The First National Bank of McConnelsville is one of a few banks still operating today who received its charter in 1863, under the new act forming the National Banking system.
Vice President Naomi Wright, also retail sales manager, said the bank is one of the oldest surviving banks started during the bank act.
"It opened its doors the same year as the National Banking Act," she said. "That was when the North defeated the South during Gettysburg. Lincoln was giving the Gettysburg Address that year."
Photo submitted by Peoples Bank
Construction on Peoples Bank’s Putnam Street location ended in 1924.
Photo submitted by Williamstown Bank
The Williamstown Bank moved from its location near the river to higher ground at its current location in 1951.
Photo submitted by First National Bank
The First National Bank in McConnelsville is one of the oldest banks on the original charter of national banks. This photo was taken circa 1880.
The bank was originally at 32 East Main St., on the town square. The original capital was set at $75,000, which was divided into 750 shares and sold for $100 each.
The bank managed to keep its doors open during the Great Depression and grew significantly over the years.
In 1967, the First National Bank in McConnelsville and the First National Bank of Stockport merged. The following year, construction on the new main office building was completed and the McConnelsville office moved to its current location, 86 North Kennebec Ave. In 1975, the Stockport office moved to a new building at 1820 Broadway St.
October 1919-The bank becomes incorporated as the Farmers & Mechanics National Bank of Williamstown.
December 1919-The bank opens its doors.
1951-The bank moves to its current location at 435 Highland Ave.
1960-Controlling interest of the bank is purchased by A.V. Criss Interests and Douglas Adams.
January 1964-The name of the bank changes to the Williamstown National Bank.
1986-A branch of the bank opens in Parkersburg.
March 2007-The bank's shareholders approve changing the bank's charter to a state charter.
June 2007-The bank becomes Williamstown Bank, Inc.
1863-The bank forms under the National Banking Act.
1967-The bank and the First National Bank of Stockport merge.
1968-Construction of a new main office building is completed.
1996-An additional branch opens in the village of Carroll in Fairfield County.
1999-The bank completes a $2 million renovation project.
2000-The bank merges with The Junction City Banking Company and begins offering ATM access, drive-thru banking and Internet banking.
2004-The bank opens a fifth location in Athens.
2008-The bank and First National Bank in Nelsonville and Glouster merge.
November 2013-The Chesterhill branch of the bank closes.
1902-Peoples Banking & Trust Company is formed.
1924-The construction on the main office, located at 138 Putnam St., Marietta, is finished and the building is opened to the public.
1952-1953-Peoples' first motor bank (drive-thru) is opened in Marietta.
1952-The bank celebrates 50 years.
1968-The first Peoples Bank VISA card is introduced.
1975-People's first ATM is installed.
1995-Peoples Bank becomes the first bank in Ohio to receive Certificates of Qualification from Ohio Department of Insurance to own an insurance agency subsidiary.
1997-The bank acquires offices in Kentucky.
1998-Peoples Bank acquires offices in West Virginia.
2000-Peoples Banking & Trust Company changes its name to Peoples Bank under a national banking charter.
2002-The bank celebrates 100 years.
2012-The bank undergoes new branch redesign, logo and colors.
Wright said the bank has changed with the times, adapting to meet customer's needs through the years.
On July 31, 2000, the bank merged with the Junction City Banking Company. After renovations completed in 2002, First National Bank could offer Junction City ATM access, drive-thru banking, Internet banking and check cards.
Wright said the mobile banking is something new the bank offers.
"We don't want people to think we're stuck back 100 years ago," she said.
Last year, the bank celebrated its 150th anniversary. It has outlived the first entry on the national bank charter list-The First National Bank of Philadelphia, which was formed by an Ohio native and had six times the assets of the McConnelsville branch.
President and CEO John O. Keirns said that he's looking forward to the next chapter of the bank.
"Serving southeastern Ohio for the past 150 years is quite an accomplishment and instills in all of us a great sense of pride," he said. "However, we could not have reached this significant milestone without the support of the communities that we serve and a dedicated staff both past and present. We're looking forward to continuing the tradition of strong leadership and foresight as this incredible journey continues."
Wright said the bank is deeply entrenched in McConnelsville history.
"It's a part of history," she said. "When you think about what's happened since 1863, all the wars and everything else the bank has survived. ... It's amazing to me."
For 112 years, Peoples Bank has been a fixture in the Marietta community.
Founded by a local businessman in the oil industry, the bank has always been focused on the needs of the community, said Executive Vice President Rick Stafford.
Construction on the main office was finished in 1924, at 138 Putnam St. Around 1952 and 1953, the first drive-thru was opened in Marietta and in 1975, the first ATM was installed.
Stafford said core values emerged out of forming a local community-focused bank, which have not changed: being a business with integrity; having a continued will to win; having trust among clients, community and associates; having commitment to community; clients are the focus and continued development of employee skills.
"We have an unwavering commitment to community," he said. "We always do what's best for our customers ...We have to really be a part of the fabric of the community."
In 1997 and 1998, the bank acquired offices in Kentucky and West Virginia, respectively, and in 2000 the bank changed its name from Peoples Banking and Trust Company to Peoples Bank under a national banking charter.
Stafford added that the bank is of real value to the customers because of the expertise it brings to the market.
It is always the goal of the bank to do right by its customers and actions in the communities in which it operates and the future for the bank looks bright, he said.
"We have a robust history and we're very optimistic about the future," Stafford said. "It's going to be more of the same and hopefully we'll continue to grow in communities like Marietta, but we will never lose our community bank focus. ...We're very excited about the next 112 years."
Since December 1919, the Williamstown Bank, 435 Highland Ave., has been serving area residents.
Created after another Williamstown bank failed, some citizens banded together to form the bank. Incorporated on Oct. 1, 1919, the bank was then known as The Farmers & Mechanics National Bank of Williamstown.
The bank has operated over the years on a conservative basis and was limited for growth based on its size and the funds available to invest.
Because the bank is small, though, it is a big part of the community.
Senior Vice President of Operations E.K. Sleeth said customer care and quality service are pivotal in bank operations.
"We pride ourselves on the personalized customer service we offer," he said. "At Williamstown Bank you are known by name and always given individualized service. All our employees know and believe that our customers deserve to receive the best service available. We feel our employees are the best asset our bank has."
The bank closed down for a short time during the "Bank Holiday" in 1933, when the Comptroller of the Currency had to decide if the bank would stay open. The board of directors, which made many trips to Washington, D.C., included F.L. Fenton, J.J. Lorentz, Harry K. Kifer, E.E. Lane and R.C. Fenton.
The bank reopened in September 1934 under two stipulations: to reduce capital stock of the bank from $40,000 to $20,000 and to sell preferred stock to The Reconstruction Finance Corporation in the amount of $30,000, which while being repaid was reissued in Common Stock. The bank was made to dispose of several thousand dollars worth of notes, which could have kept it closed.
The bank survived many floods and finally moved locations from 200 Highland Ave., to its current location on higher ground in 1951 at 435 Highland Ave.
Through the bank's life, it has remained locally owned and customer friendly. In fact, it is one of two locally owned and operated community banks remaining in Wood County, and Sleeth attributes the bank's success to that.
"We attribute the success of Williamstown Bank to the fact we are a locally owned and independent bank," he said. "We are able to offer the same products and services you can obtain from larger banks and financial institutions in addition to some valuable products they do not provide."
Moving forward, Sleeth said it is the bank's intention to remain independent.
"We believe that there will always be a place for independent banks and the service they provide," he said.