Charles Cameron opened a mercantile business at First and
Hastings in 1873. Despite Cameron's death in 1893, his name has been associated
with a business building in Hastings longer than any other.
1883, Cameron built this large brick building, then called the Cameron
Block, on the site of his original frame building which burned in the
great fire of September 14, 1879. McKinley and Lanning, loan agents, moved
into the building when it was completed and remained for 67 years.
The Exchange Bank, a private bank, owned by I. M. Raymond, of Lincoln,
and operated by Abraham Yeazel and J. R. McLaughlin, opened for business
in a frame building on First Street in 1877. That building was also destroyed
in the 1879 fire. Upon completion of the Cameron Building, the bank moved
into the offices at the corner of First and Hastings. In 1884 the bank
reorganized as the Exchange National Bank. It remained at this location
until December, 1926 when it merged with the First National Bank. Both the interior and exterior of the building were extensively remodeled
in 1919. At that time the bank's entrance was moved from the corner to
the First Street side. New stone work was placed on the front and the
corner was squared on the ground floor. The decorative Victorian cornice
was removed during the 1940's.