Brent M. Rogers et al., note that the Kirtland Safety Society was underfunded due to the small amount stockholders were required to pay for their stock.

Brent M. Rogers

The Joseph Smith Papers Documents: Volume 5—October 1835-January 1838, ed. Brent M. Rogers, Elizabeth A. Kuehn, Christian K. Keimburger, Max H. Parkin, Alexander L. Baugh, and Steven C. Harper (Salt Lake City: The Church Historian's Press, 2017), 289–90

The Church Historian’s Press
Max H. Parkin, Sidney Rigdon, Christian K. Heimburger, Newel K. Whitney, Joseph Smith, Jr., Alexander L. Baugh, Brent M. Rogers, Steven C. Harper, Elizabeth A. Kuehn
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. . . the society was significantly underfunded, in large part because of the small amount that stockholders were required to pay for their stock. At fifty dollars per share, the price of stock for the Kirtland Safety Society was lower than average, but not unusually low when compared with similar financial institutions. What was substantially reduced for the society’s stockholders was the amount they were required to pay when they first subscribed for stock. At twenty-six cents per share, this initial payment was significantly lower than what other banks or banking companies charged, which typically required between five and fifty dollars’ initial payment per share. The Kirtland Safety Society officers showed leniency to those who would not pay their full initial payment at $262.50, but many with subscriptions of a thousand or more shares of stock only ever paid a few dollars. The combination of relatively low share prices, some of which was never paid, meant that the society was low on funds from the outset.

JS and other stockholders appear to have obtained additional funding by taking out loans from two nearby banking institutions. These loans would not have significantly improved the society’s solvency but would likely have increased its available specie, which was needed for the redemption of notes. In 2 January, JS, Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney received a loan for $3,000 from the Bank of Geauga in Painesville due in forty-five days. The second loan was taken out on 10 January from the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie in Cleaveland for $1,200 due in four months. This second loan was likely taken out by JS and Rigdon as officers of the Safety Society, but it not certain, since the signatures on the promissory note were removed—a common practice when a loan was repaid.

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