Clay County State Bank
Standing on what was originally the Excelsior Hotel grounds (Excelsior Springs first hotel), the bank was constructed of Bedford stone and was known as one of the most artistic bank buildings in Missouri.
The Clay County State Bank building was designed in 1905 by Louis Curtiss, a noted Kansas City architect. It was completed in 1906 at a cost of $25,000 and operated as a bank building until 1968, when the Clay County State Bank built a new structure.
The building was expanded in 1918, but the appearance of the west elevation remains identical, according to historic photographs. The paintings on the upper walls of the interior were apparently added during this remodeling.
The building contains a painting on the south wall which is a copy of “The Gleaners” and one on the north wall known as “The Angelus.” They are considered to be invaluable today.
The bank building was sold for $1 to the city of Excelsior Springs by the Kemper family of Kansas City in 1968 with the stipulation that it be used as a museum. It is the home of the Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives.
The Clay County State Bank building is listed on the Local Landmarks Register and the Clay County Historical Register.
The former Francis Hotel building is also owned by the Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives, providing additional display of historic artifacts. It seems the two-story building once housed the Excelsior Institute, a valuable resource directly tied to our historic mineral water and health industry. Hotel rooms were always advertised on the second floor, first known as the St. Joe House, later the Francis Hotel, offering 30 rooms before the rear portion of the building was demolished due to neglect. A historical rendering or post card, below, shows a sign on the Broadway portion of the building to be the Excelsior Institute and also on the building to the south where the Police Department now stands, which became the Mitchell Clinic.