Waverly State Bank
        The Bank of Waverly was organized by W. V. Watts, who came from Bainbridge, in 1897 and by 1901 had substantial chunks of the existing financial clients. The Bank of Waverly which later became Waverly State Bank, did business from several locations. One of the locations was in the Emmitt house in the room on the corner. The last location is where the present US Bank is located on Emmitt Ave. The building at the Emmitt Ave. location was originally built as a Kroger store completed in June of 1951. At this location the bank has gone through several name  changes including Huntington Bank, Bank One, Star Bank, First Star Bank and now US Bank. The last three names are under the holding company First National Cincinnati Corporation. Mr. Watts died at the age of 69 on Thursdays Aug 6, 1936. Upon his death Minnie Gregg, the casher at the time, was selected till the first of the year to run the bank. Supervisor Mr. E. T. Tetrick, Vice Present, was to sign important papers according to 10 Sep. 1936 Republican Herald

          In 1921 Waverly State Bank had assets of $128, 614 and First national Bank had $858,396. By 1936 Waverly State Bank Assets had increased to $258,976.67.

     March of 1892 the Waverly Building and Loan Company was formed. By 1901 was a well financed company and had substantial chunk of the existing financial clients. Like the Waverly State Bank it has been taken over by another banking institutions (American Savings Bank with headquarters in Portsmouth also started in 1892). My memory of this institution was "you really didn't need the money" to be able to get a mortgage loan, after trying unsuccessfully a couple occasions to refinance my mortgage. January 1896 the following were elected as directors: A. H. Dean, W. S. Jones, Philip Lorbach, David Lorbach, Wm. S. Gehres, C. F. Schauseil, J. W. Logan, George E. Barch and F. E. Dougherty

1917 Ad

Former First National Bank Building in the old center of Piketon had been used as Roy Wilson drugstore and set empty for several years after the death of Wilson.  This branch was opened up during the Atomic Plant boom and John Stratton was promoted from cashier to vice president and branch manager.

Waverly State Bank Building repaired after the Emmitt House fire

photo by Tyrone Hemry August 2015

Beaver Bank's old building being torn down 17 August 2012
photo by Tyrone Hemry 

First National Bank 21 August 2010

photo by Tyrone Hemry

 Beaver Bank's old building in the process of being torn down 17 August 2012

photo by Tyrone Hemry

First National Bank of Waverly interior 1901

Seated W. F. Taylor, standing (left to right) R. S. Taylor, J. Will Gregg, W. T. S. Jones and Wells S. Jones, Jr.

 The door that could be opened up and turn on the fan to bring air into the vault in case one got locked in the vault, unlike in the movies where people struggle to get the door open in time to save the people locked in the vault.

                                                                                                               photo by Tyrone Hemry 24 Nov 2010

Inside Piketon National Bank

       National currency was issued by any bank in the country that nationalized and desired to print money.  12,635 banks printed currency.National bank notes can be broken down into four different categories. The first series of notes are called first charters. These notes were first printed between 1862 and 1881.  First charters are easy to spot because they will have the year 1875 or an earlier year printed on them. The note pictured are in the last category printed in 1929. The First National Bank note shown earlier was in the third series.  They came in a Red Seal and Blue Seal versions.

 Note the First National bank in this 1925 view of Market street

photo from Bill Hicks collection 

Atomic Credit Waverly Branch

photo by Tyrone Hemry October 2006

From Jim Henry's Pike's Past 8 October 1981

Damage to the former Waverly State Bank Building after the Emmitt House fire January 2014

photo by Tyrone Hemry

Former Bank of Beaver building April 2010

photo by Tyrone Hemry

Part of this building has also served in the past as James Hoover and Son Hardware, followed by George Leist Jr. and Omer Davis starting 17 August 1904 and in 1926 by Willis and Stoll Hardware, Beaver Post office in one half and a branch of the First National Bank in the other half.  It was also used for storage by Hammerstein Furniture.

21 January 1954 Waverly Watchman.

 2 November 1950 The Republican Herald

Beaver Bank's old building being torn down 17 August 2012

photo by Tyrone Hemry

Pike County Ohio Banking History

Matchbook advertising

Waverly Building Ad 1917

Piketon National Ad 1917


After the fire damages when the Emmitt House burned, Ed Roberts and D.R. Robinson remodeled their building attempting to keep it compatible with the age of the building.  When you visit notice the entrance and exit doors which were done with quarter sawed white Oak which brings out a very pleasing pattern in the wood and in the style you would expect to see in doors dating back to the age of the building.  Notice they also kept the former Waverly State Bank safe.

Beaver Bank's old building being torn down 17 August 2012
photo by Tyrone Hemry 

 The door is very heavy to move

                                                                          Atomic Credit Union

     The Atomic Credit Union was founded November 28, 1955, nearly 25 years after the credit union movement began in Ohio. Originally, the credit union was established to meet the financial needs of "all retired or permanently employed personnel engaged in the operation of; maintenance of; or construction at the Atomic Plant site," additionally, immediate family members were also permitted to join the credit union. The credit union’s field of membership remained status quo until a small credit union in Scioto County, Southern Ohio Savings Credit Union, Inc became insolvent and was presented to Atomic in the early 1990’s as a merger opportunity. Although Southern Ohio Savings Credit Union, Inc was relatively small in asset size, it held a very lucrative field of membership charter.

     After the merger, Atomic Credit opened its doors to all living, working or worshiping in the following counties: Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Lawrence, Pike and Scioto. As a result of this, branch offices and ATMs were opened up in Waverly, Portsmouth, and Piketon to support the growing needs of there members. The credit union’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Griffiths, secured an eighth community charter in Jackson County in 2000.. The Jackson office has since been established, in addition to a sixth office in the Wellston.

     In 2007, the ninth community charter of Ross County was obtained. 2008 credit union opened its seventh branch in Lucasville, in addition to a new 18,600 square foot facility serving as the Piketon branch and Corporate office. Most recently, Atomic Credit Union opened it’s eighth office expanding services to the residents of Chillicothe.

     In 2009, Atomic Credit Union expanded to the Hocking Valley Region due to the merger and acquisition of Hocking Valley Credit Union. As a result of the merger, Atomic acquired two locations in Athens and Logan and added five counties to its field of membership. Community charters gained through the merger are Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton and Perry counties in addition to already established Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, and Scioto counties.                                           

Bank was on the right and the post office on the left on the first floor

 Current First National Bank Building in Piketon

The former Waverly State Bank building August 2010

photo by Tyrone Hemry

                 Citizens Savings and Loan
  The first out of county bank to open a branch bank was Citizens Savings and Loan from 505 Chillicothe Street, Portsmouth in the mid 70's. This bank is now Ohio Valley Bank with headquarters in Gallipolis. Citizens Savings & Loan Association Company stared in 1891 in Portsmouth.

                            The Bank of Beaver
    January 1903 a deal was struck to start a new bank in Beaver instigated by William A. Russell. He gained the support of 8 stockholders: David Nutt, George W. Baker, W.   A. Russell, E. Humphrey, George Leist Jr., Albert Deiber, Herman Shy, E. N. Dixon, and J. W. Theobald with a total capital stock of $25,000. By May 1, 1903 the paper work was completed and the state of Ohio granted a charter under the name The Citizen's Banking Company but simply know as "the Bank Of Beaver."

         William Russell became President and his two sons William A. Russell as Cashier and John P. Russell as Assistant Cashier.

        After 1915 the Russell's began making numerous risky investments, the primary bad investment was in an Indiana gravel mine. The spring of 1921 village residents found the bank doors locked and shut. On May 6, 1921 the bank of Beaver was officially declared bankrupt. One year earlier on February 2, 1920 Beaver Village Council had made the Bank of Beaver its official depository resulting in a loss of $764.79. The Beaver milling Company lost $1066.33 and Adams Dry Goods lost $2033.60 as well many individual, business and churches lost there money that was in the bank.

        The primary owners of the bank, William Russell and his sons, were forced to sell all of their personal property to help cover the loss to those with deposits in the bank. At this time they owned a nice home and a new car dealership (This was probably the one that was in what is now Rapp's Repair) in Beaver. The auction brought in $12,000 or about 25% of the lost deposits.

        The original safe, was a Hall, patent screw, fire and bugler proof safe that weighed five tons and is now in possession of Eastern Local Schools and is in use in the administrative offices.

         During the Atomic Plant construction boom the former Bank of Beaver building was opened as a branch of the First National Bank and a retired banker, Henry Stoll, took over as branch manager. The Beaver branch had bee at 5556 Beaver Pike in the Mathews Family Foods Store until the store closed 2014.

Piketon National Bank established in 1903


 Inspections certificates found inside the Waverly State Bank Vault

Matchbook Advertising

        Banking in 1859 opened with the Corwin, Gregg and Company Bank in Piketon and 3 years later when the county seat was moved to Waverly the firm name changed to Emmitt,  Corwin and Company Bank.. The decade of the 1890's saw economic reversals for the entire nation.  James Emmitt's business closed one by one and eventually his bank went broke in 1893.

        James Emmitt became his own competitor in 1871 by going in partners to form Emmitt, Jones and Company Bank. The name later became Hays, Jones and Company. Peter B. Hayes  died in 1897 and George D. Cole in 1898 necessitating a reorganization of the Hays Jones and Company Bank. Wells Jones Jr. drew together a select group of investors to capitalize the bank with $50,000 and in 1900 applied for a charter as a national bank, the first in Pike co. to achieve that designation, to open in January 1901. The first board of director included William B. Lee who  held the successful Pee Pee Milling Company among his properties, Conrad Vallery a substantial farmer, August H. Dean ran the Pioneer Drug store on the corner of Emmitt and Market, William E. Taylor was elected the bank's first cashier and Jones the first president. This predecessor in 1901 became the First National Bank. This new bank was housed in a one room storefront on Market Street. In the 1920 a new bank building was constructed. Then on August 8, 1931 a merger was made with the Piketon National Bank that stipulated the First National Bank was to assume all liabilities and receive all assets of the Piketon firm. Other than the three-day "bank holiday" ordered by President Roosevelt in 1933, the First National Bank had never missed a scheduled day of operation.

        With the Atomic plant construction it was decided that the existing bank building was two small and only 30 years old did not lend itself to remodeling so a former tavern on Market Street was rented to serve as a temporary bank while the old one was torn down and a new one began in 1953. The only part of the bank that was salvaged was the vault. The cashiers would go to the vault in the morning and pick up their cash drawers and take the money across the street to the temporary bank. The new bank was finished in 1954.

In 1886 the Emmitt Jones & Co. bank was located in what is now Dixon Jewelers Inc., 120 N. Market St. and Hays, Jones & Co. was next door at what is now Fish & Son Insurance, 116 N. Market St. Waverly

Note the smaller safe inside the big one

photo by Tyrone Hemry 24 Nov 2010

      Looking into Waverly State Bank Vault formerly used by O2 Coffee Shop as part of there dining area. The Safe was moved to this location from the former location in the Greenbaum building about 1953 or 54. In a conversation with Delbert Rigsby he tells me he was about 21 or 22 when he drove the wrecker used to move the safe, owned by Howard and Buddy Douglass  who had a bulldozer and wrecker service at what is now the lot where Hunter Chrysler is. They also owned the Douglass Pontiac Dealership located at what is now Cardo's and the Gulf Station that is now the Emmitt house parking lot. After Douglass sold the Pontiac dealership it was followed by a Chrysler dealership. Delbert says he drove a 1952 GMC Cap Over Wrecker and as he came to the bottom of the hill crossing Rt. 23 the vault rubbed ground. He says it was a big day in Waverly, the town was closed down with FBI , Federal Agents, State and local police on hand. The safe was moved through the front of the building. From the front of the building it was winched on roll bars to its present location. During the time Bert Federici owned the building the Mosler Safe Company wanted to take it but he would not let them do so.

     The Mosler Safe Company was founded in Cincinnati by Gustave Mosler as the Mosler-Bahmann Safe Company in 1867 and ended with bankruptcy in 2001. The company outgrew its original factory and relocated to Hamilton in 1891. Its safes and vaults were renowned for their strength and precision manufacture: several Mosler vaults installed in Hiroshima's  Mitsui Bank building prior to WWII survived the Nuclear bomb.

                                         photo by Tyrone Hemry 24 Nov. 2010

Ink blotter ad from the 1940's

First National Bank view July 1959

                                      Other banks in the county today

      Pike county now has several banks including Fifth Third, US Bank sucessor to Waverly State Bank via several different bank owners, American Savings, Ohio Valley Bank, Homeland Credit Union. established in Ross County in 1932. but only the First National Bank has branches serving such communities as Latham, Bristol Village, the business center of Piketon, a covenant location in Kroger's and the Waverly downtown main office.

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Serving the bank's customers are (foreground, left to right) Mrs. Beryl (Ruth Oyer) Cooper (hired in 1945), Miss Charlotte Hibbens, William Foster (hired in 1948); (background) Mrs. William Foster (Norma Jean Scott), George Scott (Bank President) and Miss Eva Blaum (employed in the 1930's). (Photo by Marcus Orr)

First National bank interior was remodeled in  1947

photo by Marcus Orr

 First National Bank had a branch inside Mathews Grocery in Beaver until the store closed

photo by Tyrone Hemry 2006

First National Bank in 1951 and torn down in 1953