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Page, Bacon & Company

City: Saint Louis

County: Saint Louis

State: Missouri

In 1848, Daniel D. Page and his son-in-law, Henry D. Bacon, organized the banking house of Page & Bacon in St. Louis, Missouri. Bacon managed the business, while Page provided most of the early capital and backing. During the Mexican War, the bank handled large amounts of government money because St. Louis was an army supply headquarters. The government contract established the company’s credit, and made it a nationally-respected bank. In 1849, the bank opened a branch in San Francisco and, in 1850, the company changed its name to Page, Bacon & Company. The St. Louis branch advanced large sums of capital toward the construction of the St. Louis to Vincennes, Indiana section of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. In 1854, Page, Bacon & Co. encountered financial difficulties when an economic downturn occurred and contractors building the Vincennes line were unable to repay their loans. During a city-wide financial panic, the St. Louis branch temporarily closed its doors on January 13, 1855, in an effort to halt a run on the bank. However, news of this closure prompted a run on the San Francisco branch, which closed on May 2, 1855. Although the firm’s name continued to circulate in city directories for some time, its banking activities were essentially suspended in 1855, and Page was forced to sell much of his real estate holdings in Missouri to satisfy the firm’s creditors.

Milton H. Shutes, “Henry Douglas Bacon (1813-1893),” California Historical Society Quarterly 26 (September 1947), 193-95; L. U. Reavis, St. Louis: The Future Great City of the World (St. Louis: Gray and Baker, 1875), 581-82.