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Surprise discovery: Texas National Bank Note

National bank notes are very attractive because you never know what you'll find or where. This is even true for this writer who did a double-take this July when one note stood out from a nondescript assortment medium to low-grade small- and large-sized notes that he was shown by a friend in Burlington, Vermont.

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Surprise discovery: Texas National Bank Note

Only one national bank note was found in the lot. It was a Series 1902 $10 Third Chart Period Date Back note. However, it came from an unusual bank, the Palestine National Bank (Texas), charter no 4436. Some quick research confirmed my suspicion. This note is not documented.

Heritage describes it as a "wonderful addition to the census from... the second, and far most rarest, Anderson County location's 4 issuers." This note is a well-circulated one, showing only honest wear and legible stamp signatures.

Only two notes from this bank are actually recorded. The Series 1882 $5 Brown Back Note is the one that is believed to be in an institution holding. The second, a $20 Date Back note, in Fine condition, was not seen publically since 2001, when Heritage Auctions purchased it as a part Steve Ivy’s collection.

Its short life span can explain the rarity of pieces taken from the Palestine National Bank. Don Kelly's census shows that the bank was chartered on October 1890, and was liquidated on January 21, 1913 when it was purchased by the Royall National Bank of Palestine. It issued $22,300 worth Second Charter Brown Back notes as well as Third Charter Date Back notes. In 1913, $26,045 of that total was outstanding.

During the large-size note-issuing period, three other national banks were active in Palestine. The Robinson State Bank does not report any notes. The First National Bank of Palestine issued currency worth $1,604,060, while the Royall National Bank issued currency worth $1,885.560. The East Texas National Bank was another bank from Palestine, which issued small-sized notes only. It was established in 1911.

The Friedberg 619 note has been graded Fine 12 by Paper Money Guaranty. It will be auctioned at Heritage Auctions' Oct. 6-8 Currency Signature Auction.

How did it get from East Texas to Northern Vermont? The family of the owner is originally from Palestine.

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