(The following was written by Lewis Garrison, and is reprinted from 1927’s “Grove City – The Town with a Future”, available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
The First National Bank
This bank was organized as The Farmers & Merchants Bank in the spring of 1903. The organizers were a few of the leading citizens, among whom were Joseph M. Briggs, founder of Briggsdale; Daniel Weygandt, and others. The bank was capitalized for $25,000 and on June 11, 1903 the name was changed to the First National Bank with Joseph M. Briggs, President; R.E. Shover, Vice-President; and I. Shaffer, Cashier. Mr. Shaffer still holds a directorship in the bank.
The bank maintains quarters in the building at the corner of Broadway and Columbus Street, on the side of the original plat of the village of Grove City. The building is a handsome two-story brick with residential rooms and the Citizen’s telephone exchange on the second floor. The lower floor, 38 by 70 ft in size, contains the banking quarters in the front and the directors’ room in the rear. In the center is a steel lined vault with a heavy Mosler door. The vault contains a screw safe for the storage of monies and securities. The entire construction affords absolute fire resistance and is burglar-proof. Adjoining, and on the south side of the bank, is a single-story frame building used as the Bell and Citizen’s telephone exchange.
The bank has grown from a meager beginning to its present resources of $275,000 by its policy of meeting all of the requirements of the community. The board of directors consist of: John R. Briggs, of Briggsdale; C.M. Graul, W.C. Grossman, L.C. Riebel, R.E. Shover and Otto Willert, all of Grove City; and I. Shaffer and Dr. G.B. Nessley, of Columbus. The officers are: Otto Willert, President; John R. Briggs & I. Shafer, Vice-Presidents; L. C. Riebel, Cashier, and Agnes Willert, daughter of the president, Assistant Cashier. Last July the bank received a perpetual franchise from the U.S. Government for the transaction of business under the National Bank Act. The bank is also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, being in the Fourth Federal Reserve District.