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"We had two banks in Gresham, going into the 30s. And in '31, they merged. Yes, there were some towns around that had bank failures, complete bank failures. And sometimes, there was some big loses."
     Question: "Explain to somebody who may not know how that works, what happened."
     "Well, I suppose that they had so many outstanding loans – they were not active loans, they couldn't get the money in – and there was a neighboring town that the bank began to get into big trouble. And the banker, one evening he drove along the road about three miles east of Gresham, and he used a gun on himself. That wasn't unusual for bankers to commit suicide. Well, not unusual, but quite a few bankers did."

Walter Schmitt on Closing Banks

   

Other Excerpts from Walter Schmitt's Interview:

Grasshoppers
Dealing with Grasshoppers
Fertilizing & Crop Rotation
Small World
The Crash & Leaving for California
Losing Your Farm
Free Dances & Movies
Getting Paid with Potatoes
Hoover and Roosevelt
WPA
Railroads & Trucks
Movies in Gresham
The KKK
Tumbleweeds
Decline in Farms