||Monroe, MI - Bank of Monroe $3 Feb. 10, 1837 MI-280 G24 Rust 21. Oliver Cowdery Signature. PCGS Very Fine 35. The Bank of Monroe's history fits snugly into the Kirtland Safety Society Bank's activities in neighboring Ohio. The failure to secure an official state charter at Columbus had the Church elders looking into other options. They found one in Monroe, Michigan, where they sent Oliver Cowdery (the distinguished Church elder who was instrumental in obtaining the plates and sheets used for the Kirtland notes). An existing, officially chartered bank was available for $100,000, although the bank was basically worthless as the country was heading toward the 1837 bank panic. At that time, many people were heading west, and that included the Mormons who were not long for Ohio, or Michigan for that matter. The Bank of Monroe printed several series of notes, beginning its existence on solid ground. But like most frontier banks, its fortunes were erased in the Jacksonian Bank crisis. The rare Oliver Cowdery signed bills appear on the Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, New-York imprint series seen here. The $3 note has an allegory at top center of three cherubs representing Exploration; their maps, globes and sextants combined with the early square-rigged ship identify them. At the left is Washington and at the right is a standing allegorical female holding a scroll. Signed by B. Hathaway and O. Cowdery at right, as president of the bank. This is a superb example, the finest we have seen of any denomination and very undervalued since Oliver Cowdery is only seen on this rare issue. It rarity is, in a way, its enemy as it is hard to obtain and is usually low grade. This note has excellent paper body; the notation Hole Punch Cancelled refers to one stray punch through the upper right counter. When encountered, the Very Good to Fine notes with Cowdery signature sell for $1,500-$2,000. This perhaps is the finest known, and as a $3 denomination, should be worth in excess of that figure. It is unlikely to require an upgrade, and we believe it is estimated conservatively for the history and its condition rarity status. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $4,465.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19136. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.