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Interesting tale behind founding of Liberal, Mo.

By Peter Huntoon

The First National Bank of Liberal, Mo., charter 7094, lasted less than seven years between 1903 and 1910 before being converted into the Bank of Liberal under a state charter.

During its short existence, the bankers issued small numbers of $5, $10 and $20 Red Seals. None have been reported.


The town currently has a population of less than 800 and is located north of Joplin close to the western border of the state. Now, this was a town with an interesting founding.

George Walser, a free-thinking lawyer, bought 2,000 acres upon which he organized the town in 1880 as a utopia for atheists where Christians were not to be allowed.

“With one foot upon the neck of priestcraft and the other upon the rock of truth,” he declared it a home for intellectual Infidels that should have neither God, Jesus, devil, hell, church, preacher nor saloon.

Of course, Christian missionaries took all of that as quite a challenge and slowly infiltrated the place despite the early posting of Walser’s followers at the train station, who would advise disembarking Christians that they weren’t welcome.

No notes have been reported from the place.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.

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