Saturday, September 19, 2009

Signs of the times...

Rumors have been rumbling through our little city for the past few weeks that all was not well with our local bank. How could that be? After all, it has been existence since 1871 when J.I. Irwin began his banking business.
But the headlines this morning in our local newspaper told the story...
Irwin Union Bank has failed. All 27 branches, including 12 in Indiana, were taken over by state because the bank was “operating in an unsafe and unsound manner.” The branches will reopen as normal today and Monday under the Hamilton, Ohio-based First Financial Corp. banner.
from "The Republic"
We began banking here when we moved to Indiana in 1972.
It's the bank that loaned us money for our house.
It's the bank that helped us financially when Bob began building
on his own back in June, 1973.
It's the bank where I worked as a "runner" for a few short months...
the bank that gave me insurance even as a part time employee
and paid all of the hospital bills when Karen was born.
But today it no longer exists.

Over the past few months, and more than likely, the past few years, something went terribly wrong. Irwin Union used to be just a local bank with branches only in Columbus, Hope & Taylorsville. And then they expanded, opening branches in surrounding counties, and later even in other States.
And as of yesterday afternoon, Irwin Union ceased to be.

It now is First Financial Corp.
Late this afternoon we were downtown for the annual car cruise.
Bob always parks his car on the corner of 5th & Washington Street.
And as I looked at the door that I have entered no telling now many times,
I saw the new sign.

I walked over & snapped this shot & saw a man & a woman walking towards me. I said "I'm taking a picture of my new bank"...and realized by the tags on their shirts that they were employees of First Financial. One asked if I was surprised that this happened, to which I replied "no...I was afraid it was coming". She said that she had worked for this company for quite a while & they are a wonderful corporation. As we were standing there, she was directing someone inside to pull the curtain back so outsiders could see that nothing had changed on the interior. She told me that they wanted the people to feel secure & know that First Financial realized that the Irwin-Miller family had been deeply involved in the community. Both employees seemed very nice & I welcomed them to Columbus.
We found out that we could survive a bank closing.
The transition went smoothly, with the FDIC officials sweeping in quickly on Friday afternoon, taking over & making the switch to First Financial.

Perhaps when some things change, it isn't all bad.
It's just that after all of these years, who would ever have dreamed that this could happen in our little town. I've heard that we made headline news today!


Dorcas said...

That's sad!! Hopefully everything will go okay with this bank.

Karen Walden said...

Hard to believe that Irwin Union no longer exists... Can't believe that they switched the signs that fast too! Good grief... let the people mourn a little! :)

Denise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise said...

I remember going to that bank w/my Grandma. I can't believe it lasted as long as it did - - it seems like banks change their names every year anymore.