Albert W. Pratt and Gustav Ritschele of Milwaukee filed to organize the La Crosse and La Crescent Bank on January 1, 1859 with a capital of $50,000. On September 1, Daniel Wells, Jr. of Milwaukee purchased 99% of the stock, with Selah Chamberlain of Milwaukee, and Messrs. T. M. Metcalf and A. H. Linton of Saint Paul as residual owners. In 1860 Wells was the sole owner. The bank used Minnesota Railroad Bonds to back its circulation, but met its obligations. Wells reported to the auditor that the bank maintained no office in the state, and that notes of the bank would be redeemed in Wisconsin currency at the Green Bay Bank in La Crosse and the Juneau Bank in Milwaukee.
American Bank Note Company engraved a 1-2 plate and initially printed 25,200 sheets in three separate runs of 8,400 sheets. A fourth printing run of 8,200 sheets was ordered on June 24, 1859, making a total of $100,200 in notes. Notes of the first run were incorrectly engraved with a signature block for “Register” instead of “Auditor.” The State auditor immediately caught the error when the sheets were delivered to him, and demanded the correction. These notes also bore an engraved “Capital $25,000” in order to resemble Wisconsin currency. The error was corrected and more notes were printed in a second run. Additional notes were printed in a fourth run without the “Capital” statement and dated June 1st, 1859. A total of $75,812 in notes was issued. Over 50,000 notes were issued, making this the largest volume of notes issued by a Minnesota state bank. Unredeemed notes amounted to $2,440 in 1868.