Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
114 WATSON ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:First National Bank
Other Name:The Treasury
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:28888
Location (Address):114 WATSON ST
County:Fond du Lac
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1930
Survey Date:1976
Historic Use:bank/financial institution
Architectural Style:Art Deco
Structural System:
Wall Material:Limestone
Architect:Auler, Jensen, and Brown
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Watson Street Commercial Historic District
National Register Listing Date:9/27/1991 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:7/26/1991 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

This site was home to a number of different banks starting in 1855 when Richard Catlin opened the Bank of Ripon. In 1882, the building was destroyed by fire and a new building was constructed only to have it burn down the same year it was finished in 1885. The German National Bank opened on this site in 1890, and changed its name to the American National Bank in 1914 around the time of WWI. Shortly afterwards, the bank bought out First National Bank. In 1930, both buildings were torn down to pave the way for one new building, considered to be one of the nicest banks in the state.

The building's interior was ravaged by fire during the mid-1940s, but was quickly rebuilt. Inside the lobby area, two gun ports are located on the wall behind the marble teller counter where armed security guards stood watch, protecting customers from threat of robbery. Prior to the bank's construction, the Ripon Opera House stood on this site until it was destroyed by a fire in the early 1900s.
Bibliographic References:OSHKOSH NORTHWESTERN 10/15/1995. Oshkosh Northwestern 3/8/1997. Take a Walk on Main Street: Historic Walking Tours in Wisconsin's Main Street Communities, Wisconsin Main Street Program, 1998. Ripon Historic Walking Tour brochure, 2015.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Citation
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