Almont Savings Bank Started – September 9, 1909

The Almont Savings Bank was started on September 9, 1909, on the location where John Hopkins had his general store (109 S. Main where Vela Hair Dressers is now).

W. W. Taylor was President of the bank; F. P. Andrus, Vice Pres.; George Hart, Cashier.  During the Bank Holiday, the Almont Savings Bank went into receivership, a new Board of Directors was elected, and the bank was reopened.  About 1932, Mr. L. A. Bechtol became Cashier and continued on until his death in 1959.  His wife, Elizabeth then became Cashier until her retirement in 1972.  At that time, Mrs. William Dunbar (Mildred), then Assistant Cashier, assumed the responsibilities as the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer.

About this same time, the Bank moved to its current location at 402 North Main Street, with the construction of a 1500 sq. ft. building.  Due to continued growth of the Bank and expansion of its services, it completed an additional 1500 sq. ft. addition in late 1979, to its present size.  Members of the Board of Directors at that time included: L. T. Bishop, John Bishop, Elmore Higby, Richard Klink, James Ligon and Russell Lovell.

In February of 1980, the shareholders of the Bank voted unanimously to consolidate the Almont Savings Bank with Pacesetter Financial Corporation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Furthermore, in April of 1983, the Bank became affiliated with Old Kent Financial Corp. through a merger of Pacesetter Financial Corporation and Old Kent Financial Corporation.  With its current affiliation, the Bank is a member of a state-wide, multi-bank holding company with resources in excess of $4 billion dollars.  The current President of the Bank is Thomas A. Janego, and its Board consists of John Bishop, Elmore Higby, Richard Klink and James Ligon.  Its total assets $22 million dollars, and it has over 20 full and part-time employees.

By Thomas A. Janego: Source: Almont – The Tale of Then and Now by Hildamae Waltz Bowman, 1985, page 68.

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