It's not every day that a bank celebrates their one hundredth
anniversary and for a small town community bank; it's even a
greater achievement. In 2012, The Farmers and Merchants
Bank proudly proclaimed their 100th Anniversary. Like many
businesses, the banking industry has experienced a lot of changes,
especially regulatory and technological. The Farmers and Merchants
Bank has taken great pride in embracing and adhering to the
regulatory and technological changes.
In 1976, The Farmers and Merchants hired a programming company
to write computer programs specifically for their operations. The
bank maintained these programs and their own computer system by
processing everything in house. Due to the compliance demands of
the increased number of bank regulatory changes, the bank found it
necessary to purchase bank computer software in 1996. They continue
to process the entire banking operation in house to this day.
The entire banking operation means that every decision and every
aspect of banking of The Farmers and Merchants Bank is completed in
the same building that they started. How unique and priceless is
that. From opening accounts, debit and ATM card applications,
processing deposits, mailing statements, making loans, collecting
payments, internet banking, mobile banking and everything else that
goes into banking are done at 430 North Street, Caldwell, Ohio.
The following material is re-printed with permission from The
Caldwell Journal-Leader. It first appeared in the February 23, 1938
edition of "The Journal", Volume 80, Number 31.
Birth Of The Farmers And Merchants Bank
On November 15th, 1911, a group of men consisting of W.D. Merry,
R.E. Merry, E.W. Wickham, F.D. Combs and M.B. Archer, met in the
Archer and Keenan law offices for the purpose of forming a
corporation to be known as "The Farmers and Merchants Bank".
Articles of incorporation were drawn and on the same day filed with
the Clerk of Courts of Noble County, Ohio, Mr. James McAuley. On
November 25th, 1911 these articles were duly filed with the
Secretary of State, Mr. Charles H. Graves at Columbus, Ohio. Then
on November 28th, 1911, a book of subscription to the Capital stock
of The Farmers and Merchants Bank was opened and within a short
period of days the three hundred shares of stock were fully
On December 7th, 1911, at 10 o'clock a.m. the first
stockholder's meeting was held in the law offices of Archer and
Keenan, for the purpose of electing a Board of Directors. E.O.
Keller was chosen to act as the chairman of the meeting and S.G.
Brown was chosen to act as secretary. The Board of Directors chosen
by the stockholders to serve until the second Wednesday of January,
1912, were as follows:
Following the meeting of the stockholders, the newly elected
Board of Directors met to organize. Their organization was as
||First Vice President
||Second Vice President
Thus was the organization perfected. M.B. Archer became the
first President of the new Bank and W.D. Merry the first Cashier.
The by-laws of the corporation designated the second Wednesday of
January of each year as the date of the annual stockholders
meeting. On January 10th, 1912, the stockholders again met in the
offices of Archer and Keenan at which time the same Board of
Directors were re-elected, and at the meeting of the directors, the
same officers were re-elected to serve for the year of 1912.
It is of interest to note that the notice of the 1912
stockholders meeting was printed as required by law in "The Noble
County Republican Journal" and the proof of the publication is
sworn by P.P. Hesson and acknowledged by W.A. McElfresh as a notary
On January 20th, 1912, F.E. Baxter, Superintendent of Banks in
the State of Ohio, issued his certificate of authority granting
full banking powers to the corporation. The new Bank was now duly
authorized and formed. On January 25th, 1912, a lease for the
present banking rooms was signed by the officers and J.S. Jones and
L.C. Harper, the owners of the building.
The Bank fixtures were installed in the same room that the Bank
now occupies and in March, 1912, the books and records were opened
On April 1, 1912, the directors met in regular session for the
first time in their own banking rooms. Regular monthly meetings
have been held in the directors' room on the first Monday of the
month regularly since April 1, 1912 to the present time.
The Journal Feb. 23, 1938.