Signatories on Banco Yucateco notes
The (identifiable) signatures are Casiano Castellanos and Manuel Pinelo M. as Director, and M. Sánchez T. as Interventor and Mateus Ponce and Filberto J. Mendez as Cajero.
Manuel Pinelo Montero, a prominent businessman In Mérida, was the bank's first director.
He died in Mérida on 20 February 1902.
Casiano Castellanos Molina
was born in Mérida in 1845. He died in Mérida on 19 December 1904.
|Pedro Rivas Peón|
|M. Sánchez Tirado|
In January 1908 when Antonio Cáceres replaced Mateus Ponce it was discovered that Ponce had defrauded the bank of $740,000, from a strongbox that contained notes from Mexico City that had not yet been put into circulationEl Tiempo, México, 9 January 1908. Ponce had involved the Interventor, who had been silenced with a large loan.
Ponce, the Interventor and various officials were arrested.
Much of the money was recovered though Ponce has spent some on a lavish lifestyle, including a collection of rare exotic birdsEl Tiempo, 2 February 1908. $200,000 was recovered on 9 JanuaryEl Imparcial, Tomo XXIV, Núm. 4119, 10 January 1908 and $16,800 returned on 28 JanuaryEl Tiempo, 28 January 1908.
Ponce’s defence was that he had been a honest and devoted employee but suffered from a family mental illness that caused him delusions of grandeurEl Imparcial, 23 January 1908: El Tiempo, 28 January 1908. He was convicted and sentenced to [ ] years. In [ ] he appealed to the Constitutional governor for release.
|Filberto J. Méndez|
Olegario Molina Solis was born in Bolonchenticul, in present-day Campeche in 1843, the son of a small farmer and businessman. He moved with his family to Yucatán's capital, Mérida, in 1857, after the Caste War of Yucatán ravaged his family's properties. After securing degrees in law and topographical engineering, Molina served as secretary to Liberal General Manuel Cepeda Peraza, who defeated Emperor Maximilian's forces in the peninsula in 1867. During the 1870s Molina became an engineer, superintendent, and later a partner in the first railroad built in Yucatán, the Mérida—Progreso railway, which he helped complete.became the owner of six henequen plantations, and one of the wealthiest families in the state. In 1881 he founded the casa comercial O. Molina y Cía. with his son-in-law Avelino Montes, to export henequén. It is believed that Molina and Montes, worked to depress fibre prices to benefit their North American partners, the International Harvester Company (and themselves). They used their dominant position in the fibre trade to expand the investment base of their company dramatically. Ventures in real estate, import/exports, and speculation in local industry, commerce, and infrastructure made Molina and Montes, and their extended network of family and friends, an economic octopus in turn-of-the-century Yucatán.
At the end of 1907 Molina deployed all his forces to destroy the group headed by the Escalentes and gain total control of henequén production and the Ferrocarriles Unidos driving the Escalente companies into bankruptcy and accusing them of fraud.
Molina was a federal deputy from 1869 to 1871 and 1873 to 1875, senator from Oaxaca from 1900 and 1902, and governor of Yucatán for two terms, from 1 February 1902 to 6 March 1907. As governor he is remembered for the number of schools he built, the paving and draining of Mérida's streets, and a spate of capital improvement projects in Mérida (O. Molina y Compañía received lucrative contracts for many of these capital projects.) He also reorganized the property registry, rewrote the state constitution, reformed the penal and civil codes, and reorganized the state National Guard and Mérida police force.
In 1906 President Porfirio Díaz visited Mérida, and after marveling at all of the impressive physical changes, rewarded Molina by making him, in Match 1907, his Secretario de Fomento, Colonización e Industria. He fled to Havana in 1911 and died in exile on 28 April 1925.