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Bank of N Manchester

George Lawrence

Indiana Lawrence

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By Lindy Lybarger, April 12, 1993 Presentation to North Manchester Historical Society

 The Indiana Lawrence Bank & Trust Company of North Manchester came about in 1929 as the consolidation of two banks in existence in the town prior to that time – The Lawrence National Bank and The Indiana State Bank.

What became The Lawrence National Bank was started as The Eel River Valley Bank by George Lawrence in 1882. Mr. Lawrence was the merchant prince of North Manchester, and the bank occupied rooms adjoining his store. March 30, 1886, it was chartered as The Lawrence National Bank with a capital of $50,000, later increased to $100,000. Mr. Lawrence was the first president; Augustus C. Mills, vice president; James H. Mills, cashier. Directors were George W. Lawrence, August C. Mills, Elizabeth H. Mills, Jennie C. Lawrence, and James H. Mills. August C. Mills became president in 1894, John M. Curtner in 1896, Carey E. Cowgill in 1897, John M. Curtner in 1900, John M. Domer in 1922, J.H. Miller in 1929. Vice Presidents at various periods were John M. Curtner, John W. Domer, Charles S. Haas and J.H. Miller. James H. Mills resigned as cashier, his place being taken by Dayton C. Harter in 1897, followed in turn by John H. Mills in 1889, Clement L. Arthur in 1904, Reuben C. Hollinger in 1906, George W. Shively in 1912, J.W. Dewey with J.H. Miller in 1919, J.W. Dewey in 1929. Dewey resigned and was followed by Harry Brand in April of 1929. Mildred Heeter entered the Lawrence Bank in 1919, and in 1925 became assistant cashier, which position she held until the consolidation, retaining the title of assistant cashier in the new institution.

The second bank was the Indiana State Bank organized in 1901 with a capital stock of $25,000. The organization was formed with Dr. W.H. Shaffer as president; S.S. Ulrey, vice president; J.C. Gochenour, cashier; Ed Rudig, assistant cashier. Directors were S.S. Ulrey, Daniel Urschel, J.C. Gochenour, R.T. Adams, D. W.H. Shaffer. At the close of the first year, Mr. Gochenour resigned as cashier, his place being taken by A.I. Urschel, who served in that capacity until 1946 when he was replaced by Mildred Heeter, and became vice president. A.A. Ulrey became president on the resignation of Dr. W.H. Shaffer in 1904 and served until his death in 1924, when Calvin Ulrey became president. He was followed by L.D. Ikenberry who gave place to A.I. Urschel. Mr. Ikenberry became Chairman of the Board. This bank was first capitalized at $25,000, $12,500 paid in, later increased to $50,000, and in 1922 to $100,000.

In 1913 a third bank, the Union Trust Company, was organized by Marion Adams, George Garber, John W. Domer, John Curtner, Aaron A. Ulrey, Adam I. Urschel, Donald C. Ginther, and Lewis P. Urschel, to handle trust funds and other business that did not fit well into either of the other banks. Consequently, between 1913 and 1929 there were three different banks in North Manchester.

Due to economic conditions in 1929, it seemed advisable to consolidate, and The Lawrence Bank and The Indiana State Bank became the present Indiana Lawrence Bank & Trust Company. Personnel from each bank joined the consolidation. Signers of the Articles of Incorporation were Robert S. Martin, Adam I. Urschel, George D. Balsbaugh, Alvin L. Ulrey, Calvin Ulrey, Lewis P. Urschel, Joe H. Miller, L.D. Eikenberry, Harmon Naber, and John W. Dewey. The new bank opened in the former Indiana State Bank building on the south side of Main Street September 3, 1929, with $70,000 deposited the first day. Capital stock was set at $125,000 to be divided into 1,250 shares of $100 par value. Officers of the new bank were Calvin Ulrey, president; Alvin L. Ulrey, vice president; Joe H. Miller, vice president; and A.I. Urschel, cashier.

Because of changing laws and conditions, the Union Trust no longer had reason for being, so in 1932 it merged with the Indiana Lawrence Bank. Most of the founders of the Union Trust were also directors of one or the other of the two former banks, so the merger was easily accomplished.

The original officers in charge at consolidation in 1929 remained essentially the same until 1935 when L.D. Ikenberry replaced Calvin Ulrey as president. Clayton Ulrey became a director in 1937. Ikenberry continued as president until 1946, when he became Chairman of the Board, and A.I. Urschel moved into the presidency. That same year Robert M. Stauffer became a director, and Arden Strauss joined the Board in 1948. Harold Urschel and Robert Hoover were added to the Board in 1956, and Lewis P. Urschel became Chairman of the Board. Dale Strickler joined ILB circa 1952; Lindy in 1956; Jerry in 1958.

January 1, 1959, Dale Strickler assumed the presidency of the bank. Robert Stauffer became Chairman of the Board in 1960. 1960 also saw a recapitalization in which each share of $100 par value stock was exchanged for 10 shares of $10 par value stock, making 12,500 shares of the new stock outstanding. In 1961 a 10% stock dividend was approved, which increased the shares outstanding from 12,500 to 13,750.

Throughout most of the bank’s history, it had been essentially a two-family bank ownership – the Urshel’s and the Ulrey’s. 1962 marked the first offer of new stock to the community. The same year saw the decision to guild a new bank on the southwest corner of Market and Second Streets, where it is located today. Richard G. Frantz joined the Board in 1963, and the move was made to the new bank building on November 11 of that year.

Again, in 1965 a one-for-two stock dividend was declared, bringing shares outstanding to 30,000. In 1966 David Yeatter was elected a director. There was another stock split of one-for-three, bringing the shares outstanding to 40,000. Also, 2,000 shares of new stock were created for the newly established stock-option plan.

Upon the retirement of Dale Strickler, Robert Hoover became president of the bank in 1969. Orville Chamberlain joined the Board in 1970. Another stock split of one-for-four brought the total shares outstanding to 52,500 in 1971. 2,000 new shares for stock options brought the figure to 54,500 in 1972. 1972 also was the year Dale Strickler retired from the Board, and Stephen Heckman, Lindy Lybarger, and Jerry Moore were elected. Arden Strauss retired from active to advisory capacity service on the Board.

Richard G. Frantz became Chairman of the Board in 1974, R.M. Stauffer became honorary Chairman, and Dick Shoemaker was elected to the Board. This was also the year that a one-for-one stock dividend was approved, making the authorized shares 109,000. Plans for an extensive addition to the bank were drawn up, and work began in 1974. Open house was observed October 1, 1975.

1976 saw David Grandstaff and Raymond Kauffman appointed to the Board. Also, a branch bank was opened May 12, 1976, at State Road 114 West and Heeter Street in North Manchester to better serve our customers.

Eldon E. Fahs was named to the Board in 1979, upon retirement of David Yeatter. Shareholders approved a one-for-ten stock dividend, increasing the shares of stock to 122,100.

Paul Snyder retired from active to advisory capacity service on the Board in 1980, and Dannie Wible was named to the Board.

Loan officer Phil Ruble resigned February 18, 1978, to take a position in California. A Third Stock Option Plan was approved February 13 which would increase capital shares by $20,000 for authorized issuance of 2,000 shares of bank stock at a par value of $10 to be effective April 1, 1978. This would increase the Bank’s authorized shares from 109,000 to 111,000. Donald M. Strauss was named to the Board of Directors February 15, 1978. Robert Hoover retired as president of the Bank, and Lindy Lybarger was named president July 17, 1978. Michael McFarland was employed June 5, 1978, as installment loan officer; Larry Brubaker joined the staff November 6 as assistant loan officer. LeeAnna Hoover resigned as loan officer, Lee Davis resigned as senior loan officer to take a position with a local real estate firm, and David B. Yeatter resigned from the Board of Directors effective December 31. Deposits at year-end 1978 totaled $45,976,920. D. Arden Strauss, honorary director, died November 14, 1978.

In January, 1979, Richard K. Wheeler joined the staff as the new trust officer. Eldon E. Fahs was named to the Board of Directors. New officer titles for the year were Donald Koeneman, vice president and senior loan officer; Michael McFarland, farm loan officer; and Larry Brubaker, assistant loan officer. Jerry Ashton joined the staff March 5, 1979, as installment loan officer. L. Harold Urschel, director for over 23 years, died June 12, 1979. He had been elected to the Board in January, 1956. Shareholders approved a 1-for-10 stock dividend with record date of March 23, 1979, increasing the shares of stock to 122,100. A stockholder base of 400 people owned the 122,100 shares of Indiana Lawrence Bank stock. Hubbard & Associates were hired by the Bank to make a market research survey. Deposits at year-end totaled $47,724,311. Marjorie Stands retired from the Bank in 1979.

1980 officer title changes were as follows: Michael McFarland, assistant vice president and farm loan officer; Jerry Ashton, installment loan officer; Francis Badertscher, assistant operations officer; and Joyce Clark, loan operations officer. Dan Wible was named to the Board of Directors after the retirement of Paul Snyder as a member of the Board. Branch hours were extended to 9:00 p.m., making the hours Monday through Friday from 9 to 9, and Saturday from 9 to 1. Senior loan officer Donald Koeneman terminated employment on December 31, 1980. Deposits at year-end 1980 totaled $51,922,833.

Hilton Swain was hired as vice president and senior loan officer in January, 1981. Officer promotions for 1981: Larry Brubaker, loan officer; Keith Ring, loan officer; and Francis Badertscher, operations officer. In May, 1981, the Board decided to proceed toward forming a one-bank holding company. ILB Financial Corp. was approved as the OBHC name. Also, construction began on the branch expansion to a full-service branch. Deposits at year-end totaled $56,204,347.

Officer promotions for 1982 were Beulah Wolfe as assistant cashier and branch manager, and Janet (Susie) Snep as assistant auditor. The one-bank holding company was approved by the stockholders at the annual meeting held April 21, 1982, and was approved by the Federal Reserve, becoming official on June 22, 1982. Application was filed with the IDFI for mini-branches at Estelle Peabody Memorial Home and Timbercrest Retirement Home.

ILB celebrated its 100th anniversary the week of May 10 through May 14 (1982), with open house Friday, May 14, from 5 to 8 p.m., with refreshments served in the community room to the public. Redecorating of the main lobby and lobby offices was done to prepare for the celebration. The actual anniversary date was March 15, with the original bank opening March 15, 1882. The full-service branch on 114 West was completed June 1, 1982. Wednesday, October 20, 1982, marked the opening of the branch at Timbercrest Retirement Home, with Joyce Clark as manager. Hours were from 9-11 a.m. five days a week. Deposits at year-end 1982 totaled $62,239,000. Dividend paid in 1982 was 75 cents in June and 80 cents in December, totaling $1.55 for the year.

The ILB branch at Peabody Retirement Community opened with Joyce Clark as manager on January 12, 1983, with hours from 1-3 p.m. five days per week.

August 12, 1983, Indiana Lawrence Bank and State Exchange Bank of Roann agreed in principle on a plan to combine their two banks. Application was made to the DFI and FDIC for a merger of the two banks. Upon mutual agreement by both parties, the plans to merge were discontinued in January, 1984. Dividends paid in 1983 were 80 cents in June and 85 cents in December, totaling $1.65 for the year. Officer title changes for 1983 were: Grover Archer, senior vice president and cashier; Paul House, senior vice president and controller; Hilton Swain, senior vice president and senior loan officer; Mike McFarland, vice president and farm loan officer; Charles Thompson, vice president and auditor; Richard Wheeler, vice president and trust officer; Joy Amiss, assistant vice president and operations officer; Jerry Ashton, assistant vice president and mortgage loan officer; Isabelle Carey, assistant vice president and customer services officer; Keith Ring, assistant vice president and installment loan officer; Vivian Weller, assistant vice president and savings officer; Larry Brubaker, credit review officer; Barbara Davis, administrative assistant.

At the annual meeting on April 17, 1984, the directors and officers were reappointed to service for 1984. In April, 1984, Richard Wheeler turned in his resignation as trust officer, and Robert Cheatham was hired as assistant vice president and trust officer, beginning employment June 2, 1984. In July Fran Brainard was named marketing and advertising officer. Charles Thompson resigned in September, and Janet (Susie) Snep was named auditor. Deposits at year-end 1984 totaled $73,592,770, with assets at $81,391,429. Dividends paid during 1984 were 85 cents in June and 90 cents in December, totaling $1.75. A substantial increase in the provision for loan losses resulted in a net loss of $503,343 in 1984 primarily due to the uncertainty in the agricultural sector. At the end of the 1984 Francis Badertscher, assistant operations officer, retired, as did Vivian Weller, assistant vice president and savings officer.

For 1985, Pat Wake was named head teller, and Robert Cheatham was named vice president and trust officer. Hilton Swain was terminated as senior vice president and senior loan officer. In January, Lindy Lybarger announced he was stepping down as president when a replacement could be found, but that he would remain on the Board and as an officer of the bank.

In June, 1985, Terry R. Carpenter was named new president of Indiana Lawrence Bank and ILB Financial Corp. He began officially June 17, 1985. Lindy Lybarger was given the title of senior vice president and assistant trust officer. Lindy remained on the Board of Directors, and Terry Carpenter was appointed to the Board.

Deposits at year-end 1985 totaled $75,981,842, with assets of $87,005,065 and loans of $46,034,474. Dividends paid during 1985 amounted to $1.80, with 90 cents paid in June and December. Louise Williams retired as employee benefits officer December 31, 1985.

1986 saw the addition of Brian Jackson to the Loan Department as assistant vice president and loan officer, working in farm and consumer loans. Keith Ring and Larry Brubaker resigned from the bank in April, and Tom VanBuskirk and Charles Green were hired, Tom as credit review officer, and Charles as a management trainee. On May 5 Michael Parker began employment to replace Keith Ring as assistant vice president and consumer loan officer. The annual ILB financial Corp. shareholders meeting was held April 16, 1986, in the ILB Community Room at 5:30 p.m., with approximately 45 in attendance. Richard G. Frantz announced his resignation as Chairman of the Board at the meeting, and Donald M. Strauss was elected new chairman of the Board at a special meeting of the Board following the shareholders meeting to serve as Chairman of both ILB and ILB Financial Corp. boards.

Construction began in May, 1986, on remodeling to move the Bookkeeping and auditing Departments to the lower level of the building. In May Grover Archer and Mike McFarland resigned from the Bank. Robert Cheatham announced his resignation as vice president and trust officer. Joy Amiss was promoted to vice president and operations officer to assume some of the duties vacated by Grover Archer. Due to the large loan loss reserves, it was voted by the Board at the May meeting to not pay a June dividend for 1986. On June 2 Eric Smith joined the staff of the Bank as senior vice president and chief lending officer.

Shortly after being nominated as the new Chairman of the Board at the April, 1986, organizational meeting Donald Strauss suffered a heart attack. Due to his health problems he asked to be replaced; and at the June 9, 1986, regular meeting of the Board of Directors David Grandstaff was appointed the new Chairman of the Board of both Indiana Lawrence Bank and ILB Financial Corp. In June, 1986, Annette Beck was named administrative assistant in the Loan Department. Bonnie Fear was hired as ag loan specialist in August.

At the September, 1986, Board meeting Willard Anderson, who joined the Bank in August, was named assistant vice president and trust officer. Brian Jackson was promoted to vice president and agricultural loan officer, and Annette Beck was named consumer loan officer. Lindy Lybarger retired from Indiana Lawrence Bank and resigned from the Boards effective October 14, 1986, after 30 years with ILB. Thomas Frantz joined the Bank November 22, 1986, as senior vice president and cashier. At the December 15, 1986, Board meeting Bonnie Fear was named agricultural loan officer.

Deposits at year-end 1986 totaled $78,271,121, with assets of $87,038,643 and loans of $37,994,221. The Corporation had a net loss for the year of $1,515,137 due to loan losses.

Effective February 21, 1987, the Bank put into effect new hours, with extended hours each day, opening Thursday afternoon, and closing the main office on Saturday. At the Annual Shareholders meeting in April an Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation was approved increasing the Company’s authorized common stock from 200,000 to 300,000 shares. At the organizational meeting of the Bank on April 15, 1987, Mike Parker was promoted to vice president and consumer loan officer. Robert Hoover retired from the Boards effective April 13, 1987, and was bestowed the title of Director Emeritus. In June Joy Amiss resigned her position at Indiana Lawrence Bank.

Deposits at year-end 1987 totaled $73,545,708, assets $80,873,694, and net loans $34,485,829. Net income for the year totaled $390,013.

At the Annual Shareholders Meeting in April the following officer promotions and title changes were announced: Paul R. House, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Eric Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer; Bonnie Fear, Assistant Vice President and Agricultural Loan Officer; Janet (Susie) Snep, Assistant Vice President and Operations Officer; Tom Van Buskirk, Assistant Vice President, Auditor, and Credit Review Officer; and Joyce Clark, Assistant Cashier and Branch Manager. Tom VanBuskirk resigned on July 8, 1988.

On December 17, 1988, ILB financial Corp. announced an agreement to affiliate with the First Financial Bancorp of Monroe, Ohio. The Plan and Agreement of Merger was signed by ILB Financial Corp. and First Financial Bancorp on February 21, 1989. Under the terms of the agreement, ILB Financial Corp. shareholders will receive two shares of First Financial Bancorp common stock for each share of ILB Financial Corp. common stock held.

Assets at year-end 1988 were $85,296,851, deposits $76,618,991, and loans $35,950,873. Net income for 1988 totaled $704,468, an 80.44% increase over 1987.

At a special meeting of shareholders of ILB Financial Corp. held July 26, 1989, necessary approval was given to finalize a merger agreement with First Financial Bancorp of Hamilton, Ohio.

Effective August 1, 1989, Bonnie Fear was named Vice President and Agricultural Loan Officer. Brian Jackson resigned from the bank effective August 4.

On August 31, 1989, the merger of ILB Financial Corp. into First Financial Bancorp was completed. Official merger ceremonies were held at the Radisson Hotel in Muncie, Indiana. Shareholders of ILB Financial Corp. exchanged each share of their stock for two shares of First Financial Bancorp stock in the transaction.

The annual shareholders meeting of Indiana Lawrence Bank was held September 18, 1989. The following new officer titles were established: Brenda Crook, Assistant Operations Officer and Head Bookkeeper; Nancy Fisher, Assistant Cashier; Joyce Tschantz, Assistant Cashier; and Tim Hamann, Auditor. The directors named to the Board were Terry R. Carpenter, Eldon E. Fahs, David D. Grandstaff, Stephen P. Heckman, Raymond Kauffman, and Dannie J. Wible.

On October 1, 1989, Steve Hammer joined Indiana Lawrence Bank as Vice President, Trust Officer, and Trust Department manager.

Assets at year-end 1989 totaled $90,118,668; deposits, $78,716,673; net loans, $44,936,453; and net income, $965,315 (20% increase).

Charles Green was promoted to Marketing and Training Officer effective January 15, 1990. Willard Anderson, AVP & Trust Officer, resigned effective April 30, 1990.

The annual meeting of Indiana Lawrence  Bank was held April 16, 1990, with the six directors retained on the Board. No officer changes were made. On December 3, 1990 new hours were set: drive-ups open at 8:00 a.m., and both lobbies open at 8:30, loan department open until 5:00 each day, and the main office lobby open on Friday until 5:00. At 12/31/90 assets totaled $90,954,000, and deposits totaled $80,696,000.

The annual meeting of Indiana Lawrence Bank was held April 15, 1991, with no changes in directors or officers. Mike Parker left the employ of the bank July 12, 1991, and Charles Green July 31, 1991. In July hours were expanded at the main office to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Thom Frantz resigned his position as senior vice president and cashier November 4, 1991. Assets at year-end 1991 were $89,443,000, loans $44,571,000, and deposits totaled $80,027,000.

The annual meeting of Indiana Lawrence Bank was held April 13, 1992, with the six directors retained on the Board. Paul House was named Cashier, and Matt Eckert was given the title of Assistant Cashier and Loan Officer. Tim Hamann was named Compliance Officer. At the Board meeting held September 14, 1992 William F. Earle was elected to the Board, increasing the number of directors to seven. At year-end 1992 assets totaled $87,133,000, loans $45,667,000, and deposits $76,834,000.