Zaphna H. Lake and A. W. Webster engaged in banking in Winona as early as 1856. Their bank was located near the corner of Second and Main streets. Henry D. Huff of Winona and John F. Barnard of Chicago filed to organize the Winona County Bank on October 1, 1858 with a capital of $100,000. On May 16, 1859 Messrs. A. W. Webster, Z. H. Lake and J. W. Mott of Winona purchased the bank. The first delivery of notes was made on May 18, 1859, and consisted of $25,000. No more notes were issued until October 1863. Despite using Minnesota Railroad Bonds as collateral for its circulation, the bank always redeemed its notes in specie and was a legitimate banking concern. By July 1860, Mott sold his interest in the bank. At the end of 1861, the bank was one of four remaining in the state. In his annual report the auditor declared that the bank “meets its requirements promptly, and its affairs in the state are entirely satisfactory.” In 1863, the bank converted its collateral to U.S. securities and increased its circulation. It filed to relinquish its banking business on June 19, 1865. Webster took part in the organization of the United National Bank of Winona, Charter 1643, the same year. Lake engaged in other business in Winona. After the state banking era, notes were redeemed at par.
On October 1, 1858 the auditor authorized Bald, Cousland & Co. to execute a 1-1-2-3 plate for the bank. It printed 8,000 sheets totaling $56,000 in notes. The two one dollar notes on the plate bear different engravings of a woman in the lower right corner. A total of $38,826 in notes were issued. Unredeemed notes totaled $663 on the auditor’s books.