Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Workday Wednesday -Bank Treasurer

One of my best discovers has been finding out an occupation that my 2nd great grandfather, Johnston Paterson, had later in life. I found a book through google books while searching for "Johnston Paterson" and Airdrie, Scotland.  One of the first results was a little snippet of a book by James Knox called "The Triumph of Thrift: The Story of the Savings Bank of Airdrie".  It gave just enough information, that I was sure this was my 2nd great grandfather.  I found the book on Abe Books at a reasonable price, and ordered it.  What an exciting find.  There was actually a chapter about him, Chapter XIII, pages 83 to 85, called Treasurer Johnston Paterson, 1878-1884.  If I had not found this book, I may have not discovered that he was a treasurer.  On the 1881 census he is listed as a house factor. 

It seems that the author of the book, James Knox, knew my 2nd great grandfather and work with him.  Johnston Paterson task of treasurer was to look after the cash.  I learned that he was of great moral principles, quite religious and very old school business. Interesting enough the author mentions that Johnston didn't trust the safes in the bank and carried the cash home each night to put in his own burglar-proof safe.  Now he must have been a tough character, as he would walk home in the dark of night with a heavily loaded stick as his protection. Johnston worked as treasurer from the age of 64-70.  But it looks like he consented to have that safe brought to the bank after about three years.  What a great look into a small part of my 2nd great grandfather's life. 

The author of the book, James Knox, is listed on the title page as the Manager of Airdrie Savings Bank; Hon. Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire; Ex-Provost of Airdrie; Author of "Airdrie -A Historical Sketch". It is interesting to read the history of the bank, and about the people who worked for the bank.  There are a few photos, but too bad not one of Johnston Paterson. 

The Airdrie Savings Bank  was established in 1835 and is still in business today. It's the only independent Savings Bank in the United Kingdom.  

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