One hundred and five years ago today the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was rocked by the largest non-nuclear, man-made explosion with the equivalent of 3,000 tons of TNT. More than 325 acres were immediately destroyed from the shockwave emanating from the collision of two ships in the harbor. Approximately 1,900 people lost their lives, while 9,000 were injured. The news spread quickly by telegraph that initiated before the explosion (a great story in and of itself), although all means of communication and transportation into and out of Halifax were disrupted by the blast.
On April 8, 1918, the Bank of Florence was founded by a group of local businessmen in Florence, Missouri, a town of approximately one hundred men and women. The organization was formed with H.A. Bremer as president, F. H. Rasa, vice-president, and P.W. Buehler as cashier. Frederick Henry Rasa, (1873-1937) was a farmer, stock dealer, businessman, civic leader, and my great grandfather. While it remained financially sound, the Florence Bank directors made the decision to permanently close the bank on November 9, 1934. At that time the bank held $45,125 resources.