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 This rule was rescinded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.
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
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
Columbiana County, Ohio Biographies
Names A to F
Names G to M
Names N to Z
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