First National Bank, East Liverpool, Ohio

First National Bank, East Liverpool, Ohio.—In the year 1873 a bank became a necessity to the flourishing village of East Liverpool and vicinity. The East Liverpool Banking Company was the first bank organized. It had seven directors, a president and a cashier—the cashier being the only employe. The directors’ favorite meeting place was the City Hotel, Billy Deevers, proprietor, on Second Street. This bank had a very small beginning and continued in business until 1874, when the First National was organized, April 22, 1874; the charter was granted by the government to commence business on April 30, 1874.

Of the original 35 stockholders only two are living, Jacob Shenkle and Noah A. Frederick. Members of the first board of directors were David Boyce, Josiah Thompson, J. M. Kelly, William H. Vodrey, N. B. Hickman, N. A. Frederick and George Morley. The officers were David Boyce, president; Josiah Thompson, vice president; F. D. Kitchel, cashier, and Col. H. R. Hill, attorney.

Each of these officers was required to give a $50,000 bond for the faithful performance of duty. At this time there were no surety bonding companies. Individual bondsmen had to be supplied. The first bond of David Boyce was signed by A. M. Davidson, T. Blythe, B. Walper, J. M. Kelly, N. B. Hickman, and Josiah Thompson’s bond was signed by D. C. Thompson, John Thompson, W. L. Thompson, John C. Thompson and C. C. Thompson.

The building they occupied was purchased from Huff & Co., for $6,000 and the furniture and fixtures for $125, and was located at the corner of Broadway and Second streets.

In reading over the recorded minutes one finds that in 1876 Colonel W. H. Vodrey was empowered to purchase a first-rate revolver for the use of the bank. The same year the bank refused to join the American Bankers' Association. The favorite meeting time of the board was 6:30 p. m. The circulation or first currency issued by the bank was in denomination of $1 and $2 bills. Thomas H. Fisher, active vice president, is in possession of bill No. 1, which has never been in circulation. It was presented to him by Mr. Boyce and Mr. Macrum.

John C. Thompson has been a director continuously for over 35 years. He was elected Jan. 8, 1889, and he and Thomas H. Fisher are the only persons connected with bank now who were associated with it at that time.

In the early history, no one associated with the bank could borrow from it on any security. This rule was rescinded by the board through business necessity.

In 1878 an assistant to the cashier was employed at the munificent salary of $100 per year and required to give bond for $10,000. This young man was regarded as an apprentice and as getting an education in business. He was also regarded as the most fortunate young man in the village.

In 1888 the name of the genial Irishman, Patsy Kernan, appears first on the records as watchman and janitor. The banking hours were 7:45 a. m. to 4 p. m., closing from 12 m. to 1 p. m.

The First National Bank observed the 50th anniversary of its founding on May 2, 1924, when members of the board of directors and the employes of the bank were guests of John J. Puriton, at a six o'clock dinner. Thirty directors and fifteen officers have served during that period. Men who have served as directors on the board since organization are: David Boyce, Josiah Thompson, J. M. Kelly, Col. William H. Vodrey, N. B. Hickman, Noah A. Frederick, George Morley, A. Blythe, W. W. Harker, J. F. Hickman, B. C. Simms, John C. Thompson, W. L. Thompson, Robert Hall, James Vodrey, O. C. Vodrey, N. G. Macrum, H. N. Harker, Walter B. Hill, Monroe Patterson, John J. Purinton, George C. Thompson, T. H. Fisher, E. H. Riggs, William H. Vodrey, Charles R. Boyce, Patrick McNicol, W. L. Smith, W. E. Dunlap and J. W. Irwin.

Men who have served as officers since organization are: Presidents, David Boyce, Josiah Thompson, John G. Thompson, B. C. Simms, Hon. John J. Purinton; vice presidents, Josiah Thompson, A. Blythe, J. M. Kelly, B. C. Simms, John J. Purinton, George C. Thompson, C. R. Boyce; acting vice president, T. H. Fisher; cashiers, F. D. Kitchel, N. G. Macrum, T. H. Fisher and W. E. Dunlap; assistant cashiers, H. H. Blythe, T. H. Fisher, W. E. Dunlap and L. D. Bashaw.

In these fifty years the officers and directors have passed safely through three money panics, 1873, 1893 and 1907. All of them proved the metal of the men at the helm.

The bank opened with a capital stock of $50,000.00 which has been increased through surplus earnings above regular dividends to capital, surplus and undivided profits to over $455,000.00. The total earnings of the bank since organized approximate $800,000.00.

During the five years' cashiership of F. D. Kitchel of both banks, the deposits grew to $49,000.00. The next 28 years when Mr. Marcum was cashier they grew to $538,000.00 and the 16 years Mr. Thomas H. Fisher was cashier they grew to $1,890,000.00 and since W. E. Dunlap has held the position, approximately one year and a half, to $2,550,000.00. The employes have increased in numbers from one to nineteen.

The development in the business has caused many changes in the banking house and equipment during this period. First, a building was bought and then remodeled; next, a new building was built in 1889 on Washington Street. The quarters on Washington Street were remodeled five times; outgrowing them each time until 1922-23, when was built the now most modern banking room on Fifth Street, costing approximately $260,000.00.

Behind the First National Bank are fifty years of business success, years of service to their customers, which has been amply repaid by their generous and friendly patronage. It is evident that the bank is stronger today than ever in its history and all indications are that its prosperity will steadily increase with every year of business.

The First National Bank with its ample capital and surplus of $450,000.00, large resources over $3,000,000.00, modern equipment, good location, up-to-date service, careful and conservative management of the officers and directors, and holding the confidence of the people in this section, will go on to greater success and greater prosperity than it has had in the past.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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