Banking Mysteries

Banking Mysteries
Ida Mckinley: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: Two Weeks


Following graduation from Brooke Hall Female Seminary and an eight month tour of Europe, Ida McKinley was hired by her father as a clerk at Stark County Bank.  Her skill in managing money quickly led to a promotion to cashier.  Some speculate that in her father’s absence she even served at acting bank manager.  Ida met William McKinley while working in the bank. 


In this lesson students will learn about significant events and people in the history of banking while also practicing their creative writing skills.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet and/or access to a public library.


Below are fictitious historical headlines.  If any of them would have occurred it would have changed the history of banking.  Divide the list among the class and have students write a short mystery story using the headline assigned.  Tell students that they must include historical facts in their fictitious short story.  

Treason in the rank of the Knights of Templar (1190 AD, Cyprus)

Cosmo the Elder Kidnapped (1440 AD, Italy)

William Paterson Embezzles £.8 (1700 AD, London)

Sveriges Riksbank Robbed (1710 AD, Sweden)

Alexander Hamilton Assassinated (1790 AD, Philadelphia)

Stephen Douglas Inaugurated U.S President; Abraham Lincoln Imprisoned for Campaign Finance Fraud (1861, Washington, D.C.)

Attorney General, William McCarty (Billy the Kid) Foils U.S Bureau of Engraving Counterfeiting Scandal (1885, Washington, D. C.)

President Coolidge Vetoes Revenue Act Pay Offs Suspected (1924, Washington, D. C.)

President Roosevelt Disbands Office of Comptroller Due Massive Corruption (1935, Washington D.C

Extending the Lesson:

To extend this lesson, have students write a factual autobiography of an individual involved in the history of banking.

Sources & Resources:

Rothard, Murray N. A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II.  Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002.
Rothard, Murray N. America’s Great Depression.  Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1994. 
Rothard, Murray N. The Case Against the Fed.  Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2000. 

History of  U. S. Banking

History of Banking

Comptroller of the Currency Administrator of National Banks

History of Banking in New York State



This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University.