Geneseo Banks

After the establishment of Livingston County in 1821 several attempts were made to establish a bank. All efforts were fruitless until April of 1830 when the Livingston County Bank in Geneseo was incorporated. With Allen Ayrault as president, an office was opened in the upper story of a wooden structure which stood where Rectors does today at 111 Main. In less than a year the bank was moved to a new brick building built for this purpose at 38 Main (later occupied by the Post Office and then a newspaper). Due to able and wise management, the bank was highly successful.

As the county prospered, it was soon evident that the needs of the businessmen could not be met by the banking capital available. The charter of the Livingston County Bank was due to expire in 1855. Consequently, plans to establish another bank were begun early in 1851, and by April of that year all capital was subscribed. The Genesee Valley Bank, headed by James W. Wadsworth as president was ready for business by May 1. Its first offices were on the ground floor of 125 Main (then the Concert Hall). Mr. Ayrault, who by 1855 held virtually all the stock of the old bank, continued to operate a profitable private banking institution until his death in 1861.

In 1865, after the passage of the National Bank Act, the Genesee Valley Bank received its charter and became the Genesee Valley National Bank.  The following year it was moved to quarters that had just been completed at 66 Main (the present Key Bank). The original building on this site was a blacksmith shop built about 1813 by Asa Nowlen. In the 1850's, J.D. Crank was operating a dry-goods business in a building here which was demolished to make way for the present brick structure. In 1930, with Senator James W. Wadsworth as president, the bank merged with the Livingston County Trust Co. and thus became the Genesee Valley National Bank and Trust Co.