In 1892, Seth M. Richcreek arrived in Indianapolis. Before surfacing in the Circle City, he had been missing for 25 years. Soon after his arrival, Richcreek opened a law office, but devoted much of his attention to purchasing street assessment liens. After making a large amount of money in a short amount of time by bringing suits to collect street assessment liens and then collecting the attorney’s fees, Richcreek opened the Richcreek Bank in March 1904.
The bank was seemingly successful, as Richcreek leased the building referenced in the advertisement above in 1907 for a period of 99 years, with rent increased in intervals of $150 per year after the first three years. However, Richcreek did not stay in Indianapolis long enough to fulfill even the smallest portion of the term of the lease. Later in 1907, the state enacted laws allowing for the audit of private banks, such as Richcreek Bank, and Richcreek refused to submit to such an examination. Not much later, Richcreek disappeared.
Some say Richcreek traveled to South Africa with his mistress, a bank employee; some say he stayed in the United States. What is known is that the Richcreek Bank filed involuntary bankruptcy not long after Richcreek’s departure from the city, and was declared insolvent with only $.15 in assets.