Commercial and Savings Bank, 1893
On April 11, 1893 a preliminary meeting of prominent local citizens met to draw up plans for a new bank. The Commercial & Savings Bank was organized September 30, 1893, with a starting capital of $35,000, and asurplus of $25,000. It opened in the newly constructed Irwin Block, later known as the Putnam Block, on the S.E. corner of Superior and Erie St. For many years the bank had the nickname “the bank on the corner.”
Initial officers were: John G. Brown, [president; S.B. Allen, vice-president. Directors: Dr. Samuel Dickie, Washington Gardner, L.J. Wolcott, Fred F. Hoaglin, Edward Sutton, F.E. Marsh, and Robert Frost. The bank’s first cashier was H.M. Dearing who would be set to prison twenty years later for the forgery scheme involving the Albion National Bank.
Work on the new bank building began on February 1, 1916, on the site of Jesse Crowell’s “Old Stone Mill.” Part of the original walls of the mill were retained and used as part of thenew building. Today, the old stone wall is easily visible from the drive in entrance. The bank opened in its new quarters on New Year’s Day, 1917,with a picture of Jesse Crowell being displayed ion the lobby as part of the open house. The newspaperaccount stated that Crowell was Albion’s first banker. Actually, he had no organized bank, but simply handled the funds of early Albion pioneers.
After the failure of the Albion State Bank in December 1931, the Commercial & Savings Bank became the only bank in the city until 1956, when the Bank of Albion opened. The Commercial & Savings Bank was closed March 6, 1933, during the “bank holiday;” the banks sound business practices enabled it to pass government requirements, and it was reopened.
The Commercial & Savings Bank was merged with the Jackson City Bank & Trust Company on March 1, 1955, and became the City Bank and Trust Company, N.A. The last president of the Commercial & Savings Bank was Herschel C. Fox, who had come to the bank in 1938. Fox announced the merger at the February 8, 1955 meeting of the local Boosters & Knockers club.
Source: Frank Passic. Albion’s Banks and Bankers. Albion, Michigan:Albion Civic Foundation. 1985.