The Sunbury Bank
In 2015 with a bequest from a generous donor
to do so, construction started on a 3 store front building that would house a
scaled down replica of the Sunbury bank. The original brick constructed Sunbury Bank located in Sunbury was
offered to the historical society some years before. However, at the time the historical society
did not have the necessary funds to relocate and restore the historic building.
The replica has a front designed the same as the original Sunbury bank and has
the originally Sunbury bank sign prominently displayed on its front. The scaled
down replica left off the small back office of the building to allow more room
for in the lobby for exhibits. The lobby
also has the original, or at least 2 of 3 sections – we are still looking for
the 3rd section, of the teller window/wall from the Sunbury bank,
completely restored and installed by Tom Bell and his wife, both of Cedar
County. The interior of the bank has
many pieces of office equipment and banking tools, as well as a small safe from
the time period the bank was open. The
original safe could not be obtained because its location is unknown – though
one story is that it is buried with the rubble of the building.
The Sunbury Bank was in operation from 1901 to the early 1930’s when it closed permanently, one of many banks to do so after the crash of the stock market in 1929. It is with this closing that another local tale comes to life. The last manager and cashier to run the bank were two brothers by the name of Iwer. These men were an interesting pair in that one of the many things they were known for was their strong distaste for women and how they would never allow a woman on their property. That is except for one, their cousin, Mrs. Voss. After all the brothers (three in total) had passed they left their estate, including their property, to Mrs. Voss and her husband. While working on cleaning up the property Mrs. Voss and her husband found approximately $250,000 hidden on the property – a lot now but even more back in the mid 1900s when this happened. Once word was out other relatives appeared and decided to petition the court in protest of the will and attempt to gain a claim on the funds. But the judge presiding over the case felt the will was clearly written and the money in its entirety belonged to the Voss’s. No one knows where the money came from or why the brothers stashed that kind of money on their property.