Maggie Walker and Staffs of the Independent Order and St. Luke Penny Savings Bank Diary Check

St. Luke Bank

“Let us have a bank that will take nickels and turn them into dollars”
Maggie L. Walker, 1901 in an address to the members of the Independent Order of St. Luke at the 34th Annual Session of the Right Worthy Grand Council of Virginia. 

Mrs. Walker strengthened her banking, accounting, and business skills by studying prominent banks in Richmond, VA. She recruited Emmett Burke, head teller, from the True Reformers Bank, the first African American bank chartered in the U.S.  With all the pieces in place, Mrs. Walker opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank to an expectant crowd on the first floor of her St. Luke Hall on November 2, 1903.  The bank’s prospects were promising as it opened with over $9,000 in deposits on its first day of business.  By January of 1906, savings deposits totaled $170,000, providing opportunities for home and business loans.  By 1920, the bank had financed over 600 home loans, allowing for significant real estate holdings in Richmond’s African American residential community.  More...

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