Julius H. Dawes of Fox Lake, Wisconsin filed for the organization of the Farmers Bank in Garden City on August 18, 1858 with a capitalization of $25,000. Stockholders would later include John W. Davis, William E. Smith and William J. Dexter, all of Fox Lake. On August 28, 1858 the auditor authorized American Bank Note Company to engrave a plate. The Farmers Bank selected a 1-2-3-5 layout for its bank note plate. On January 20, the Farmers Bank received $25,000 of notes signed by the auditor and authorized for issue. This was the bank’s only shipment of $110,000 that was printed.
On October 26, 1859 the Mankato Weekly Record reported of the bank’s intention to close. The date of notice recorded in the Auditor’s Office was April 21, 1860. Notes were redeemed at par. Two years later, at the expiration of the redemption period, $972 of Farmers Bank notes was unredeemed. A new Farmers Bank was organized in Mankato in 1862. The auditor destroyed $85,000 in remainder notes on May 7, 1862.
There were three variations in the $2 notes involving the title under the auditor’s signature line. On the original plate the title “Audr.” was mistakenly omitted. The error was discovered after a number of sheets were printed. Probably while the sheets were still in the possession of American Bank Note Company, the title was carefully hand stamped on each note under the signature line using what appears to have been letterpress type. It is often seen slightly skewed and larger than the title normally appears on properly engraved notes. Before additional sheets were printed, the title was correctly engraved onto the plate. The first variety may only survive in proof notes, while the second variety likely survives only as issued notes. The third variety may exist as both proof and issued notes.