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July 13, 1978


PIX #1 - Commercial Bank Officers

PIX #2 - Commercial Bank presidents

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second and last installment of an historical sketch about the Commercial Bank and Savings Company, this being their 75th Anniversary.


With the passing of Lucian Kinn, John Gutknecht became the bank's new president in 1952. Most readers know that Gutknecht lived most of his youth in Fostoria. He graduated from Ohio Northern as a law student and has practiced in Fostoria ever since.

During his presidency, the bank built the new main office on Perry Street; remodeled the original location to serve as the downtown branch; established a branch in Bascom and merged into itself the New Riegel State Bank.

And the assets continued to grow from approximately $6,347,000 in 1962 to $27,000,000 in 1974.

Many changes in personnel took place during Gutknecht's regime.

Charles Ash who had been chariman of the Board passed away in 1954 at age 96. Carmen Lyon, his daughter still lives in Amsden. I was privileged to talk with her at a recent Historical Society meeting.

Charles Yost became vice president in 1955 after 45 years with the bank, during which time he ahd been cashier for many years. Then in 1957 Yost passed away.

Herman Blaser, a well known Fostoria industrialist and a bank directory, died shortly after Yost.

Charles Gribble who was associated with the bank during its early years, and a director in later years, died in 1956.

C.D. Houser who had joined the bank in 1937 as a cashier and secretary, later becoming a director and vice president, passed away in 1949.

J.F. Fruth who had been a director for many years, was elected vice president but died in September, 1954, after holding the office for only two years.

In 1957, Roy Hoffman decided it was time to retire after a lively 45 years, having served as bookkeeper, teller, assistant cashier and secretary. On June 11, Hoffman now living at Good Shepherd Home, was honored for his 90th birthday at an open house by his daughters Mrs. F. Kirian, Mrs. R. Swartz, Mrs. C. McPherson.

By 1974, Gutknecht decided it was time to relinquish his post as president and devote his full time to law practice. During his 22 years as the bank's top officer he had been dividing his time between banking and law.


In 1974, Frank J. Kinn, the son of former president Lucian E. Kinn, was named president and chief executive officer. He is a lawyer and certified public accountant, having received his education at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and at The University of Michigan.

The bank under his leadership has expanded and there has been extensive remodeling to the main office.

Assets have grown, until at the end of 1977, they amounted to nearly $44,000,000, and there are 617 shareholders...all vitally interested in assuring that the bank offers the highest quality of service and continued growth in this market area.


A successful bank became a reality because of the people behind it...the stockholders and directors who have vision, enthusiasm, who are enterprising. ..who provide leadership in the community.

The following list of names are directors, not heretofore listed, who have helped guide the banks progress through the years. Readers will remember many of them and identify them with their businesses and professions:

I.L. Cadwallader - Real estate and industrialist
Latshaw - engineer
Charles Strauch - Lawyer
D.C. Hanover - salesman
Geo. Rinehold - farmer
Harry Hofmaster - farmer
Ted Rinebold - farmer
J.L. Murphy - physician
W.I. cory - farmer and legisletor
Fred Flechtner - meat packer
Stuart B. Fair - businessman
Oliver T. Green - farmer
C.A. Moran - industrialist
Dale McCarty - meat packer
J.P. Jones - contractor
Alfred K. Fox - dairyman - farmer
Richard Fruth - accountant
Robert H. Watson - farmer/real estate (Grandson of Charles Ash)
Robert M. Sellers - industrialist


No reminder is needed to include in this report hose women who have made a contribution to the bank through the years.

Cara (Latshaw) Davis was employed as a teller from 1917 to 1935. She came to the bank from a teaching position at the old Union Street School during World War I when men were being called into service.

Carmel Huth a 46 year employee, joined the bank in 1931, and just retired Jan. 1, of this year.

Anna Rose Nichols, present corporate secretary and cashier has been employed since 1955.

Celia (Dicken) Cadwallader is another womam employee who had a long service record. She started in 1928 and worked until 1948 when she married I. Lester Cadwallader. When he died in 1955, she returned to the bank and stayed until 1970 when she retired permanently...a total of 35 years service.

There were many other loyal women employees through the past years, too numerous to mention.


OFFICERS: John W. Gutknecht, chairman of board; Frank J. Kinn, president/ chief executive officer; Homer Ransdell, first vice president/loan administrator; Robert Urguhard, vice president/operations officer; Rex Hathaway, vice president/controller; Anna Rose Nichols, corporate secretary/ cashier; Richard V. Wilson, vice president/installment loan manager; Carol Thaxton, assistant vice president/branch manager; Laurence Miley, assistant vice president/loans; David Kidd, assistant vice president/branch manager; Dale Swope, assistant vice president/branch manager; Rosolie Bollinger, auditor.

DIRECTORS: Harold J. Clouse, Robert W. Gillig, John W. Gutknecht, Victor D. Huss, Frank J. Kinn, James D. Kinn, J. Peter McNerney, Donald P. Miller, Ray R. Miller, William E. Munsey, Richard W. Norton, Robert W. Summer, Harold E. Ulman, Robert H. Watson.

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