One of Paw Paws oldest business organizations is the State Bank of Paw Paw, founded in 1901 to replace the Union Bank, a privately owned establishment which was started in 1880.

The present bank was formed by Davis Smith, B.J. Wheeler, S.B. Miller, T.H. Stettler, F.G. Faber and Teal Swarthout. All except Faber were directors. Faber, although not a present stockholder, is the only one of this group living today.

Earlier the Union bank had been founded in 1880 by M.M. Morris and P.C. Ransome. It had been taken over by Wheeler and Swarthout in 1887.

Organized with a capital stock of $25,000, this figure has grown steadily. Also showing a healthy growth has been the number of stockholders in the bank. This figure has grown from the original six to 117.

B.J. Wheeler was the first president of the bank and held that position until his death in 1914. Teal Swarthout was first cashier. He held that position until 1908. Frank Wheeler was the first assitant cashier. He became cashier in 1914 and held that post until Jan. 11, 1946, about three weeks before his death.

Early stockholders included Mrs. Clive Shaftoe, J.O. Baker and Ed Guffin. They are still stockholders in the bank. Dan Faber was also an early stockholder who is still living, but he is not a present stockholder in the bank.

A.C. McBride became assistant cashier in 1902, cashier in 1908 and president in 1914. He held that position until the bank reorganized in 1933 and the remained in the bank as assistant cashier until ill health forced his retirement in 1937.

Other early directors at various times were W.I. Guffin, Alonzo LaPorte, A.H. Rosenkrans, William Moffatt, B.F. Frantz, A. C. McBride, J.B. McBride, W.N. Goble, Frank Wheeler, J.H. LaPorte, W.T. Chaffee, Mrs. Eula Frantz Beale, J.C. Larson, John Harper, J.A. Warren and A.D. Yenerich.

When the bank reorganized in 1933 a new board of directors was elected. They were H.A. Knetsch, President; C.A. Boyle, Vice President; E.n. Gibbs, J.C. Goble, Mrs. Nettie Miller and H. D. Yenerich.

Other recent directors were C.S. Firkins, George B. Taber, Frank Wheeler, Carl Kindelberger and Stanley W. Knetsch.

The present bank building was built in 1923 complete with a new vault that is safer than most in small-town banks. Depositors range from California and Oregon on the West Coast to New York in the east.



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