Samnol C. Seely
Oakland Tribune, Monday Evening, November 26, 1894, Front Page
It Fails to Close Out the New York Bank
Baker’s Complicity Will Now Be Traced
Deposits Can Get Every Dollar Coming to Them
New York – November 16,. – The Door of the National Shoe and Leather Bank opened this morning as unconcernedly as though the institution had not been recently plundered of $330,000 by one of its trusted bookkeepers.
“We stand prepared to pay out every dollar of our indebtedness as soon as it is called for, but the indications are that we will not be very hard pressed,” said one of the directors.
The bank officials flaunt the idea that Seely and his accomplice, Baker, were aided by another confederate.
Baker is credited with $200 balance, but it is understood this credit is bogus.
The sons of the late Frederick Baker insist that their father’s business record was immaculate, and that it is absurd to charge him with complicity in Seely’s wrong-doing as he has no deposit in bank and left no papers as evidence that he ever had any transactions there.
On the other hand, bank officials assert that Baker has been a depositor for thirty years. I
It is intimated that the directors are in communication with counsel regarding proceedings to secure the property left by Baker as indemnity for the bank’s losses through his operations with Seely.
Paying Teller Gilberts Sayers, said today: “There is not a shadow of doubt that the man found drowned at Flushing Saturday, was Frederick R. Baker, who assisted Seely to rob the bank and to whom I personally paid the money.
“I have known him at least eight years and during that period have paid him money at least three times a week.
“Baker always presented his checks personally.
“I never remember him sending any by messenger or clerk to be cashed.
“He generally came about three times a week would be drawn for odd amounts, never over $400 at a time.
“In order to ascertain positively whether the man found drowned at Flushing was the same Baker, I made a journey there last night, and I no sooner saw the body than I identified it.
“The sons told me that they never knew he had an account at the Shoe and leather Bank and could not find the slightest trace of anything to verify it among the man’s papers.:
If Seely is alive the bank official will do all they can to bring him back, as his evidence is absolutely necessary to recover the losses from Baker’s estate.
If Seely can be communicated with, it is thought that the bank officials will offer him inducements to return, which will be a practical guarantee of immunity from prosecution.
There has been no run so far on the bank this morning.
Only $15,000 has been paid out, which is an average amount.
Oakland Evening Daily Tribune, Friday, April 19, 1895, page 2
Effort to Clear the Memory of F.R. Baker
The Bank Want to Know What Became of All the Cash
New York, April 19 – The officers of the National Shoe and Leather Bank are making an effort to force the widow of Frederick R. Baker to settle the claims against her husband’s estate which the bank made last November, and argument will be heard today in the Supreme Court chambers on a motion of James Bishop counsel to the bank, for the appointment of a referee to take testimony in the suit.
Mrs. Baker will be represented by Joseph R. Saley, of Tracey, Boardman & Pratt, who will protest against a reference of the case, preferring to have the testimony heard in open court.
Mrs. Baker and her friends believe she has a good defense and Mrs. Baker is anxious to clear her husband’s memory of the charge that the bank makes against him – that his real estate investments were made with money taken illegally from the bank.
The case grows out of the discovery made last November. Bookkeeper Samnol C. Seely’s defalcation amounting to $354,000 and the sudden death of Frederick R. Baker, who was accused of having received the bulk of the money of the Shoe and Leather Bank.