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Black Settlers of Mound Bayou Had Skills Needed to Build Town - page 4 / 4

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strategic move because the bank played a key role in providing capital for new ventures and investments for the town residents. The bank also helped them survive financially bad periods such as when disease or weather prevented high yields of crops. Mound Bayou residents no longer had to go outside the town to arrange financing for businesses or homes. The bank offered reasonable credit for the purchase of farmland and town lots, and was especially helpful to those who needed small amounts of capital to get new enterprises started.

As the good reputation of the bank spread, organizations and individuals from around the State of Mississippi became depositors. One of the bank's major depositors was the Stringer Grand Lodge. At the time, the lodge was one of the wealthiest fraternal organizations operated by blacks. The number of businesses in the town continued to grow. By 1909, there were ten general-merchandise stores, eight grocery stores, three drugstores, three shoe shops, and a bottling company. There were also tailors, seamstresses, doctors, and lawyers. In addition, there was a hotel and several lodging houses. All these businesses were owned and operated by blacks.

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