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The History of Buxton Bank

Photo Caption

Pictured above is a vintage photo of the original Buxton Bank. Both individuals pictured are unknown and remain a mystery to this day. Do you know who they are?

A gentleman by the name of Oliver S. Hanson operated a bank from the rear of his residence in Buxton until 1890 when he decided to construct a new building for the bank, which we refer to today as the Buxton Bank. This bank has changed ownership several times, and in 1977 the owner of the bank was First State Bank of Buxton. First State Bank of Buxton built a new facility to the south of the bank and the old granite structure became vacated. The building was donated to the Buxton Historical Society in 1978 and without a use the old bank has been empty ever since.

On March 31, 2005, "Buxton in Bloom", a local non-profit purchased the old Buxton Bank building . Buxton in Bloom became a local affiliate of Preservation North Dakota to assist in the process of historic preservation and adaptive re-use of the old Buxton Bank. Now, the next chapter of the history of the Buxton Bank building is opened.

Two armed robberies are part of the bank's history. The first occurred in 1928 when three men made off with $8,500 after locking a salesman, a customer and three bank employees in the vault. In the second robbery, three robbers entered the bank, took a woman and her daughter hostage and fired shots over the heads of some men who were across the street. Leonard Hanson, bank cashier and son of O.S. Hanson, apparently tried to activate the tear gas system that had been installed following the earlier robbery. He was shot and killed. The robbers made off with $1,000, spreading tacks and nails on the road as they fled. These armed robberies and a 1959 burglary at the Thompson branch remain unsolved. Fingerprints of a man found at the bottom of a well in Oklahoma matched those found at the Thompson bank. Apparently this man had been thrown into the well by his partners. He had been on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List".