Articles from The Oberlin News Tribune, 1935

People's Banking Company


The Peoples Banking Company, one of Oberlin’s two financial institutions, was organized in March, 1906. The records show the original incorporators of the bank to have been J. T. Henderson, H. F. Smith, J. D. Yocom, Louis E. Burgner, F. E. McKellogg, W. H. Cooley, V. O. Johnston, Miles J. Watson, William C. Bunce, and George W. Preston. OF these original incorporators, J. T. Henderson, H. F. Smith, Louis E. Burgner, and Miles J. Watson are still and have continuously been officers and directors of the bank, J. D. Yocom having served continuously until his death some three years ago.

The first directors elected at the organization meeting March 17, 1906, were J. T. Henderson, L. E. Burgner, George Preston, H. F. Smith, Miles J. Watson, H. B. Thurston, C. W. Morrison, C. H. Browning, F. E. McKellogg, and E. E. Sperry. Horace Waite was elected the first cashier of the bank and served in this capacity until the spring of 1914.

At the end of the first month of operation, the bank had a total statement of $56,581.84, of which $25,000.00 was capital and $31,581.84 deposits. At the end of the first year, the resources had increased to $108,408.82, a very satisfactory increase for the new bank.

Since its inception, the bank has had a steady increase in resources and a widening influence in the financial affairs of the community. The policy adopted by the directors in the early history of the bank to operate a conservative community building institution, wherein the safety of the depositors interests should ever be paramount, has remained its policy throughout its more than a quarter of a century of service.

In March, 1914, Mr. Waite having resigned as cashier, I. L. Porter was named to this position, having previously served for four years as bookkepper in the Oberlin Bank under the cashiership of A. M. Loveland. The resources of the bank at that time totaled $282,903.64 with capital of $25,000.00, surplus of $7,000.00. There followed a period of unusual activity during the World War in which the bank rendered valuable service on all occasions in connection with the war financing program of this community. Its officers and directors participated in every phase of the local activity. Mr. Burgner having been chairman of the Liberty Loan Campaign in the community.

When the bank was organized in 1906 it was located in the room on North Main street now occupied by the Oberlin Review as an editorial office. In 1915 it purchased the building at 15 South Main street, and, after remodeling the building, moved into its new home in the summer of 1916. Since that time it has on two different occasions, first in 1923, and again in 1926, enlarged and modernized its banking quarters, while in the summer of 1931, it put in entirely new modern fixtures of the low glass type, which have proved extremely satisfactory.

From its organization in 1906, until February 1, 1922, the bank operated with a capital of $25,000.00. During this period, in addition to having paid a regular 6 percent dividend on its stock, it had accumulated a surplus sufficient to pay up its capital stock to $50,000.00. A 100 percent dividend was, therefore, declared at that time and the bank’s capital has been $50,000.00 ever since. Because of its conservative policy of paying dividends throughout its history, the bank was able, when the depreciation came on, to take care of its depreciation in investments from its accumulated surplus, and it was of great satisfaction to its officers, directors, and stockholders that it was permitted, along with three other banks in the county, to resume normal operations in accordance with President Roosevelt’s plan immediately following the bank moratorium in 1933.

The Board of Directors of the bank, consisting of nine, is made up as follows:
J. T. Henderson, President
H. F. Smith, Vice President
L. E. Burgner, Secretary
I. L. Porter, Cashier
F. H. Shaw, M. J. Watson, W. H. Walker,
L. E. Lord, P. H. Ohly.
The bank has four employees with the Assistant Cashier, in addition to I. L. Porter, Cashier, as follows:
C. F. Spitler, Assistant Cashier
Ruth Edwards, Teller
Ruth Helden, Bookkeeper
Dorothy Searles, Stenographer.

Mr. Henderson and Mr. Smith have served as President and Vice President, respectfully, ever since the organization of the bank, and Mr. Burgner has acted as Secretary except for a few years when this office was held by J. D. Yocom.

The bank operated for 21 years without losing a dollar of its invested funds, and for its entire history, its deposit liabilities have been met in full, and with its membership in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insuring deposits up to $5,000.00 for each individual, all danger of loss is practically eliminated.
There are many economic theories now being advanced throughout the nation and many changes in banking legislation are in prospect. It is expected that this bank will, in the future as it has in the past, meet these changes as they come about to the end that continuous banking services may be rendered to the community.

Friday, March 29, 1935
The Oberlin News-Tribune, Oberlin, Ohio