Mead Bank

Mead Bank 215 W Jefferson (2)

Address:  215 W. Jefferson Street

Period: 1800-1899

Exterior Description: The H. C. Mead Bank was built (circa 1862) in the Greek Revival Style. (Popular between 1830-1870). Though a simple form of the style, it does display a full pediment, symmetrical massing, regular feuestration, simple double door, cornices, friezes and returned eaves, with corner pilasters, and an inset front entrance with sidelights in an over/under pane design. The front of this building (west) also has two large (4’w x 7’h) four panel windows, with a wide decorative wooden panel below each. The left (north) side of the building maintains the original 5: wide clapboard with wide frieze and has a small window that may be original in placement. The back of the building is an old later addition that is furnished with drop siding and a rear door. The right (south) side of the building has two double hung windows that are old but unoriginal to the structure. The original 5” wide clapboard is very intact throughout as well as its frieze. There is a seam 54” from the front corner pilasters in the clapboard that could be evidence of repairs from a fire that burned a portion of the structure in 1896. The roof is a mild pitch gambrel design.

Interior Description:  The main (west) entry consists of double doors inset and flanked by two sidelights all with an over/under pave design. The main room (front/West) is approximately 15’ wide by 21” long. The floor is 2 ¼ “ maple floor that is now covered with linoleum tile. The original baseboard is intact. There are no remains of any other trimwork from its banking history. The original living quarters was accessed by a doorway at the back (northeast) corner of the main bank room. This room is 15’ wide by 10’ long and has the original maple flooring and 11” baseboard. An old but unoriginal half bathroom sits at the Northeast corner. The original back door (with transom) now leads to a later addition, which is 15’ wide by 12’ long.

Statement of Significance: The Henry C. Mead Bank (Waupaca Exchange and Savings Bank) was Waupaca’s first bank and was privately operated by H. C. Mead. Early banks in most communities were often privately operated by a single individual or a group of individuals without a charter from the Federal or state government. Mr. Mead established his bank in 1862 and conducted a general banking business, including a savings department. Built in the Greek Revival Style (circa 1862) it is one of downtown Waupaca’s few surviving wooden structures. This building originally stood on the southwest corner of Union and Jefferson Streets but was moved (in 1899) essentially across Jefferson Street to its current location. H. C. Mead was murdered at his bank in October 1882. This crime was one of Waupaca’s earliest and most sensationalized murders. It remains unsolved.