History

A photo of the newly chartered Ossian State Bank in 1932.

The history of Ossian State Bank has been consistently good. It begins with the Farmers State Bank in Ossian which was chartered November 1, 1912 and opened for business November 2, 1912. Shortly thereafter, the Farmers State Bank purchased the Bank of Ossian, which had been in operation since 1902. On November 29, 1912, the banks were consolidated.

The late 1920’s through the 1930’s were difficult economic times. In February of 1929, six banks in Wells County closed in a 2 day period. By August of 1932, 20% of all banks in the United States had borrowed money from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, but the Ossian bank was not one of them.

In accordance with the law at that time, banking corporations were required to be rechartered every twenty years. On October 19, 1932, a new charter was issued to Ossian State Bank. All assets and liabilities of the former bank were assumed by the newly chartered bank, and on October 24, 1932 it opened for business under the new name.

Following the Bank holiday declared by the President in March 1933 and the revising of many banking law regulations, the bank became a member of the FDIC. At that time, deposits were insured up to $5,000.00. This current law provides a maximum of $250,000 insurance.

In 1948, the bank instituted a remodeling program by installing modern fixtures, lighting, acoustical ceiling, tile flooring, a new glass door, and an air conditioning unit.

Due to constant growth and increasing population of the Ossian area, Ossian State Bank directors and officers realized expansion would be necessary. By 1970, the bank was actively exploring expansion plans. It was determined that the bank could best serve the area by remaining downtown. To do this, the bank purchased the former Hunter Supply - Ossian Hardware and Supply building and the former Bowman Garage, both of which were adjacent to the bank. They also purchased the property at the corner of Mill Street and Metts Street for employee parking.

The lobby of the new facility in 1977.After 65 years of service, Ossian State Bank expanded with a new facility in 1977. Just 18 years later, the continuing growth of the Ossian area had once again brought the need for the bank’s expansion.  In 1994, Ossian State Bank held groundbreaking ceremonies to launch the renovation project. This would allow easier access to a larger lobby as well as additional drive-thru windows and a drive-up ATM.  The expansion was completed in 1995. It doubled the size of the bank building and now includes a 4,000 square foot basement and an additional 6,700 square feet on the main floor.

In 1998, Ossian State Bank opened a second location on the north edge of Bluffton. This new branch was built to better serve the Bluffton community and to allow Ossian customers added convenience in the Bluffton area.

With the development of the world-wide web and internet, it was clear that Ossian State Bank must take another step to meet the needs of our customers. On April 1, 2000, we launched our first website!   Over the years, online banking, billpay, and mobile banking capabilities were added.

In 2011, two outdoor digital video display boards were installed on the building to allow state of the art messaging to our customers and the community.

Serving the community has come naturally to Ossian State Bank from the very beginning.  Minutes from the board meeting of July 6, 1914 indicate that a donation was made to an agricultural fair being held in Ossian in September of that year.  Although it is impossible to calculate the exact value of contributions that have been made since that time, we believe it would be in excess of one million dollars!  We continue to be actively involved in supporting our local communities both financially and with personnel commitment.

The Board of Directors appreciates the support of the shareholders, customers and community and looks forward to a bright future as an independent, locally owned bank.