Photos can be viewed as a slide show. If you would like more detail about a particular photo exit the side show by clicking on “Show Picture List” then click on an individual picture. Information about that photo is usually provided. Choosing the slide show option will not show the individual photo information.
William Dale was the founder and owner of the Bank of De Leon, a private bank he established in 1892.
Dale was born in Illinois on February 21, 1858 and married Ella Clara Bivens in Cozad, Dawson County, Nebraska. No information has been located on why they chose to moved to De Leon but census records indicate they lived on Texas Ave. They had one daughter Myrl Estelle who was born in Comanche County (and probably in De Leon) on April 17, 1895.
The bank was incorporated and obtained a national charter becoming the First National Bank of De Leon on January 1, 1900 (later during the oil boom, it became the First State Bank). Dale sold his interest in the bank in late 1902 or early 1903 to W.C. Streety and J. Doss Miller and moved away from De Leon, apparently for reasons of his health. He is also credited with organizing the Bank of Gorman (see Oakley-McFarlin notes below) and the Bank of Cozad in Nebraska.
The family is believed to have first moved at least temporarily to Amarillo, then Tacoma, Washington, before ending up in Corning, California by 1904 where he opened the Bank of Corning on September 1, 1904. The American Bank Reporter of May 1908 estimated the populations of both De Leon and Corning at 1,500 but in reality, De Leon was probably under 1,000. The bank of Corning, which was the only bank in that city at the time, had deposits stated at $90,000. The combined deposits of the two De Leon banks was $185,000 but it should be noted that the bay area of California had been hit with the San Francisco earthquake just two years earlier.
The Dale’s Victorian style home at 804 Almond Ave. in Corning has been restored and can be seen here. Mrs. Dale purchased the property in January 1905 but records do not indicate if the home had been constructed prior to purchase by the Dales. The house was transferred to their daughter in 1931 and sold by her in 1953.
Mrs. Dale died suddenly on November 30, 1931 and ten months later on or around September 7, 1932 William Dale collapsed and died while making a presentation at the Rotary Club in Corning. Both are buried at the Mountain View Mausoleum in Oakland, California. Myrl Dale married Robert D. Owen in Corning on June 28, 1919. She died September 15, 1982 in Morgan Hill, California.
William Dale was apparently very interested in photography. The slide show above, with the exception of the photo of the daughter and her grandmother, are from a small album the Dales sent to the B. J. Pittman family for Christmas 1908. The De Leon photos were taken in November 1906 when the Dales returned to De Leon for a visit. There are several other pictures throughout this site which were taken by Dale and given to the Pittman, Streety and Redden families over the years.