From 1863 to 1935, National Bank Notes were issued by banks throughout the country and in US territories. Banks with a federal charter would deposit bonds in the US Treasury. The banks then could issue banknotes worth up to 90 percent of the value of the bonds. The federal government would back the value of the notes—the issuance of which created a demand for the government bonds needed to back them.

Banks in San Antonio were active participants in this program with The San Antonio National Bank, the 4th nationally charted bank in Texas, being one of the first and The Bexar County National Bank, the 2nd to last nationally chartered bank, being one of the last.