Foster Bank Closed; Cashier in Disgrace

The Glitter of Gold has Caused an Optical Illusion, Which Dimmed the "Winkers" of Cashier D. C. McMath, and in the End of the Journey He Finds it Only to be a Mirage of the Desert

 Foster, Ky., Nov. 13. - Trembling like an aspen leaf and apparently on the verge of collapse, Daniel C. McKnight,[McMath?] cashier of the Foster State Bank, of this town, staggered into the chamber of County Judge Bradford, at Brooksville and pleaded that he be placed under arrest.

 "For what reason?" ask Judge Bradford.

 "I have ruined a bank, and I'll go mad and kill myself if I am not locked up," replied the wretched man. Then he sank into a chair.

 The judge called the sheriff, and a few minutes later the trusted bank cashier, who admits that he stole $16,600 from the Foster State Bank, was sobbing pitifully in a cell in the county jail.  He will be arraigned Wednesday. 

"Tis a tragic story, this narrative of McMath's speculations.  It begins with his discovery six months ago of a shortage of $100 in his accounts.  He declares that it was due to an error which he was unable to detect, thought for nights he worked over his books, seeking a solution.  Married, a lover of luxurious living and occasionally a surreptitious delver into speculation, he had less than $50 to his name, he says.

 Baffled in his efforts to explain to himself the error of $100, and fearing it would be discovered by his superiors, McMath decided, to use "just a little" of the bank's funds in an effort, through speculation, to obtain sufficient cash to make good the missing sum.  That was the beginning of the end.  The investment was a loser.

 More desperate, the Cashier became reckless.  This time he took a "bundle," as he describes it.  It was fearful chance, he said, but he felt that the market's fluctuations would favor him.  But they didn't.

 Calls by long distance telephone were made upon him by the Cincinnati brokerage firm to protect his stock.  McMath took another "bundle" and still another, and then there followed numerous thefts in rapid succession.  The panic in New York City was the final blow, and when McMath awoke, the $100 error and grown into a defalcation of $16,600.  He determined to let his holdings go by default.  But there might be a turn for the better, and he would just take one more chance.  He would protect his stock.

 F. M. Fulkerson, Cashier of the Augusta German Bank, was called to examine Mr. McMath's books.  First was discovered the $100 error, then came a revelation.  Fulkerson says the series of defalcations was effected in one of the crudest manners, that even a cursory inspection of the books would have meant immediate cognizance of McMath's appropriations.

 A meeting of the directors was called at once and the Foster Bank closed it's doors Monday night, certainly not to be reopened, it is said, until the history of McMath's connection with the institution is known to the last detail.

 There was a rush to the bank when it became known Tuesday morning that it had not opened for business.  But announcement by its officials that every cent owing to depositors would be paid served to reassure them and they departed.

 McMath was bonded to the extent of $10,000 by the Fidelity Bonding Company, of Maryland.  The bank directors say that they will ad the $6,600 to that sum to meet the shortage.

 The bank was capitalized at $15,000 and the bulk of this stock was subscribed by the citizens of the northern portion of this county.

 McMath is about 30 years old and was for a long time clerk in the general store of R. Y. Hill in Lenoxburg.  He always bore a reputation of being a trustworthy young man.  His wife is a daughter of Alex Dix, of Lenoxburg

 We are reliably informed that the bank will open at once for business.


Compiled from a pair of stories in the Falmouth Outlook of November 15, 1907. Most of the two stories are identical. The first four paragraphs are from one story, the remainder is from another. Curiously, the bank cashier is named McMath in the first story, and McKnight in the second.