Overview of The 1902 $5 First National Bank of Mount Vernon Bill

Overview of The 1902 5 First National Bank of Mount Vernon Bill
by: Ben Tseytlin - on Coins & Currency

The Mount Vernon First National Bank opened its doors in 1900 and like other banks of the time was permitted to issue its own currency. It did so until 1935, and at least fifteen different bills were produced, one of which is the 1902 $5 note, one of the earliest which has become coveted by collectors.

Currency Highlights

The bank issued a total of about 31,570 bills, which are distinctive for their blue colored seal. Traditionally, whenever a bank issues over 10,000 sheets this means that the notes will become relatively common, especially for the smaller denominations. An image of President Ben Harrison can be seen on the front, and aside from the blue seal, each note features a blue colored charter number. Although these bills are known as the series of 1902, in actuality they were issued between the years 1908 and 1928. The blue seals also come in two variants, one of which is named the date back and reads “1902-1908” in back while the other is named the plain back and is devoid of date stamps in back. The value of each bill will be determined by condition as well as the bank that issued it.

The 1902 $5 note should not be confused with the 1929 $5 bill, which was issued by the same institution. Aside from the fact that both bills were issued decades apart, the 1929 $5 note was issued in lower quantity, with just over 26,000 being printed in total. Additionally, whereas the 1902 $5 note features an image of Ben Harrison, the 1929 $5 note displays an image of Abraham Lincoln. The 1929 bill isn’t that rare but if it is in good condition may still fetch a high price. Both five dollar notes were popular denominations because back in 1929 $5 could be used to purchase a wide range of merchandise. The type 2 1929 $5 note has become quite rare in recent years and its value depends on which bank issued it as well as its condition. Many currency collectors offer a free appraisal for those who are looking for specific valuation.


Benjamin Harrison was America’s 23rd president who served in office between 1889 and 1893. He was a Republican who attended Miami University at Oxford and upon moving to Indianapolis he built a reputation as a successful attorney as well as religious leader at the local Presbyterian Church. He eventually entered politics and joined the Union Army during the American Civil War, reaching the rank of colonel and then brevet brigadier general. He ran for Indiana governor around 1876 but was unsuccessful, although the state’s General Assembly decided to elect him for a six year U.S. Senate term, which he served in between 1881 and 1887. He ran for president and defeated Grover Cleveland, and his administration is best known for the McKinley Tariff, that established protected trading rates, the Sherman Antitrust Act to weaken the power of monopolies and he established the country’s national park system.