HISTORY OF THE
OSTRANDER BANKING COMPANY
Written by Frank R. Coe
March 24, 1953
This history was prepared and read by Frank Coe at the 50th anniversary celebration of the bank on March 24, 1953
Fifty years is a long time, but we have written, briefly, a history of the
organization, whose fifty years of service to this community, we have met here
this evening to commemorate.
Early in 1903, we were left without banking facilities, due to the death of Mr. Frank Maugans, owner of the bank at that time.
Aware of the need for a bank, a meeting of the citizens of the community ws called. At this meeting it was decided to organize a bank, and a committee appointed for that purpose. This committee was composed of B. C. Duncan, A. V. Main, J. C. Maugans, C. V. Liggett, and Octa Maugans. These five with the assistance of S. P. Shur and Mr. Hall, connected with a Delaware bank, in an advisory capacity, proceeded with the necessary details and made application for a charter. In due time, the charter having been granted, the sale of stock followed. Stock was subscribed for by the following: B. C. Duncan, W. H. Carr, S. T. Carr, Alex Newhouse, A. V. Main, William Elsom, Kirkland Brothers, J. C. Maugans, A. G. Duncan, H. W. Rittenhouse, J. A. Hays, J. I. Adamson, Octa Maugans, Jesse Bean, D. T. Perkins, M. E. Wollom, and C. G. Manville. The names n this list remind us of the important role these families have played in whatever progress this community has made during these 50 years.
As near as we can determine, the bank opened for business March 24, 1903 in the room now occupied by the Parrott Hardware Store, in the same building in which it is located now.
The first board of directors was composed of W. H. Carr, A. V. Main, Alex Newhouse, B. C. Duncan, and J. A. Hays, with Mr. Hays, Pres., Mr. Main, V. Pres., and Mr. Carr, Sec. Mr. Duncan was employed as cashier, and Mrs. Jesse Liggett, Asst. Cashier.
The By-Laws stated that the annual meeting of the stockholders should be held the first Monday in January of each year; no provision being made for regular meetings of the directors. They met at the cal of the cashier during the first year.
At the first annual meeting held Jan. 4, 1904, the following were elected to the board of directors: A. V. Main, W. H. Carr, Alex Newhouse, J. C. Maugans, and W. H. Rittenhouse, who in turn elected W. H. Carr, Pres., J. C. Maugans, V. Pres., B. C. Duncan, Cashier and Sec. At this time it was decided to hold director's meetings quarterly. During the year, Lee W. Elsom replaced Mrs. Liggett, resigned.
At the annual meeting in 1905, M. E. Kirkland was elected to the Board, replacing A. V. Main, who died Nov. 24, 1904. Early in 1905, William Harris replaced Mr. Duncan as cashier, Mr. Duncan having resigned to accept a similar position in Delaware.
In April 1905, the building in which the bank was, and still is located, was purchased from Mrs. Elizabeth Maugans and others for $3,500.00.
In 1906, J. I. Adamson replaced Alex Newhouse on the Board. At this time, the completion of sidewalks adjacent to the bank was reported.
In February 1907, Fred Gabriel was hired as Asst. Cashier to replace Lee W. Elsom, resigned. In 1908, the bank was moved to the room it now occupies, after remodeling and the erection of the first vault. In August of this year, it was decided to hold director's meetings the first Monday of each month. In 1909, J. A. Main was elected to the Board, replacing J. I. Adamson. In the minutes of May 5, 1909, we found an entry reporting the completion of the erection of hitch racks in front of and on the east side of the bank.
On July 1, 1910, Mr. Odell Liggett assumed the duties of Cashier, replacing Mr. William Harris, resigned. During this year, a Mosler safe was purchased which is still in use at the bank.
In 1911 Albert Huntley replaced H. W. Rittenhouse on the Board. During this year it was decided to keep the bank open for business each Saturday evening from 6:30 to 8:30. At this time, it was reported that iron hitch racks (costing $22.50) had replaced those erected in 1909.
No change in Board or employees was noted until January 5, 1916, when Fred Gabriel tendered his resignation as Asst. Cashier to accept a similar position elsewhere. Mr. Gabriel was succeeded by F. E. Prouty, who after a short time resigned to accept another position. He in turn was succeeded on April 1, 1916, by H. N. Latimer. At this time the volume of business had increased sufficiently to require the services of an additional employee. This was supplied in the person of Durelle Gabriel, who continued with the bank until 1919, when he resigned to accept another position. This vacancy was filled by Miss Vesta Prouty, now Mrs. Vesta Rowlands.
During the night of December 3, 1919, burglars made an attempt to enter the vault, which was unsuccessful, but they did damage the door to such an extent, that the purchase of a new one was necessary. It was decided at this time to enlarge and improve the vault, which was completed during the year of 1920. Miss Esther Pounds replaced Mrs. Rowlands, resigned, during this year.
In 1921, Saturday evening banking hours were discontinued. In 1922, T. B. Newhouse was elected to replace Albert Huntley, who, after 11 years on the Board, had asked to be relieved of his duties due to failing health. Early in 1922, Mr. F. E. Parsons was employed to replace Mr. Liggett, who, after nearly 12 years as Cashier, had resigned to accept another position. At the same time, Miss Avillee Jordon, now Mrs. Avilee Prouty replaced Miss Esther Pounds, resigned. Miss Naomi Pinney, now Mrs. Naomi Headley was employed in June 1922 and remained until December 1925, when she resigned. Mrs. Prouty resigned in 1926, and here place was taken by Mrs. Hazel Main, who in turn was replaced by Mrs. John Irion. In June 1929, Miss Ruth Johnson, now Mrs. Ruth Ebright was employed. In October 1929, Mr. Parsons was appointed to complete the term of T. B. Newhouse, deceased, and at the annual meeting in 1930 was elected to the Board. In September 1932, M. R. Hays was appointed to fill the unexpired term of J. C. Maugans, deceased. Mr. Maugans, on of the organizers of the bank had served continuously since 1904, as V. Pres. of the Board nearly 29 years. In 1933, Mr. Hays was elected to the Board and M. E. Kirkland was elected V. Pres., succeeding Mr. Maugans.
In 1933, a bank holiday was declared by the Pres. of the United States, which closed all banks temporarily. We were given permission to open for business on March 15, 1933. We feel that much credit was and is due our officers and employees of the bank at that time that the condition of the bank was such that we could be granted permission to open for business where so many were denied that privilege. In 1955, we became members of the FDIC protecting depositors up to the amount of $5,000.00. Recently the protection was increased to $10,000.00. In the Fall of 1937, Mr. H. W. Carr passed away. He had been a member of the Board since the organization of the bank and Pres. since 1904; almost 34 years.
At the annual meeting in 1938, A. H. Newhouse was elected to replace Mr. Carr on the Board. He thus became the first, third generation member of the Board; his father and grandfather having served before him. At the organization meeting M. E. Kirkland was elected Pres. and J. A. Main, V. Pres. January 3, 1940, George H. Gray was elected to fill the vacancy on the Board created by the death of M. R. Hays in 1939. In October 1942, H. W. Latimer and E. V. Roush were appointed to fill vacancies created by the resignations of F. E. Parsons and M. E. Kirkland. J. A. Main was elected Pres. and George H. Gray, V. Pres. Mr. C. N. Strayer was employed as Cashier and Secretary. In August 1942, Evelyn Waugh, now Mrs. Evelyn House, was employed as bookkeeper and remained until December 1943, when she resigned.
On January 6, 1945, the following Board was elected: E. V. Roush, Earl French, George Van Brimmer, M. E. Kirkland, and F. E. Parsons. Mr. Kirkland was elected Pres. and E. V. Roush, V. Pres. January 5, 1944, Fred L. Decker and Odell Liggett were elected to the Board replacing Mr. Van Brimmer and Mr. Kirkland. Mr. Roush was elected Pres. and Mr. Liggett, Vice Pres.
In 1945 A.. H. Newhouse replaced Mr. French on the Board. Mrs. Prouty resumed her position as bookkeeper at about the same time. In September 1946, after an illness of only five days, death terminated the services of Mr. H. N. Latimer, who, for more than 30 years, had served the bank as Asst. Cashier. In 1948, upon the retirement of Mr. Parsons, who had served as Cashier for 26 years, Lee W. Elsom came back to the bank as Cashier. Mrs. Ebright became Asst. Cashier, serving until August, when she resigned, after being with the bank for about 19 years. In April 1948, Mrs. Rosetta Sipes became associated with the bank. In 1949, Frank R. Coe was elected to the Board, replacing Mr. Parsons. On April 1, 1949, Guy Coughenour entered the service of the bank and assumed the duties of Cashier on March 1 of the same year. In July, Norman Hageman was employed as Asst. Cashier and assumed his duties August 1. During the early part of 1950, with the permission of the State Banking Department and the FDIC and the approval of a majority of the stockholders, a stock dividend of 100% was declared, bringing our capital stock to $50,000.00. In the Fall of 1951, with Mrs. Prouty out temporarily, Mrs. Virginia Harrington replacing her April 1, 1952, and staying with us until moving from the state in February 1953.
Miss Avalon Powell replaced her. This brings us up to the present time as to officers and employees, with the exception of some short time employees whose dates of employment weren't obtained. One of these was Mr. T. F. Maloney, who assisted during the illness of regular employees; also Mrs. Grace Newhouse and Mrs. Ethel Bond whose terms of employment weren't listed in the minutes.
In conclusion: We realize, that, measured in dollars and cents our bank is small, but we hope that its services to the community has been much greater than can be measured by a Bank statement. It has always been, we are sure and is, we know, the aim of the Board and employees to make up what we lack in size, by safe, efficient and courteous service to our community.