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About First Citizens National Bank of Upper Sandusky

Vision Statement

Every customer a customer for life.

Core Values & Beliefs

  • Create an extraordinary, friendly banking experience
  • Never compromise our integrity
  • Celebrate bank and customer achievements
  • Create a fortress bank for the safety and soundness of our customers and stakeholders
  • Leader in development of our communities

Brand Promises

  • Here today here tomorrow
  • Integrity
  • Familiar faces
  • Welcoming and friendly
  • No TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money

Our Goal

To be the banking standard as a model national leader in helping to revitalize our local communities.

Origins — First National Bank

During the period of the 1860's, President Lincoln with the aid of the Congress and armed forces strove to preserve the union. To finance the War Between the States and lay a sound foundation to the economic future of the nation, Congress enacted the National Bank Act in 1863, which provided for the national chartering of banking institutions. 

On August 15, 1863, the Comptroller of the Currency issued Charter No. 90 to a group of individuals in Upper Sandusky, Harpster, and the vicinity to open the First National Bank, located in Upper Sandusky.  

With liabilities and assets of the Exchange Bank, which was founded in 1860, the First National Bank opened its doors on November 2, 1863, with Thomas V. Reber as president and Sylvester Watson as cashier. In addition to Mr. Reber and Mr. Watson, M. H. Gillette, F.F. Fowler, David Harpster and John D. Sears were named directors. J. G. Roberts was the assistant cashier. All of these individuals were stockholders with the exception of Mr. Roberts. Other stockholders were Milton Morral, McConough M. Carey, William Miller, Daniel David Ayers and Mrs. M. C. Wigton.

At the time of opening, First National Bank had a capital stock of $70,000. Two years later the capital stock was increased to $105,000.

National currency was authorized by the National Banking Act of June 3, 1864. This Act provided for the establishment of National Banks and the issuance of circulating notes. These notes were secured by United States Bonds, deposited with the Treasurer, upon which the banks could receive 90% of current market value in notes. Small size bills were first issued in 1929 and were discontinued in 1935 as bonds matured or were otherwise declared ineligible for security purposes.

In 1874, Mr. Roberts was named the bank's second cashier as Mr. Watson was advanced to the office of the institution's second president. Still later Mr. Roberts became the third president in the history of the bank. Only seven other persons have served as president of the bank since Mr. Roberts. They are Curtis B. Hare, W. P. Reile, Thomas A. Reber, Thomas M. Reber, Donald B. Schilling, Martin H. Westfall and Mark G. Johnson.

Consolidation — First National Bank with Citizens National Bank

In 1946 The First National Bank and Citizens Savings Bank consolidated forming The First Citizens National Bank of Upper Sandusky (First Citizens).

The Citizens Bank had been organized in 1907 with Bert Kemmerly its first president.  Richard Carter served as the second president and A. B. Whitney as the third.  In 1933, Charles Artz assumed the presidency of the bank.  The Citizens Bank cashiers had been (in order): Ira Pontius, Charles Artz, C. D. Houser, and R. E. Culver.

In 1946, the consolidated bank had a capital stock of $175,000.  The consolidation also provided the community with a bank with a capital and surplus of $350,000 and assets of nearly $7,000,000.

The consolidation of the banks led to a number of changes in the board of directors and staff of officials. Directors named to the board in 1946 representing both banks included Charles Artz, Dr. J. Craig Bowman, B. F. Main, W. E. Martin, A. T. Moser, William Olpp, Thomas A. Reber, W. P. Reile, Frank H. Rhuark, Cyrus H. Sears, E. M. Uncapher, Anthony Vogel, and J. H. Witzel.

Officers selected that year were Mr. Reber, president; Mr. Reile, chairman of the board; Mr. Olpp, executive vice president; Mr. Martin and Mr. Vogel, vice presidents; C. E. Frederick, cashier; R. E. Culver, assistant cashier and secretary, and Miss Dorothy Bolish, assistant cashier.

Thomas A. Reber, was president of First Citizens until the time of his death in 1967.  His son, Thomas M. Reber was elected president at that time.  These individuals were grandson and great grandson, respectively, of Thomas V. Reber, the first president of the First National Bank.  It should also be noted that Nancy L. Johnson, the Bank’s current Chairman of the Board, is the great, great granddaughter of Thomas V. Reber.

As a result of the merger of the two Upper Sandusky banks, the rather cramped quarters on South Sandusky Avenue which had been the home of the First National Bank were abandoned for the more spacious quarters of the Citizens Bank on the northwest corner of the square at the intersection of Sandusky Avenue and Wyandot Avenue.  A number of alterations and renovations of the quarters were instituted at the time to facilitate the services and functions of the bank.

Acquisition — Nevada Deposit Bank

Another important chapter in the history of First Citizens occurred when it purchased the assets of the Nevada Deposit Bank, which then became a branch office. The town of Nevada is located approximately 10 miles east of Upper Sandusky. This action became effective Tuesday, May 26, 1953, when the stockholders of the Nevada bank approved the sale.   

The Nevada Deposit Bank was founded on May 1, 1873. The principal stockholders were William L. Blair and Robert Kerr. The bank was opened in a building on the east side of Main Street south of the railway crossing. 

Mr. Blair was chosen as the first president and served in that capacity for 40 years. In 1878, Mr. Kerr, Mr. Blair and O. C. Ewart bought out the other stockholders and ¬organized the bank into a co-partnership. They then moved the bank into their new brick building at the corner of Main and Grant streets. The bank occupied that site until 1969 when a new modern drive-up bank was built at the north end of the business district.

J.A. Williams came into the banking family as an employee in 1882, and in 1888 was admitted into the partnership. Mr. Kerr's death had occurred in 1887. After operating 40 years as a private family bank, it was incorporated January 2, 1917. It was the oldest business in Nevada.

During the 80 years only four persons served as president. They were William L. Blair, J. A. Williams, Grove Blair and Robert C. Blair. The personnel of the bank at the time of the sale were 'I'willa S. Keller, cashier, who had been associated with the bank for 29 years at that time, and Bobby B.Turpin, bookkeeper and teller.

Following the purchase, Ms. Keller was elected assistant cashier and Ms. Turpin was appointed as bookkeeper-teller of the Nevada Branch. Later June Kellogg was employed by the bank.

In order to modernize and offer better service to the people of the Nevada area, a new office was built there in 1969. This also had 2 drive-up windows, a walk-in lobby, lock boxes, and a loan office. In 1995 the office was enlarged and renovated.

Wyandot Avenue Drive-Up Branch

In 1963 a modern brick drive-up facility was built a half block west of the main office on Wyandot Avenue. This had 2 convenient drive-up windows as well as a walk-in lobby. Located next to the post office in the downtown area, this has been one of the most heavily used offices of the bank. An additional drive-up lane was added in 1996.

Church Street Drive-Up Branch

In 1973 an additional office was built in the northwest part of Upper Sandusky on Church Street. The office was similar in size and appearance to the Wyandot Avenue Drive-up and Nevada Offices. Due to changes in consumer banking habits, this branch was consolidated into the nearby Wyandot Avenue Drive-Up Branch in June 01, 2013.

Acquisition — Village Bank

In July 1991, First Citizens purchased the assets and liabilities of the Village Bank of Wharton.  In addition to the main office in Wharton, a town 10 miles west of Upper Sandusky, the Village Bank operated an office in Dunkirk in Northern Hardin County.  These offices became branch banking centers of First Citizens.

The Village Bank’s origins date back to 1902 when it was organized as “The Wharton Bank” by E.E.E. Kear, S.E. Huston and M.H. Kear.  This name was continued under the next management of the bank consisting of E.E.E. Kear, president, and Ray B. Kear, cashier.  This bank was organized in 1933 and directors were Emery P. Kear, president; George W. Huston, vice president; Norman Kear; Royal Kear, Richard Earp, Daniel Bennett and Hubert O. Kear.  The Dunkirk branch banking center was acquired in 1984.  Shortly after opening this office, the name of the bank was changed from “The Wharton Bank” to “The Village Bank.”   The Village Bank directors at the time of purchase by First Citizens included:  DuWayne Chambers, Hubert O. Kear, Royal P. Kear, Edward Lodico, Matthew Plotts, Lina Huston Selzer and Riad Yammine.  The Wharton branch banking center closed on June 30, 2017.  This decision was based on economic reasons and the close proximity to other Bank branches. The building and property were donated to the Wharton First Church of God for its expansion plans.  The Dunkirk branch banking center continues to operate and has expanded its hours for customer convenience.

Acquisition — Carey Office, Diamond Savings

October 1992, presented an opportunity for further geographic expansion when Diamond Savings sold its branch building in Carey to The First Citizens National Bank (the assets and liabilities had been sold to a regional bank holding company).  This office was completely renovated in 1993 (exterior) and 1997 (interior).  In 2017 the building was completely remodeled inside and out, expanding the squared footage by 40% to accommodate increased business needs.  The office serves as the Bank’s prototype “Branch of the Future” with an open, customer-friendly interior design, state of the art cash recyclers and a self-service coin machine.  A “tech area” is provided for customers to charge mobile devices and also contains an inviting waiting area.  The drive thru lanes were expanded and relocated to provide better customer service.

Main Office Expansions & Renovations

The building adjacent to the main office was purchased in 1977 and added to the banking building. Remodeling included individual loan offices and a complete remodeling of the building exterior and main banking floor.  The exterior of the main office was renovated in 1996. 

A major expansion occurred in 2004 with the acquisition and demolition of adjacent Sandbox Lounge and Nachbar Appliance Buildings.   A new addition to the site increased the main office’s square footage by approximately 33%.  The new construction provided additional space for the Loan Processing Department, Loan Officers, Training and Executive Management Team.  It also provided space for future expansion. 

In 2018 the former Children’s Village building adjacent to the Main Office was acquired for future use.

Powell Banking Center

In June 2000 a branch office was constructed in the rapidly growing area of Powell, Ohio. The 2,300 square foot office serves the Southern Delaware County market, providing high service levels and reasonable fee structure that have been First Citizens trademarks.

Marion Banking Centers

In August 2002 a branch office was opened in on the south side of Marion, Ohio. The 3,000 square foot office was built to serve the needs of existing and new customers as First Citizens has conducted loan business in Marion for many years.  Its architectural design was based on the President Harding Memorial and Home.

A second Marion Banking Center on Eastlawn drive facing State Route 95 on Marion’s east side opened on February 20, 2018. Like the Carey office, the Eastlawn Drive branch utilizes state of the art “Branch of the Future” design and also has a design theme based on the President Harding Memorial and Home.  The 4,000 square foot office also serves as the Bank’s backup site with a self-contained power source.

Delaware Banking Center

In February 2022 a new branch office was opened in downtown Delaware, Ohio.  The branch initially opened utilizing an existing standalone drive-up facility with two drive-up windows, an inside window and manager’s office.  During the subsequent months the branch was enlarged to be a 2,500 square foot full service office with a projected completion date of May 2022.  The branch is designed to be architecturally distinctive yet compatible with Delaware’s historic downtown. 

Automated Teller Machines

First Citizens was an early adopter of Automated Teller Machines with machines currently located at the Main Office and Drug Mart Shopping Center on Business Route 30 in Upper Sandusky, at the Carey, Marion, Nevada and Powell offices, and KFC/Travel Mart in Upper Sandusky. In 2016 the Nevada machine was moved from a remote location and a permanent drive-up machine was installed at the Nevada Office.  In 2018 an ATM was installed in the main lobby of Wyandot Memorial Hospital in Upper Sandusky.

The Past, Present & Future

A major management change occurred in 2001 when Mark G. Johnson was named President and Chief Executive Officer.   The Executive Management team currently includes: Mark G. Johnson, President/Chief Executive Officer, Pamala S. Baker, Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Jennifer A. Romich, Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer; and Jevon J. Reile, Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer/Chief Information Officer/Cashier.  Former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Robert E. McClure retired in 2021 but continues to consult on special projects. Barbara A. Ruth, retired in 2015 as Senior Vice President/Chief Information Officer and Floyd L. Elsea retired in 2016 as Senior Vice President/Chief Lending Officer.

The Board of Directors is currently composed of:  William M. Clark, Nancy L. Johnson, Chairman, Mark G. Johnson, Mark O. Kimmel, Joseph A. Kraus, Bruce D. Kuenzli; Edwin L. Needs, Jennifer A. Romich, Jerry L. Taylor and Kenneth L. Young,  Sue E. Kauble has been Board Recording Secretary for many years. Directors Emeritus are:  James E. Needs, Robert E. McClure, James W. Reile, Donald B. Schilling Dr. D.P. Smith, and Jack Wilson.  S.S. Ruttmann served as Director and Director Emeritus for many years and passed away in 2015.  James A. McClain served as Chairman of the Board from 2005 until his retirement in 2009.  He passed away in 2017.  Director Emeritus David C. Mason passed away in 2020.

Through the years, First Citizens has carefully safeguarded the deposits of its customers by following a conservative policy of bank operations, yet has been progressive as a leader in the development of business, agriculture and technology in the market area.  This continues a history of solid performance produced by a distinctive community orientation.First Citizens continues to seek new ways to serve customers by identifying and meeting financial needs.  During the past few years such innovations have been offered as locally serviced Consumer and Business Credit Cards, Merchant Services, Online Banking and Bill Payment, Commercial Equipment Leasing and Financial Services through a partnership with Cetera Investment Corporation.  Also, products and services related to the latest technologies have been introduced including: Online Banking, Bill Payment, Mobile Banking, Remote Deposit Capture, Digital Wallets and e-Statements.  First Citizens was one of the first community banks in the United States to introduce Zelle person-to-person payment system. The Bank has an active social network presence with Facebook and other social media sites.

As a locally owned and managed bank, First Citizens primarily focuses on serving the needs of customers and the community.  Loan and deposit services are designed to be flexible and provide high value for customers.

The Bank continues to take leadership roles in numerous community activities.  The Bank’s 80+ employees and directors are involved in a variety of community and service organizations.  They represent over 1,000 years of combined banking experience.

Having been in continuous operations for 161 years, First Citizens ranks as one of the oldest business organizations in Wyandot County.  In addition, the Bank is the fourth oldest locally owned nationally chartered banks in the United States. 

First Citizen’s assets, deposits and loans have continued to grow over the years.  As of December 31, 2021, FCNB had assets of more than $354,000,000.  The Bank provides the largest, most convenient branch network in the area with the Main Office and a Drive-Thru branch in Upper Sandusky and banking offices in Carey, Delaware, Dunkirk, Marion, Nevada and Powell.

Many changes have occurred over the years, but one thing remains the constant at The First Citizens National Bank.  Pleasing customers has been and continues to be the Bank’s primary focus with an emphasis on expanding relationships with individual, business and farm-related customers.