100 Years of Community Commitment: The Bath State Bank Story

June 21, 2024 at 9:25 a.m.
(photo provided)


Bath State Bank will host a public Open House on Monday, June 24 to celebrate a significant milestone: 100 years of serving the community with a consistent mission, “Building genuine relationships with our customers and community by caring for them like family.” 

“Our Centennial Open House is a collective celebration,” BSB President/CEO Branden Logue said. “We just aren’t celebrating our past, we are celebrating  our future as an independent, community-owned bank. The bank has helped build homes for countless families, helped harvest millions of acres, helped provide education and cars for young people and fulfilled numerous financial requests.”   

In 1922, the small town of Bath had developed into a bustling center of economic activity. Farmers could sell their grain and livestock and buy almost everything they needed. However, the town was missing a bank to facilitate these transactions and support economic growth. As a result, farmers had to travel to nearby towns such as College Corner, Laurel, Liberty, Oxford, or Brookville to do their banking. 

It became evident that creating a local bank that understood the needs of the local community would be essential for the continued economic growth of the Bath community. Several local farmers and businessmen started discussing and developing this idea. Thanks to the vision and efforts of a few individuals, what began as a dream became a reality when BSB opened its doors on June 24, 1924. This reality has endured for 100 years despite challenging circumstances. 

“I don’t know of any other banking story quite like the Bath State Bank one,” said BSB Board and past Bank President/CEO Dennis Brack. “Repeatedly, the odds were against the bank. Five years after opening its doors, the Great Depression hit and banks were dropping like flies. Beyond that, there have been numerous banking crises and economic stresses. The community and the bank have weathered through eight dollar hogs and a buck fifty corn.”  

The bank began in a small structure housing one large cannonball cash vault, a filing room, a lobby and a room for the Board of Directors. However, it didn’t matter how small it was; it wasn’t the size of the bank that made it special. It was the way customers were treated. In fact, an important part of the bank’s history is related to a traveler who was said to have frequented the area and bank during the 1930s. He was so impressed by how customers were cared for that he labeled the bank “The Bank by the Side of the Road that is Always a Friend to Man.” The reference came from a poem written by Samuel Walter Foss titled “The House by the Side of the Road.” The poem’s theme is one of not judging people but instead offering pure friendship, understanding, and sympathy. 

“From its early days to current times, Bath State Bank has never been considered your typical bank,” said  Brack. “Established by its forefathers for the purpose of offering a much-needed service to this rich agricultural community, it quickly took on the personality of the community it served.  As the bank grew and prospered over the years, it became a point of pride for the people of the Bath community. Whether it was the Directors, employees or customers, it was most often called “their” bank, with each taking ownership of something that had become an important part of their lives.”  

The values the bank was built on have ensured its success and led to remarkable growth. As a result of customer demand, BSB opened its first branch in West College Corner in 2008, and in 2020, another branch was opened in Liberty. All while remaining an independent community-owned bank, BSB has also opened an intermittent bank branch in Union County High School so students have a place to conduct their financial transactions and learn how to be fiscally responsible teenagers. Technology has also played a significant role in the growth of BSB. New products and services have made a way to loan millions of dollars and offer BSB banking products to families throughout 324 towns in 36 states. 

“Even though we are growing in many directions, you can always expect the personalized customer service we’ve provided since our founding,” said Logue. “At Bath State Bank, our customers are important. That is why we are ‘The Bank by the Side of the Road that is Always a Friend!’”  

Despite its growth, BSB continues to recognize that the community is what truly makes the bank unique, and over the years, giving back has been a priority. 

“The bank supports countless organizations, including 4-H in 14 counties, multiple youth sports teams, school sports teams and club activities, Junior Achievement, local emergency responders, animal shelters, quilt shows, pancake breakfast, and several non-profit organizations,” Logue said. “We established and continue to support Unrestricted Funds at the Franklin Community and Union County foundations as a way to continually support our community needs.  We thank those community members who support these Unrestricted Funds throughout the year too.”   

The employees of BSB are also actively involved in the community, frequently volunteering at various community events. 

“The past several years, we asked our employees to pick an organization to donate to as a random act of kindness,” Logue continued. “Employees fill out an application on what that organization means to them, and then the bank donates funds on behalf of the employee for the nominated reason.  This past winter, employees supported 20 organizations through the random act of kindness program alone.”  

The BSB Public Open House will be held on Monday, June 24, to celebrate the 100th anniversary. It will be held at all three BSB locations during lobby hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The locations are 3095 Bath Road in Bath, 110 N. Main Street in Liberty, and 3828 South US 27 in West College Corner. Locally made sugar cookies and centennial magnets will be available while supplies last.  

“Our Mission Statement clarifies what this gem of a Bank, discovered along the side of the road, is all about,” said Brack, who has been with the Bank since 1977. “When I retired as Bank president in 2007, I felt like the greatest challenge would be to live up to our mission statement as the bank grew. But through the use of technology and an unmatched commitment by each employee to customer service, I couldn’t be prouder of how the bank lives up to it. Branden and his team continuously go above and beyond to do what they can to take care of the customers and the communities they serve.” 


Bath State Bank will host a public Open House on Monday, June 24 to celebrate a significant milestone: 100 years of serving the community with a consistent mission, “Building genuine relationships with our customers and community by caring for them like family.” 

“Our Centennial Open House is a collective celebration,” BSB President/CEO Branden Logue said. “We just aren’t celebrating our past, we are celebrating  our future as an independent, community-owned bank. The bank has helped build homes for countless families, helped harvest millions of acres, helped provide education and cars for young people and fulfilled numerous financial requests.”   

In 1922, the small town of Bath had developed into a bustling center of economic activity. Farmers could sell their grain and livestock and buy almost everything they needed. However, the town was missing a bank to facilitate these transactions and support economic growth. As a result, farmers had to travel to nearby towns such as College Corner, Laurel, Liberty, Oxford, or Brookville to do their banking. 

It became evident that creating a local bank that understood the needs of the local community would be essential for the continued economic growth of the Bath community. Several local farmers and businessmen started discussing and developing this idea. Thanks to the vision and efforts of a few individuals, what began as a dream became a reality when BSB opened its doors on June 24, 1924. This reality has endured for 100 years despite challenging circumstances. 

“I don’t know of any other banking story quite like the Bath State Bank one,” said BSB Board and past Bank President/CEO Dennis Brack. “Repeatedly, the odds were against the bank. Five years after opening its doors, the Great Depression hit and banks were dropping like flies. Beyond that, there have been numerous banking crises and economic stresses. The community and the bank have weathered through eight dollar hogs and a buck fifty corn.”  

The bank began in a small structure housing one large cannonball cash vault, a filing room, a lobby and a room for the Board of Directors. However, it didn’t matter how small it was; it wasn’t the size of the bank that made it special. It was the way customers were treated. In fact, an important part of the bank’s history is related to a traveler who was said to have frequented the area and bank during the 1930s. He was so impressed by how customers were cared for that he labeled the bank “The Bank by the Side of the Road that is Always a Friend to Man.” The reference came from a poem written by Samuel Walter Foss titled “The House by the Side of the Road.” The poem’s theme is one of not judging people but instead offering pure friendship, understanding, and sympathy. 

“From its early days to current times, Bath State Bank has never been considered your typical bank,” said  Brack. “Established by its forefathers for the purpose of offering a much-needed service to this rich agricultural community, it quickly took on the personality of the community it served.  As the bank grew and prospered over the years, it became a point of pride for the people of the Bath community. Whether it was the Directors, employees or customers, it was most often called “their” bank, with each taking ownership of something that had become an important part of their lives.”  

The values the bank was built on have ensured its success and led to remarkable growth. As a result of customer demand, BSB opened its first branch in West College Corner in 2008, and in 2020, another branch was opened in Liberty. All while remaining an independent community-owned bank, BSB has also opened an intermittent bank branch in Union County High School so students have a place to conduct their financial transactions and learn how to be fiscally responsible teenagers. Technology has also played a significant role in the growth of BSB. New products and services have made a way to loan millions of dollars and offer BSB banking products to families throughout 324 towns in 36 states. 

“Even though we are growing in many directions, you can always expect the personalized customer service we’ve provided since our founding,” said Logue. “At Bath State Bank, our customers are important. That is why we are ‘The Bank by the Side of the Road that is Always a Friend!’”  

Despite its growth, BSB continues to recognize that the community is what truly makes the bank unique, and over the years, giving back has been a priority. 

“The bank supports countless organizations, including 4-H in 14 counties, multiple youth sports teams, school sports teams and club activities, Junior Achievement, local emergency responders, animal shelters, quilt shows, pancake breakfast, and several non-profit organizations,” Logue said. “We established and continue to support Unrestricted Funds at the Franklin Community and Union County foundations as a way to continually support our community needs.  We thank those community members who support these Unrestricted Funds throughout the year too.”   

The employees of BSB are also actively involved in the community, frequently volunteering at various community events. 

“The past several years, we asked our employees to pick an organization to donate to as a random act of kindness,” Logue continued. “Employees fill out an application on what that organization means to them, and then the bank donates funds on behalf of the employee for the nominated reason.  This past winter, employees supported 20 organizations through the random act of kindness program alone.”  

The BSB Public Open House will be held on Monday, June 24, to celebrate the 100th anniversary. It will be held at all three BSB locations during lobby hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The locations are 3095 Bath Road in Bath, 110 N. Main Street in Liberty, and 3828 South US 27 in West College Corner. Locally made sugar cookies and centennial magnets will be available while supplies last.  

“Our Mission Statement clarifies what this gem of a Bank, discovered along the side of the road, is all about,” said Brack, who has been with the Bank since 1977. “When I retired as Bank president in 2007, I felt like the greatest challenge would be to live up to our mission statement as the bank grew. But through the use of technology and an unmatched commitment by each employee to customer service, I couldn’t be prouder of how the bank lives up to it. Branden and his team continuously go above and beyond to do what they can to take care of the customers and the communities they serve.” 


Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Nancy Lou Huntington
Nancy Lou (LaMar) Huntington, age 80, of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois died peacefully on Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Naperville, Illinois after a courageous battle with cancer.

Vista Investment Partners in Richmond welcomes Bill Harmon
Richmond, IN—Bill Harmon has joined Vista Investment Partners, located at 1 Woodside Drive in Richmond.

Mural Festival
The public is invited to showcase their artistic talents! All skill levels are welcome to contribute to a community mural at the Dublin Skating Rink.

Herbert Rosenberger
Herbert Francis Rosenberger, age 81, of Brookville, passed away Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Frank Thompson
Frank William Thompson, age 84, sadly passed away on Friday, July 12, 2024. Born December 20, 1939, in New Carlisle, Ohio, he was the son of William and Mary (Eidemiller) Thompson.