Errors in three of the plaques on the City of Princeton’s Historical Walking Tour can be traced to a lack of knowledge of local banking history and poor writing skills. This plaque, for example, is a mess.
The building was not built until 1901, so the opening sentence makes no sense. The business and professionals listed occupied the building at various times in the 1900s but not in 1876!
The second sentence is also wrong. Princeton State Bank, not First National Bank, replaced the private banking house. The Montello State Bank of Princeton operated briefly in Princeton about 1859, but the first local bank was the Yahr, Thompson & Co. Bank founded in 1875. Yahr bought out his partners in 1881 and operated it as the private Banking House of F.T. Yahr. He sold the bank in 1893 when it organized as Princeton State Bank.
The third sentence, which says Princeton’s first telephone exchange occupied the upstairs in 1902, is also wrong. The first telephone exchange was located in the American House (440 West Water Street) before moving to 501 West Water in 1910.