Pascal Whitney of Saint Paul filed to organize the Nicollet County Bank on October 23, 1858 with a capital of $100,000. The following month he sold his entire interest to W. J. Sewell, although Whitney remained president of the bank. Sherwood Gould was cashier. Notes were first issued February 4, 1859 but were backdated January 1. The bank used Minnesota 10s as collateral security for its note issues.
On the morning of October 11, 1859 it was announced that the banking house of Sewell, Ferris & Co. in New York City had failed. They had a large stake in Minnesota banking, including ownership of both Bank of the State of Minnesota and Nicollet County Bank. Bank of the State of Minnesota closed almost immediately after being notified of its parent’s failure. As word spread, noteholders of any Minnesota bank became anxious to redeem their banknotes in Saint Paul at the parent banking agencies. All agencies, except that of E. S. Edgerton’s Peoples Bank of Saint Peter, referred requests for coin to the place of issue.
It was known among bankers in Saint Paul that Nicollet County Bank had about $5,000 in gold in its bank in Saint Peter. Apparently word of its parent’s failure reached Saint Paul first. Several bankers in Saint Paul raced to redeem their Nicollet County Bank notes on hand before the specie was exhausted. Delos A. Monfort, representing the Peoples Bank, managed to secure nearly all the coin. He returned to Saint Paul in time to rescue Mr. Edgerton, who was redeeming Peoples Bank notes at par at its office in Saint Paul. The Auditor’s Office later redeemed notes of the Nicollet County Bank at the rate of 35 cents on the dollar.
On November 13, 1858 the auditor authorized Wellstood, Hay & Whiting to prepare a 1-2-3-5 plate and print 5,000 sheets amounting to $55,000. Some $40,000 in notes were issued. The auditor destroyed $14,995 in unissued notes. A total of $1,799 was never redeemed.