Source: Ruth Brubaker, Laketon - Yesterday and Today For the Years 1836-1976, pp. 131-4.


In 1909 the people of Laketon let it be known they wanted a bank. On August 31, 1912, the Laketon State Bank was opened.

The bank was located in the Ireland building on the corner of Main and Lake Streets, one of the most prominent business corners in the town.

Jacob Miller living a short distance north of Laketon was the president and George F. Ogden, cashier. The Directors were Jacob Miller, I.C. Cripe, Quincy A. Earl, Ann Funderburg, Tobias Gushard, O. V. Hardour, Frank Ireland, G.N. Moyer and D.W. Zintsmaster. Advisory Board were Dan F. Reahard, W.F. Flack, Fred Barnhart, Linc Lukens, Loren Ohmart, Jacob Ferdinand, Sam Boyer, G.W. Frederick and Lyman Metzger.

In 1914 it had capital stock of $25,000, deposits of over $69,000, loans $75,000 and cash and money in other banks, $14,775. At this time the bank owned the building, with Jacob Miller, President, Quincey Earl, Vice President and George F. Ogden, Cashier.

On April 2, 1925, the bank was robbed of $1,969.31. Ernest Bright, cashier and Violet Ogden, assistant, were in the rear of the bank. A man asked for Five Dollars to be changed and as Mr. Bright stepped back after making the change, a gun was leveled at him. The second man came in the back and told Mrs. Ogden this was a holdup. One started for the vault but was told all the money was in the safe in the front part of the room.

Taking from the safe a sack of gold, one of silver, then with a motion of his gun asked for the currency. Was told it was on the shelf. Taking it they missed the cash drawer of $1,100. Putting the cashiers in the back of the bank the two men jumped into a Ford touring car that had been left running. Dan Reahard and Bruce Henry saw the two drive off but were not aware of what had happened.

Albert Bohnstedt had not got word as yet of what had happened but he had seen a car in the road not far from his place that made him wonder. Mr. Bohnstedt lived not far from the South Pleasant Church. This car was a Willys Knight and Mr. Bohnstedt asked if he needed help. He was told that help was coming. Mr. Bohnstedt had taken the number of the Willys out of curiosity. A few minutes later the Ford car with two men drove up and jumped into the Willys. Leaving the Ford and it was found that this car was stolen. Mr. Bohnstedt heard of the robbery and he reported what he had seen. But they did not find any trace of the men. Mr. Bright and Mrs. Ogden were sent to Detroit to see if they were among fourteen men they had caught, but with no luck.

On April 10, 1930, the Laketon State Bank did not open its doors. A sign stating "closed for liquidation" was posted. It was felt that the elevator failure had been part of the trouble. At closing time, S.D. Henry was President, George Frederick, Vice President, Lyman Metzger, W.C. Frey, Austin Robinson, John Tryon and Howard Royer were the Board of Directors. Bill Overmeyer was the cashier and had just taken a job in Andrews. S.D. Henry was appointed receiver. People were to be paid back in payments the first was of forty per cent. This was in April 1930 and in October the second payment was made. Laketon was in better shape than many banks at the time of closing. On March 23, 1931, Clarence Goehler bought the bank building for $1,050 cash.

By 1935 most of the creditors and depositors were paid ninety-five percent and on April 8, 1935 it was reported ninety-seven percent of their claims paid and this was the final report.