The standard of every community is measured by the character of its financial institutions, for unless they are stable the credit of the municipality and its people is impeached. The Gallatin County Bank, of Ridgway, Illinois, is an institution which has grown out of the needs of its locality, and was organized by men of exceptional standing, whose interests have been centered in it, and whose honor and personal fortunes are bound up in its life. Under such desirable conditions a bank is bound to maintain a high standard and to make money for its stockholders, while at the same time safeguard the interests of its depositors.

The Gallatin County Bank of Ridgway, Illinois, was organized as a state bank in January, 1895, with a capital of $25,000, which was eventually increased to $35,000. It had been originally started in 1893 by Robert Mick, president, and David Weidemann, cashier, with William Gregg and T. W. Hall, as a private institution. Mr. Weidemann is now cashier of the First National Bank of Henry, Illinois; Mr. Gregg is cashier of the City National Bank of Harrisburg, and T. W. Hall is president of the First National Bank of Carmi. Shortly after the death of President Mick, the bank became a state institution, with Judge Phillips as president and Mr. Weidemann as cashier and the former still holds office, although the latter was succeeded in July, 1897, by George L. Land, who has continued as cashier to the present time. The present home of the bank was erected in 1910, and was fitted out with the latest improvements, and now boasts of deposits of $140,000, and $125,000 loans, is continually paying dividends and has a surplus of $6,000. This is considered one of the strongest banking institutions of Southern Illinois and does business with some of the largest houses in its part of the state. The assistant cashier is W. B. Phillips, son of the Judge.

George L. Land, the able cashier of this bank, was born at Carmi, White county, Illinois, July 10, 1865, and is a son of John and Ann Eliza (Crane) Land, and a grandson of Yearby Land and his wife, who bore the maiden name of Rupert. Yearby Land was born in North Carolina, and was brought to Illinois when two years old, in 1809. He spent a number of years in Wayne county, but eventually moved to White county, where he and his sons, John and David Land, were engaged in a mercantile business under the firm name of Y. Land & Sons. His death occurred at his home in Carmi at the age of ninety years, and for some years the sons continued to carry on the business, which is still in existence at Carmi, being conducted by a son of John, E. A. Land, and is the oldest mercantile business in White county.


John Land, the father of George L., was for a number of years engaged in farming in connection with the mercantile business, which in 1879 became known as D. R. & J. Land, and he finally retired in 1885 and still resides at Carmi, as does his wife. He was succeeded by his son, George L., as D. R. Land & Company, which continued until the death of D. R., and George L. was then joined by his two brothers, E. A. & H. C. Land, but subsequently George L. Land left the firm to become cashier of the Gallatin County Bank, and H. C. became cashier of the Bank of Omaha, Gallatin county, which was organized as the Exchange Bank of Omaha by David Weidemann, and of which George L. Land has been president for some time. He has not been active in political matters, preferring to give his attention strictly to his banking business, although he is also interested in a coal business at Eldorado, Illinois.

Mr. Land was married at the age of twenty-seven years, to Miss Mollie B. Hick, of Carmi, daughter of John Hick, of New Haven, who died when she was a child. Three children have been born to this union, all residing at home: Walter H., Madeline E. and Louise. Mr. and Mrs. Land are well-known members of the Missionary Baptist church, and have been active in its work. They have numerous friends throughout this community, where members of both families have been prominent in various walks of life.

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