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Reader's Showcase: Perryopolis note

Peter Huntoon

There is nothing quite like landing a national from the town where you were raised, particularly if it turns out to be the first of its kind in the census. Gerald Dzara reeled in this very attractive Perryopolis note under exactly these conditions. It is the first type 2 $10 reported from the bank.


Perryopolis is located 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh along the Youghiogheny River. The town was built on land purchased by George Washington with its core laid out as designed by Washington in the shape of a wagon wheel with a flagpole at its center. The bank building used to be on what is now a parking lot south-southeast of the flagpole.


Perryopolis was named for Commander Oliver Perry who was victorious over the British on Sept. 10, 1813, on Lake Erie, where his nine vessels captured six of the British during the War of 1812. The battle constituted the largest naval battle of the war. He uttered the classic statement, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” Perryopolis was primarily noted as a coal-mining center occupied mainly by white-collar workers associated with that industry. The town had a population of 1,784 in 2010. The bank was the second organized by the Cochran family, descendants of James Cochran, who built a sand, clay, coal and brick empire in the region during the latter half of the 19th century. M.M. Cochran, president on this note, was his nephew. Their other bank was The First National Bank of Dawson, eight miles upriver to the southeast.