The Pullman Bank

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The Pullman Bank

Contributed by Kate Corcoran

Interior of the Pullman Bank in the Arcade Building

Image generously donated by the Lake County Discovery Museum, Curt Teich Postcard Archives

Advertising postcard, mailed in 1910 from the renamed Pullman Trust and Savings Bank, president Edward F. Bryant. Bryant was made bank manager in 1886 and was with the bank until at least 1924. [From the collection of Kate Corcoran]

On the verso, sent to an address on E. 115th, a preprinted message reads "This is the bank for the 'Industries.' A working man that deposits his savings here co-operates with us to make busy workshops which means happy people in the Calumet District"

The Pullman Bank occupied the northeast corner of the first floor of the Arcade. The Pullman Loan and Savings Bank, incorporated in 1883, was controlled by the Pullman's Palace Car Company. Both the bank and company encouraged savings (by offering a 4% interest rate) and encouraged and offered loans for home ownership (though not in Pullman). Doty makes much of the growth in accounts and total and average deposits from the bank's inception (August 1884: 578 accounts, total deposits of $83,943, average savings per account, $146; April 1893: 2,249 accounts, total deposits of $630,889, average savings per account, $283), but neglects to mention two of the major functions of the bank: paymaster and debt (especially rent) collector.

Until 1891 (when this practice was made illegal), Pullman operatives that lived in the town would arrive to collect their pay, from which rent had already been deducted. After 1891, an operative would receive 2 checks, "one for the amount of his rent and the other for the balance of his wages. Pressure was placed on him to immediately endorse the rent check and apply it to his debt..." This practice- reported and examined during the Pullman Strike and in the subsequent United States Strike Commission Report- contributed mightily to the suffering of town-dwellers during the strike.

In at least one case, Pullman was able to absorb another company, the Pullman Iron and Steel Company, into the main Pullman's Palace Car Company because of its immense debt to the bank and to the company. In later years, the bank served as the sale and mortgage agent for land sales in Pullman.


More Information About the Town of Pullman

Planning the town

4 blueprints of the Market Hall by Solon Beman

The Arcade Journal

Index to the Arcade Journal

The Hotel Florence

The Hotel Florence, ca. 1892

The Arcade

The Arcade, ca. 1910

Arcade Park

Arcade Park, ca. 1895

The Stables

The Pullman Fire Department in front of the Stables

Market Hall

1st Market Hall, 1881-1892

Area Churches

The "Greenstone" Church

Area Schools

Pullman School

The Freight Depot and the Railway Station

The Pullman Freight Depot

Other Pullman Buildings

The Pullman Gas Works

The Pullman House History Project

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 People of Color

Maps of Pullman

1897 Sanborn Map

Other Pullman-Related Sites

  • Historic Pullman Garden Club - An all-volunteer group that are the current stewards of many of the public green spaces in Pullman. (

  • Historic Pullman Foundation - The HPF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "facilitate the preservation and restoration of original structures within the Town of Pullman and to promote public awareness of the significance of Pullman as one of the nation's first planned industrial communities, now a designated City of Chicago, State of Illinois and National landmark district." (
  • The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is a 501(c)3 cultural institution. Its purpose is to honor, preserving present and interpreting the legacy of A. Philip Randolph, Pullman Porters, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the contributions made by African-Americans to America's labor movement. ((
  • Pullman Civic Organization - The PCO is a strong and vibrant Community Organization that has been in existence since 1960. (
  • Pullman National Monument - The official page of the Pullman National Park. (
  • South Suburban Genealogical & Historical Society - SSG&HS holds the Pullman Collection, consisting of personnel records from Pullman Car Works circa 1900-1949. There are approximately 200,000 individuals represented in the collection. (
  • The Industrial Heritage Archives of Chicago's Calumet Region is an online museum of images that commemorates and celebrates the historic industries and workers of the region, made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant administered by the Illinois State Library. (
  • Illinois Digital Archives (IDA) is a repository for the digital collections libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois and the hosting service for the online images on this site. (