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1915 – Bank Accounts of 41,000 Schoolchildren Saved (Footnote)

(This Footnote to History article was printed on page 1 of the December 25, 1915, publication of The New York Times, and is reprinted word-for-word below.)

Frick Pays Deposits of 41,000 Children

Makes Christmas Gift to Pupils in the Closed Pittsburgh Bank for Savings.

OFFER INVOLVES $167,136

Collectors, Authorized by Education Board, Gathered Pennies in Schools Weekly.


PITTSBURGH, Penn., Dec. 24. — Joy prevailed in the hearts of Pittsburgh school children tonight as a result of the announcement late today by Henry C. Frick that he would pay in full as a Christmas gift all the accounts of the 41,000 children depositors in the Pittsburgh Bank for Savings, which was closed here last Wednesday by order of the State Department of Banking. The deposits amount to $167,130.68, and pay¬ment will be made in cash about Jan. 3.

To induce children to save, a school savings fund was started many years ago. Through an agreement with the City Board of Education bank collectors visited the 132 schools in the city weekly. Penny by penny the deposits of the children increased.

When Mr. Frick who is in New York, was informed that, thousands of children were depositors, he at once communicated with H. C. McEldowney, President of another local bank, and announced that he would take care of the fund in such a way that the school children would not lose a cent. The proposal was submitted to G. H. Getty, receiver for the closed institution, who got the approval of State Banking Commissioner W. H. Smith and Attorney General Frank S. Brown to assist in carrying out the plan.

Mr. Frick specified the children were to receive their money without delay and arrangements were made with officials of the Pittsburgh Bank for Savings and the Union Savings Bank to formulate a plan for the paying of the 41,000 accounts just as soon as State banking officials can complete their canvass of the books of the closed institution. The manner of making payments will be announced through the Principals of the schools.

Mr. Frick, according to tentative plans, will pay the children the amount now on deposit, and when a liquidation has been effected, will collect their claims. Just what dividend the bank will pay each depositor has not been determined, but bank officials said it would amount to about 50 per cent.

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