E. Hill & Sons Bank 75th Anniversary

Citizens Bank Started many Years Ago.

The following was taken from the 75th Anniversary booklet for the E. Hill & Sons Bank. “Elisha Hill, the founder of the original bank came to Colon from Chenango County, New York, in 1848. In 1851 a general merchandizing firm was organized and known as E. Hill & Son, his son, Edwin R. being a partner. In 1861 Thomas Jefferson, another son, was admitted as a partner and the firm became known as E. Hill & Sons. The business was located at the southeast corner of State and Swan streets where it remained for forty-six years until 1897, when the bank and opera house building was built.

In advertisements E. Hill & Sons were offering for sale the diversified lines of hardware, perfumery, groceries and medicine. In 1870 the merchandising business was liquidated and the banking firm was established and named The Exchange Bank of E. Hill & Sons.” A 1946 newspaper article: “There are still people in Colon who can remember the founder who in later years would make his daily trip to the bank with his cape thrown over his shoulder.”  His son, Edwin R. acted as cashier from the banks beginning in 1870. The bank carried on through the panic of 1878. Elisha died in 1884 and Edwin R. was elected to the presidency. In 1889 the bank assisted in the organization of the Lamb Knit Goods Company. In 1891, Thomas Jefferson’s son, Frank, was admitted as a partner. On January 16, 1894, the Third National Bank of Detroit closed its doors with $90,000 of the bank’s money on deposit. “Still we can remember E. R. pacing up and down the hall of his home waiting to catch the Fairfax train to Battle Creek and on to Detroit to view the situation first-hand.” (Just for a rough comparison, $1 in 1900 would buy what $25.45 will buy in 2009). On April 1, 1909, the bank was incorporated into a State Bank and a month later Edwin R. died and Thomas Jefferson Hill was made president. At the death of his father in 1914, Frank was made president. In 1929 Frank died and two weeks later the stock market crashed. At age twenty-eight, the new president Edwin J. Hill, son of Edwin R. became president. The bank survived the crisis, despite a bond loss of $45,000 frozen in the First National Bank of Detroit, and $12,000 frozen in the Old Merchant’s Bank of Battle Creek. In 1946 Grant Farrand was president, and his wife, Susan V. was vice-president and the third Edwin Hill, Edwin J. was cashier. Other members of the bank in 1946 were Frank Lamberson, vice president, Kathryn Ladyman, assistant cashier, Mildred Leatherman, assistant cashier, Adele Labencki, assistant cashier, and Margaret Arney, bookkeeper.

The building burned in 2006.