Sometimes some of the more common obsolete notes yield interesting
information. Take, for example, the $1 note issued in January 1865 by
the Bank of Montgomery County located in Norristown, Pa. Collectors
have long been familiar with this attractive note that features Union
Remarkably, all had some tie to Norristown. Starting clockwise
from the lower left corner of the note, the following officers are portrayed:
Col. John W. Schall was educated in Norristown before entering a
military academy in Norwich, Vt. During the Civil War he was
associated with several different regiments of Pennsylvania Infantry.
He finished his enlistment as a colonel with the Army of the Potomac,
6th Army Corps, being wounded at Cold Harbor. After the war, he
returned to Norristown where he worked in the iron business, was
appointed U.S. postmaster and served as a general in the Pennsylvania
National Guard. Schall died in 1920 at the age of 86.
Gen. Adam J. Slemmer (often misidentified as “Clemmer” in
numismatic publications) was raised in Norristown and had a
distinguished career, serving in the Seminole Wars, the Civil War and
the American West. At the outbreak of the Civil War he successfully
defended Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Fla., until relieved in 1861. He
received an incapacitating wound at the Battle of Stones River in
Tennessee in December 1862. He served in several administrative roles
thereafter. He died in 1868 while in command at Fort Laramie, Wy., and
is buried near Norristown.
Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock is the best known of those featured.
He lived and was educated in Norristown, and went on to the United
States Military Academy. He served with distinction in the
Mexican-American War, the Civil War (a key figure in the Union victory
at Gettysburg), and, like Slemmer, the American West. He was narrowly
defeated by Garfield in the 1880 presidential election. He died in
1886 at the age of 61.
The final officer honored was Gen. John F. Hartranft, who
participated in numerous battles during the Civil War and won the
Medal of Honor. He was active in business and civic affairs in
Norristown both before and after the war. He served as governor of
Pennsylvania from 1873 to 1879 and died at the age of 58 in 1889 at Norristown.
Wendell Wolka has been a paper money collector and educator for
more than 40 years. If you have questions or suggestions, you can
email him at email@example.com.