Former Bank of Itta Bena

Corner of Humphreys and Schley 4


Note the metal cornice along the top of the bank building.

The Bank of Itta Bena was chartered by Governor Longino in 1900 with a capital stock of $25,000 (Vicksburg Herald, 07 Jun 1900, p. 2).  In 1902, the bank let a contract for a $10,000 building “to be completed by fall” (Eupora Progress, 23 May 1902, p. 2) although it was not actually constructed until 1904.  William Gatlin and Susan Tietz (April 10, 2009) described the building:

…parapet with cast concrete cap, bracketed and dentilled cornice and 2/2 wood-frame, double-hung windows with keystones and continuous sill on the second story.  Two bay facade d-w fronts Humphreys Street.  First story windows consist of a series of recessed arched windows with in-filled headers over a single central light over eight small square lights, flanked by vertical side-lights.  A wide stone water table underlines first story windows, with a narrow belt course topping them.  Entrance is recessed and flanked with engaged stone columns within niches, set atop low brick walls that terminate at the water table.  Entrance is composed of double leaf, single-light wooden doors, sheltered by a contemporary hip-roof, asphalt-shingle clad portico supported by square wooden poles.

Corner of Humphreys and Schley 2

Mississippi Department of Archives and History documents that the Bank of Itta Bena was constructed by builder R. Jesty & Co. from Winona in 1904.  Jesty (Frederick R. Jesty, born in England) also owned a brick and lumber company in Winona.  He and his wife had a son in Clarksdale and a daughter in Greenwood.  Frederick Jesty is first mentioned in Mississippi in 1875 as having purchased a subscription to the Clarion-Ledger and was residing in Vaiden.  He used the title Col R. Jesty in 1893, although it does not appear elsewhere in the newspapers that I located.  Jesty died in 1912.Bank of Itta Bena side

According to the Winona Times (10 Mar 1905, p. 4), Will T. Loggins was President of the Bank of Itta Bena in 1905.  The Bank of Itta Bena also made news in 1912 when they elected Mrs. M. V. Jones of Highlandlae [sic; apparently was Highlandale] as a bank director.  Mrs. Jones was described as a large stockholder in the bank and other enterprises, and

…recognized as a woman of rare tact and exceptional business judgment. (Jackson Daily News, 09 Jan 1912, p. 7)

The Bank of Itta Bena was one of the banks in Mississippi reported “already open” after the bank holiday March 1933 related to the Great Depression.  The building is currently used as the City Hall for Itta Bena.

This entry was posted in Bank buildings, City Hall buildings, Historic Downtowns, Mississippi, Mississippi Delta Towns and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Former Bank of Itta Bena

  1. janebye says:

    I love that building. And I am just wondering, when they say Ms. Jones was a woman of “rare tact,” does that mean that most women don’t have tact? LOL I’m sure she needed tact to get by in the business world (of men). 🙂


    • Suzassippi says:

      I know; I thought the same thing. Apparently, when her husband died, he left all of his money to his brothers and sisters, stating that she had her own resources and did not need any more money. She contested the will, stating that she had paid him a salary to manage her assets, and thus, the additional money was rightfully hers.


  2. Pingback: Corner of Humphreys and Schley | Suzassippi

  3. I am curious about the massive metal cornice on the building. It looks impressive.


    • Suzassippi says:

      Well that explains why I could not figure out the difference in the brick colors at the top. Looking on Google maps view, there was a metal cornice across the front and down the side. The front cornice is gone now, with only the wooden supports remaining. Just a tiny corner of the cornice is still visible in the photograph when I enlarge that section. Not sure how much is left on the side.


    • Suzassippi says:

      I enlarged the section of the photo showing the side, and it looks like the cornice is still in place on the Schley side of the street. Thanks for pointing that out. Too bad about the one across the front. I added a cropped photo that shows what is left of the cornice.


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