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Bushong State Bank

Bushong State Bank

Location Class:
Built: 1906 | Abandoned: ~1960s
Status: AbandonedGutted
Photojournalist: Emily CowanDarrell Powers
bushong state bank
Bushong State Bank ca. unknown

Bushong State Bank holds the same construction of many other banks built across the midwest during 1905-1906. Despite other readily available sources stating that the Bushong State Bank was organized in 1916 The Northern Lyon County Journal 07 May 1915 states this, ” The Bushong State Bank was organized in 1906, with a capital stock of $10,000, today the capital stock and surplus is $14,000. While this bank is only nine years old it has made remarkable growth and has been of great benefit to the people of the entire community. The bank occupies a modern stone banking house, is supplied with time locking safes and every protection possible is thrown around its customers and patrons.” In the newspapers, James Phelan was named a few times as the one hired to do the work of constructing the new building. James Phelan was a local carpenter responsible for numerous buildings in the area.

In 1911 the Bushong State Bank was ransacked, the newspaper below gives details of the crime:

The North Lyon County 04 May 1911 – The Bushong State Bank was entered and ransacked Sunday night and three men were caught at Allen Monday morning and take to Emporia to jail who are believed to be guilty of the job. The bank safe was not touched but several money drawers were rifled of their contents and several pennies and some small change taken from a desk. A number of pennies, identified as ones taken from the bank were found on one of the men.

As soon as it was known that the bank had been entered, William Deltmer, president, telephones to Sheriff O’Connor at Emporia. Who in turn telephoned to Marshal Rowley and Constable Porter to watch for them, and they were picked up a short time after that. One was found at the Artists restaurant, one at the depot and one in the rear of H. Wilson’s store. The Sheriff was notified and came up after them in an auto. Constable Gibson of Bushong was close to the suspects when they were taken up. The men gave their names as Jake Johnson of Toledo OH, Suell Lockman of Besmer City NC, and William Cottey of Pasadena CA. The three men are typical specimens of the professional hobo, The amount of money taken was small but the charge against the three men will probably be burglary and grand larceny. Suell Lockman was later sentenced by Judge F.A. Meckel to 5-10 years in the Lansing State Penitentiary. Both of his accomplices received similar sentences as well.

In July 1915 Orville Congdon purchased the Bushong State Bank having high hopes for the banking business in the small country town. Congdon had considerable banking experience running banks in Texas and some in Kansas City. During his ownership, he made the bank “one of the most popular financial institutions in the North end of the county.”

In 1930 the Bushong State Bank was robbed by Ora McEnterfer. The newspaper below gives details of the crime:

The Emporia Weekly Gazette 18 Sept 1930 – Ora McEnterfer, an ex-convict was arrested in Emporia Wednesday afternoon by Sheriff Tom Owens and is in the county jail today facing a charge of robbing the Bushong State Bank. McEnterfer was identified as one of the robbers this morning by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Jensen, who were working in the Bushong Bank when the hold-up occurred. Owens and Deputy Sheriff Dave Wright took McEnterfer to Bushong for the identification. McEnterfer declares that he is innocent, but Owens says his stories are conflicting.

Owens received a tip the day the bank was robbed that McEnterfer was implicated. Owens has been quietly investigating since then, making trips to Kansas City and Lansing, waiting for the day when McEnterfer should return to Emporia. He had McEnterfer’s picture the day after the robbery. The African American man who helped McEnterfer rob the bank is known and officers expect to arrest him soon. The Bushong State Bank was robbed of $1,941 in currency at 11 o’clock the morning of August 27. Alfred Jensen, cashier, and Mrs. Jensen were working in the bank. They described a white man (Ora McEnterfer) and an African American man entered and took the money, holding the Jensens at bay with a gun. The robbers escaped in a stolen Chevrolet Coach and were chased through Lyon, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties by a posse headed by Sheriff Owens. He was later convicted and sentenced to 10-50 years in the Lansing State Penitentiary by Judge Lon McCarty.

Bushong State Bank
ca. 1981

During the Great Depression, like many other small-town banks, the Bushong Bank Closed in 1932. The reasoning was depleted reserves due to the overwhelming withdrawals and frozen assets. In later years it became the Country Club, a bar for locals to hang out and decompress from the day at. The image shown pictures the building in the 1980s already neglected and abandoned. It can be assumed by its state that the building became uninhabited in the 1960s-70s. The building now entirely gutted has for the last few years become the interest of the North Lyon County Veterans Memorial Project. Repairs to some of the walls have been made and the hopes are to turn the building into a Veterans Museum eventually.


“1 Feb 1906, 1 – Council Grove Daily Appeal at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/428052659/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“1 Nov 1906, 3 – The Emporia Weekly Gazette at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/386353941/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“10 May 1906, 5 – The Americus Greeting at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/375010439/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“11 May 1981, 1 – The Wichita Eagle at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/698061515/?terms=bushong%20school&match=1.

“12 Jan 1932, 1 – Council Grove Republican at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/343735747/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“15 Jun 1911, Page 1 – The Emporia Weekly Gazette at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/3556985/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“17 Jan 1923, 4 – The Northern Lyon County Journal at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/485075612/?terms=bushong%20state%20bank&match=1.

“18 Sep 1930, Page 4 – The Emporia Weekly Gazette at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/4386306/?terms=bushong%20state%20bank&match=1.

“2 Feb 1906, 1 – The Emporia Journal Weekly Edition at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/485018043/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“22 Feb 1906, 8 – The Emporia Weekly Gazette at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/386352208/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“23 Feb 1906, 1 – The Emporia Journal Weekly Edition at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/485018167/?terms=james%20phelan%20bushong&match=1.

“26 Jul 1915, Page 4 – The Evening Kansan-Republican at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/93465581/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“26 Oct 1930, 2 – The Kansas City Star at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/655440096/?terms=bushong%20state%20bank&match=1.

“27 Aug 1930, 5 – The Manhattan Mercury at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/423435030/?terms=bushong%20state%20bank&match=1.

“29 Jul 1915, 3 – The Americus Greeting at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/375048761/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“29 Nov 1917, 2 – The Northern Lyon County Journal at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/485026553/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“4 May 1911, 4 – The Northern Lyon County Journal at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/485215898/?terms=bushong%20bank&match=1.

“7 May 1915, 7 – The Northern Lyon County Journal at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/485033290/?terms=bushong%20state%20bank%20built&match=1.

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Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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1 year ago

Can you expand on the comment related to the style of construction for banks in 1905-06. I can think of two similar buildings in NE KS where I’m from. Was that style unique to that time period and why was it popularized? Also, the Country Club sign from the 80’s picture is related to Country Club brand beer by Goetz Brewery in St. Joseph, MO. Thanks.

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