This structure represents the 1884 Valley Bank in Phoenix, which was the first bank that was used for no other purpose than banking. Prior to this time, most banks were housed in the back of stores or the basements of hotels.
The front and contents are from the original bank built in 1884, and the vault is from the Gila Valley Bank and Trust Company. The bank is reconstructed from a drawing of the original and is furnished in the style of banks of that period.
Notes on banking in Arizona:
The oldest bank in the territory was the Bank of Arizona, established in Prescott in 1877, then the Prescott National Bank in 1883. In 1899, Tucson was the largest town (7,500) with the Consolidated National Bank (originally the Pima County Bank in 1879) and the Arizona National Bank in 1883. Phoenix had the Valley Bank of Arizona (established in 1877) and the Phoenix National Bank (1892). The largest, Phoenix National Bank, had total deposits of $692,166 in June of 1899 with the total deposits in all of Arizona’s banks $3,580,505. Within 8 months, the number of banks increased from 12 to 21 and deposits increased by 1/3.