The First National Bank of Litchfield and its predecessors have been rendering banking service to the Litchfield community for over 93 years. During the year 1860 the bank was established as Brewer, Seymour & Company. In 1868 S. M. Grubbs, who came to Litchfield in 1865, joined this firm, and the name was changed to Brewer, Grubbs & Co. A few years later Mr. Brewer retired; the name was changed again, this time to The Banking House of S. M. Grubbs & Co., and in 1884 the location of the bank was moved from 320 to 324 North State Street, the present site of The First National Bank.
In 1889 The First National Bank of Litchfield was organized with the following officers: R. J. Whitney, President; S. M. Grubbs, Vice-President; Eli Miller, Cashier; and E. R. Davis, Assistant Cashier. The directors were R. J. Whitney, S. M. Grubbs, Amos Miller, D. O. Settlemire, T. C. Kirkland, E. Lane and John J. McLean. As soon as the charter was issued they purchased the bank building, fixtures and business of The Banking House of S. M. Grubbs & Co. During that year the building was remodeled by constructing a new front of stone and pressed brick, and this building served as the home of The First National Bank for the next 34 years.
In January, 1890, S. M. Grubbs succeeded R. J. Whitney as President, T. C. Kirkland was elected Vice-President, and G. A. Sihler was named a director to replace R. J. Whitney.
Twenty-three years later S. M. Grubbs retired and Eli Miller, who had been Cashier since the organization of the bank and a director since January 1, 1897, was elected President. J. R. Miller, who started to work in the bank in 1891, and who had been elected a director and Assistant Cashier in 1906, was elected Cashier.
In 1923, the deposits to the bank having increased to over one million dollars, and the directors realizing the need of a better bank building, decided to erect a complete new home with the latest and best vault equipment available. In June of that year, the old structure was razed, and the present brick and limestone building was constructed. During this time the bank had temporary quarters at 411 North State Street, and moved into its new home February 23, 1924.
On July 25, 1928, Mr. Eli Miller, who had been with the bank since its organization, passed away, and on August 25, 1928, J. R. Miller was elected President. A. F. Heath, who has been with the bank since 1913, was named a director and Cashier, having been Assistant Cashier since January 14, 1919. On October 24, 1945, Dr. G. A. Sihler, Sr., who had been Vice-President of the bank since 1906, passed away, and on January 26, 1946, A. F. Heath was elected Vice-President and Cashier. In addition to J. R. Miller, President; and A. F. Heath, Vice-President and Cashier; the present officers and employees are: Chris F. Zuber, who came to the bank August 1, 1944; Mrs. Margaret A. Roberts, Assistant Cashier, who started as a temporary employee April 10, 1922, and who has been with the bank ever since; Miss Betty Laird and Miss Joyce Sturgeon, bookkeepers; and L. P. Etter, custodian. The directors are: J. R. Miller, W. H. Hartke, Ralf Hauck, A. F. Heath, and C. H. Sihler.
Besides the directors previously mentioned, the following men of this community have also served as directors since the organization of the bank: E. Southworth, E. R. Elliott, H. S. Hood, Edward Hoog, C. W. Bliss, R. H. Isaacs, J. H. Ritchie, M. M. Milnor, Rice Miller, Dr. Geo. A. Sihler, Jr., and Guy M. Snell.
During its sixty-four years' existence as a national bank, The First National Bank has shown a steady growth. The resources are in excess of $5,000,000 and the Capital, Surplus, Reserves and Undivided Profits exceed $240,000.
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