so Allison and Weare moved again. Still later in 1878 the partners built the brick structure pictured here. They continued to be partners in their success bank until they merged their bank with the Iowa State National Bank in 1901.
Mr. Weare served the city as alderman and mayor. Had it not been for his leadership, many pioneer businesses would not have been started.