Historic bank building comes down in Coleridge

COLERIDGE, Neb. – A historic building in northeast Nebraska came down on Monday.

The town’s old bank building, which started as Commercial State Bank on Broadway Street in 1902, was torn down by construction crews on Monday.

The bank, which was the second in the town’s history, was established by Irish immigrant George Adams Gray, who came to the U.S. from Ireland in 1889 as a 20-year-old, landing immediately in Coleridge.

After engaging in various enterprises, including farming, cattle feeding, construction, the lumber business and running a grain elevator, Gray established the bank, which would later become Coleridge National Bank.

The bank remained under family ownership for over a century, with Gray’s son Jim running the bank until his death in 1991. The elder Gray’s granddaughter served as the owner of the building up until its demolition on Monday.

The bank experienced tragedy in 1994, when three years after Jim Gray’s death, his wife Ellen was murdered outside the bank by local farmer Jim Forsberg. After serving over a quarter century in prison, Forsberg died in prison last December.

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