This building was originally built as the Mount Vernon Bank in 1891, a date proudly carved on a large block of limestone in the building’s pediment. This structure maintains many original features and was restored in 1995 to be very close to its appearance when originally built.
As befitting a bank, the structure features a large amount of limestone and molded, or terra cotta, brick. In many ways, it closely resembles the office and commercial building built by Charles Kepler across the street.
The Mount Vernon Bank was founded by William M. Smith and Dr. James Carson in 1884. In 1893, two years after this building was built, Colonel H.H. Rood entered the partnership.
Dr. James Carson arrived in Mount Vernon in 1848 and, in those early years, advertised as a “physician, surgeon [and] dentist” [and supplier of] drugs and wallpaper supplies.”Smith was a native of Ohio who entered the Civil War at age 16 and was badly wounded during the Battle of Atlanta; he carried a bullet in his thigh for the rest of his life. After a career as a traveling salesman, he came to Mount Vernon to found the bank, of which he was the primary manager until his early death in 1899. As a sideline, Smith owned Cloverland Farm where he bred Angus cattle and Shropshire sheep.