The MERCANTILE NATIONAL BANK, one of the early banks in Cleveland, opened as the Merchants Bank on 24 June 1845 on Water (W. 9th St. and Superior) with capital of $112,500. It was one of the 2 state branch banks allotted to Cleveland under a new state banking law enacted that year. A succession of presidents, beginning with PETER WEDELL, successfully guided Merchants Bank through its early years, including the Panic of 1857. By 1860 the bank had relocated to the corner of Superior and Bank (E. 6th) streets. It was safer and more profitable for Merchants Bank to reorganize as the Merchants Natl. Bank when its charter expired in 1864, because the National Banking Acts of 1863-64 had established a national currency backed by U.S. Bonds. TRUMAN P. HANDY led the bank the next 20 years, until its charter again expired in 1884, and it was reorganized as the Mercantile Natl. Bank with capital of $1 million. The bank ceased operation in 1905 when this charter expired.

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