In 1967, John Heady, chairman of the Farmer’s Deposit Bank, wrote in a 100th year anniversary booklet that the bank and Eminence had grown up together.
The building, which still stands on land given as a gift in 1871 by the Moody Hotel owners, will be demolished by the end of February as part of a development and new growth for the CVS pharmacy in Eminence.
The Deposit Bank of Eminence, chartered in 1867, was the first organized bank in Henry County. Gideon King — who is credited with bringing the L&N railroad through Eminence instead of New Castle — leased a two-room building to the bank during its second year of operation.
The Deposit Bank of Eminence prospered and opened another branch in Franklinton in 1904. The Farmers and Drovers Bank of Eminence prospered during this time and also opened a branch of its own in what was then considered North Pleasureville. In the 100th year anniversary booklet, it was written that efforts to combine the two banks began in 1893 but the banks merged in 1930.
Farmers and Drovers merged with the Deposit Bank of Eminence and opened as the Farmer’s Deposit Bank in June 1930. The bank used the Farmers and Drovers old location on Penn Ave., the building, which houses the current Henry County Local office, and moved a year later into the Deposit Bank of Eminence’s building.
Ironically, Farmer’s Deposit Bank would buy the same property in 1960 from the L & N Railroad that Gideon King, director of Deposit Bank of Eminence director 1869-1889, initially sold the railroad. The building houses the present Citizen’s Deposit Bank in the square of Eminence’s historic business district.
According to deed records, Farmer’s Deposit Bank sold the building to F.C. Keiser and Leslie McGrew Oct. 15, 1962 for $10,000.
Mary Oppel prepared the National Historic Register nomination form for the Eminence Historic Business District, which included the Deposit Bank of Eminence building in 1978 and it was approved on Feb. 14, 1979.
Oppel included in her form that the “…Theformer Deposit Bank, though smaller than many of Eminence’s commercial buildings, possesses a high degree of vitality, largely due to the structure’s three-dimensional qualities. Two stories high, it is of brick construction with brickwork arranged into quoins. A well-integrated feature is a hemispherical dome above the bowed corner. Abbreviated sections of Chippendale latticework add to this building’s charm.”
The Crotzer Investment Company Inc. sold the building to the Five Star Development Company, the company who bought the remaining buildings in the Main Street and Broadway block, for $200,000 in December.
Helen and Jeff Browning, listed as members of the Whatsoever Things, LLC. sold the building to the Crotzer company for $59,000 in 2003. The building is listed as being coveted to Isham W. Moody et al on June 30, 1878.
Eminence Mayor Drane Stephens said in the January Eminence City Council meeting that property owners and all vendors are to vacate the buildings on the Main Street and Broadway block by Feb. 1.
“Demolition will start in February and it will seem like a lot of activity at once,” Stephens said. “Activity will seem slow afterwards. They (developers) will be rerouting sewer systems and will have to tear up part of Penn Avenue for drainage and sewage too. Very exciting.”
Five Star Development Company did not respond to a request for an interview by press time.