Let's say that the Clemens family left some recordings in the
"Lincoln Trust Company" vault, as reported by Whitmore.
A quick surf of periodicals online showed that besides the "new"
building built by the Lincoln Trust in 1913 at 204 Fifth Avenue, the
bank also had branches at 2077 Broadway (near 72nd), 346 Broadway,
and 7 Wall Street, when Mechanics and Metals National Bank absorbed
the Lincoln Trust in February 1922. What month did Whitmore give the
The NY Times reported that with this merger, Mechanics closed the 7
Wall St location due to its proximity to the main Mechanics bank, but
left themselves with 12 branches in New York City.
Four years later, the financial predator became prey when Chase
National Bank took over Mechanics and Metals. Chase also acquired
Mutual Bank in 1927, and Garfield Bank in 1928. Time Magazine
reported the combined deposits of Chase and Garfield reached
Chase remained a relatively unchanged name until its merger in 2000
with J.P. Morgan called, creatively, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. You've
perhaps heard this name in current events with the $25 billion it
received from Congress and its buyout of Washington Mutual in
Placing a call to J.P. Morgan Chase to track down Clemens's
recordings might prove Herculean, but first we should consider the
financial difficulties the Lincoln Trust faced in 1907, when a run in
October had cut its deposits from $23 to $6 million. Does anyone know
if Clemens kept some (or all) of his money in the Lincoln Trust at
that time? Was he part of that run? Or did he only keep non-liquid
assets there that wouldn't need removing? The bank turned itself
around less than a year later with the choice of Alexander S. Webb,
Jr as the new president.
Funny coincidence: The New York Times in 1908 lists one of the
Lincoln Trust's directors as named Edward Holbrook.
Well, I found it funny, anyway.