Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years

Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 1)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 1)


[page 1]

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[illustration of building]

Fidelity Federal

Savings and Loan Association

1887 100 years 1987

60 North Sandusky Street

Branch--30 Troy Rd., Georgetowne Centre
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 2)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 2)


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Fidelity ....



A Commemorative History of

Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association

of Delaware, Ohio

Centennial Edition

by Ray Buckingham
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 3)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 3)


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Harry A. Humes, President

James L. Kern, Vice President

Lloyd D. Baker, V.P., Greif Bros.

Richard Dawson, Farmer

David C. Green, D.D.S.

C. Neilson Griffith, Retired V.P. Landmark

Edward J. Planisek Jr., Secretary-Treasurer


Faith Caldwell Dianne Oman

Bonnie Howard Donna Peak

M. Carolyn Jones, Cashier Edward J. Planisek, Jr.

Martha Law, Asst. Treasurer Manager

Mary Matthews Susan Rexrode

Tracie Nelson Katrina Roberts

Karen Schnees, Asst. Secretary


Insured Savings Accounts

Certificates of Deposit

Checking NOW Accounts

I.R.A. Accounts

Safe Deposit Boxes (Main Office)

Home Mortgage Loans

Home Improvement Loans

American Express Travelers Cheques

Money Orders

Christmas Clubs

Night Depository (Main Office)

Walk-Up Window (Main Office)

Free Parking
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 4)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 4)


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Since the beginning of time man has sought and found

shelter for himself and his family. At first it was caves and

tents. Then he made use of whatever native materials were

available, such as sod, stones, skins and logs to fashion

living quarters. In America, since pioneer banks loaned

money only for commercial purposes, small groups of those

hardy individuals discovered that by pooling their meager re-

sources they could form a large pool from which participants

could draw by lot for home loans. Repayment of such loans

plus interest, at regular intervals, would keep the pool ac-

tive and solvent. They further reasoned that for safety's

sake, the pool's resources should be entrusted to an honest

merchant who owned, or had available, a strong safe.

Historians claim that the first society organized to

assist working men to build or buy their own homes was for-

med in Frankford, a Philadelphia suburb, in 1831. It was

called the Oxford Provident Building Society. The first $500.

saved was loaned, by lot, to Comly Read, a lamplighter. His

house, now restored, still stands on Orchard Street as a me-

morial to American thrift and ingenuity.

Once the Delaware area became well-populated there

was a need for financing home building and home purchasing.

This situation led to the formation and chartering in February

1867 of Delaware's Building Association. It was organized by

two of Delaware's leading citizens, J. D. Van Deman and

C. E. Hills, who were successful in selling the necessary

stock. This money was then auctioned off and went to bid-

ders offering to pay the highest rate of interst. So success-

ful was this operation that when their charter expired in 1874,

the Association was liquidated to everyone's satisfaction.

The Ohio Savings and Loan League has always maintained

that this Delaware Building Association was Ohio's very

first officially chartered savings and loan and honored it as

such on February 22, 1967 with a commemorative centennial

ceremony at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and a banquet

that night in Columbus.

In 1887 the Fidelity Building and Loan Company, now

known as the Fielity Federal Savings and Loan Association,

was organized. Webster defines the word FIDELITY as "care-

ful observance of duty or discharge of obligations". After

100 years of serving the home-minded people of Delaware
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 5)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 5)


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City and County, it may be truthfully said that Fidelity has

lived up to the fullest meaning of its name and obligation.

This history has been compiled to help commemorate and pre-

serve those 100 years.

Incorporation papers for the Fidelity Building and Loan

Company were dated January 18, 1887, 100 years ago, and

were issued by The State of Ohio. Historically speaking,

Grover Cleveland, 22nd president of United State was mid-

way into his first term. Joseph B. Foraker was Governor of

Ohio. Delaware County had a population of 27,189 and Henri

E. Buck was Mayor of Delaware, population 8,000. Incorpor-

ators were H. J. McCullough, H. A. Welch, W. T. Gessner,

J. D. Van Deman and B. W. Brown. Company officials were:

Brown, president; May Frank, vice president; McCullough,

treasurer; Van Deman, solicitor and C. O. Little, secretary.

The board of directors, in addition to the aforementioned, in-

cluded D. H. Battenfield, W. C. Jaynes, J. H. Smith and

Professor J. H. Grove. During these early years there were

nine directors. Capital stock was set at $400,000 - 2,000

shares at $200.00 per share. Members were assessed 25?

for their passbooks. The first office was on the second floor

of the Lamb's Block, northwest corner of Winter and North

Sandusky Streets, above M. E. Wolff's Beehive Store (later

the Boston Store, David's and presently Essentials). Also,

on that second floor were other offices: Bale and Martin, In-

surance; Central Union Telephone Company; J. H. Doughman,

Attorney; and L. C. Valentine, Insurance. The directors'

meetings were held monthly but during those formative years

they seemed to meet weekly, mostly to resolve loan applica-

tions, judging from the minutes. Mr. Little, the secretary,

was paid $500.00 per year and the treasurer's annual salary

was $100.00. Office rent was $32.50 per quarter.

Check number 1 issued by Fidelity Building Associa-

tion and Loan Company is still intact though faded and tat-

tered. It was dated April 8, 1887, made out to R. W. Rey-

nolds for $100.00, signed by H. J. McCullough, treasurer,

and drawn on Deposit Banking Company. It was cashed on

April 11, 1887.

In their by-laws the Company stated its object in this

manner: "The object of the Association is to raise money to

be loaned among its members and depositors for use in buying

lots, or in building or repairing houses, in holding, improv-

ing and acquiring freehold property, or other purposes. This
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Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 6)


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Company is organized on the perpetual plan and persons may

become members at the beginning of any month without the

payment of back dues and shall be entitled to earnings from

the time they become members."



Capital stock was increased to one million dollars in

1890. The secretary and the treasurer were sent to Dayton

for two days to learn about a new and more efficient system,

the "Dayton Plan". Their expense account was less than

$15.00. B. W. Brown's last year as president was in 1891.

It was also C. O. Little's last year as secretary. Vice Presi-

dent Max Frank was elevated to the presidency in 1892 but

served only briefly due to a fatal illness. D. A. Battenfield

was his replacement and W. E. Moore was elected secretary.

Battenfield and J. D. Van Deman "volunteered" to "straighten

out" Association records and they were paid $125.00 for do-

ing so. Saturday evening office hours were established. In

1893 it was a very ordinary year except for an abundance of

delinquent accounts. The 1891 line-up of directors included

Battenfield (president), Van Deman, M. Miller, J. C. Cox,

R. J. Cox, F. S. Sprague, W. T. Gessner, W. A. Smith and

C. E. Hills. When J. C. Cox passed away that year, Secre-

tary Moore was elected to fill that vacancy. Rent for the

office was reduced to $80.00 per year. After flowery words,

pats on the back and handshakes all around, Secretary W. E.

Moore's salary was increased to $60.00 per month but the

solicitor's retainer fee remained unchanged at $18.75 per

quarter. Van Deman served as both president and solicitor in

1895 and again in 1896. At that time requests for loans were

exceeding available money so the officers were authorized to

borrow funds if and when it was needed. In 1897 there was

little activity other than normal day to day operation.
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 7)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 7)


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Van Deman was still president and solictor in 1898.

By that time availability of money for loaning purposes had

improved. Ads advising the public that they had "money to

loan" were placed in The Delaware Gazette and The Delaware

Herald on a continuing basis. The same leadership and ad-

vertising campaign carried over into 1899. In a major reshuf-

fling of offices within the same building, Fidelity moved into

an office formerly used by Carper and Van Deman, attorneys.

Rent was increased to $125.00 per year. To make the office

more attractive nine new "Delaware Chairs" were purchased

for $13.50 and a new railing was installed. Eighteen acres

of Fidelity-held farm land at the north edge of town was sold

to the Children's Home Board for $1,100. The directors re-

quested and were given a listing of mortgages starting with

100 and ending with number 261 for a grand total of $148,800.

Also a request for a listing of all 122 checks written to date

was honored. The usual semi-annual dividend of 3 1/2% to

stockholders was paid. Longtime director, businessman,

Joseph C. Cox, died late in the year and was replaced by

W. H. Hague. Thus ended Fidelity's portion of 19th century




J. D. Van Deman was president of Fidelity in 1900

and he was followed in that office by C. E. Hills (1901-1906)

and then by D. H. Battenfield (1907-1909). W. E. Moore

was managing secretary until 1903 at which time Frank Wat-

kins began his 32-year tenure in that capacity. Among the

treasurers serving during that decade were: J. D. Van Deman,

W. H. Hague and Robert Powers. Each of the following at-

torneys: C. H. McElroy, W. J. Cone and J. H. Lytle were

legal counselors for Fidelity within that time frame.

Authorized capital throughout those ten years was

$1,000,000, however, capital stock in force fluctuated
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 8)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 8)


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from $237,000 in 1906 to $225,000 in 1908. In 1900 the

total amount paid in salaries was under $800. By 1909 this

figure had increased to only $1,075. During those 10 years

borrowing members increased in number from 100 plus to 200

plus; non-borrowing members held steady at approximately

140 while non-borrowing depositors jumped from a mere hand-

ful in 1900 to nearly 300 in 1909. Loans were made at 6%;

dividends held steady at 5%; and interest on deposits rated

4% and 5% during all ten years.

(Since no minutes were available for this period, all facts

and figures mentioned here were compiled from reports re-

quired by and published by the State of Ohio.)



Perhaps the most significant event of this ten-year

period happened when, in 1911, the building at 46 North

Sandusky Street was purchased for an office site at a price

of $7,350. At that time it was occupied by C. D. Young,

Jeweler, along with several rented upstairs offices. The

following year, 1912, Fidelity, now well-established in the

community, moved into its newly-acquired property. There

it remained for the next 65 years.

For all of these ten years D. H. Battenfield was pre-

sident; Frank S. Watkins was secretary and manager and Rob-

ert Powers was treasurer. James Lytle served as Fidelity's

attorney from 1910 to 1914, at which time it became a joint

position with Harry W. Crist. Assets grew from $270,590

to $977,947. Capital stock subscribed and in force went

from $539,600 to $1,226,075. Officer's and employee's

salaries rose gradually from $1,076 in 1910 to $3,265 in

1919. During each of these ten years, interest charged for

loans was 6%; dividends were paid at 5% and interest on sav-

ings accounts stayed constant at 4% and 5%. For the three

years 1910-11-12 borrowing members numbered 225-233-257;
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 9)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 9)


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non-borrowing members added up to 137-135-147 and non-

borrowing depositors totaled 373-473-613. Starting with

1913 those reporting categories were changed to: stock-

holders, borrowers and depositors. The number of stock-

holders increased from 426 in 1913 to 582 in 1917, then

dropped to 502 by 1919. Borrowers in 1913 totaled 286,

increasing to 416 in 1917 before leveling off at 379 in

1919. Depositors totaled 723 in 1913 and reached 2,344

in 1917 before dropping to 1,470 in 1919. Fidelity's au-

thorized stock was increased from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000

in 1915. Par value of stock was $200.00 per share.

Even though World War I had a negative effect on

the building and loan business during its course, Fidelity

was able to cope with those problems and to maintain a

strong financial position. Besides, true to the spirit of

the times, generous donations were made to many agencies

supporting the war effort.



Frank Watkins was secretary and manager for the en-

tire decade, while Robert Powers served as treasurer the

most of that time. The president from 1920 through 1925 was

D. w. Battenfield and he was followed by Eugene Nash. The

year 1920 through 1923 James Lytle and Harry Crist served

jointly as Fidelity's attorneys, but in 1924 Crist was given

sole responsibility for that important function. Over this ten-

year period assets rose modestly from $1,303,350 to the sum

of $1,533,623, a situation somewhat tempered by conditions

that were leading to the stock market crash of 1929.

During this time-period the number of stockholders

varied from just less than 500 to slightly more than 600; the

number of borrowers rose from approximately 400 to just over

500 and the number of depositors increased from 1,560 in

1920 to a high of 4,040 in 1929. The annual payroll ranged

from less than $4,000 in 1920 to less than $6,000 in 1929,

the year of the crash. Stock sold for $200 per share and the

authorized capital for those ten years was $2,000,000. Both
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 10)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 10)


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dividend and interest rates on deposits were at the 4% or 5%

level. The interest rate charged for loans was a consistant

6% throughout this decade. Available records show that in

1920 a donation of $50 was made to the Commercial Club, a

group dedicated to the improvement of Delaware. The follow-

ing year, 1921, a donation of $200 was made to Delaware's

YMCA, thus indicating Fidelity's willingness to enter into

community activities. Both Ray Hinkle and Questa Williams

started their long-lasting careers with Fidelity in 1927, he

as cashier and she as bookkeeper.

(Fidelity was operating under Ohio rules and regulations all

during the 1920s and it was from annual reports made to the

State that most of the preceding information was compiled).



By now the Great Depression was an over-riding fac-

tor affecting all types of businesses. Fortunately, Fidelity,

through sound management practices, was able to weather the

storm and continue to operate. In those last hectic years

prior to Fidelity becoming "federalized" things looked like

this, according to reports made to the State of Ohio.

The management team of Frank Watkins, secretary

and manager; Eugene Nash, president; and Harry Crist, the

attorney, remained intact from 1930 to 1934. Then, at that

time, Ray Hinkle was promoted to managing secretary and

Harry Crist became both president and attorney.

Fidelity's assets in 1930 were listed at $1,473,091

and by 1934 they were down to $877,337, thus reflecting the

times. Stockholders numbered 614 in 1930 and dropped to

512 in 1935. Borrowers totaled 503 in 1930 but fell to 313 in

1934. Probably the most startling statistic revealing those

troubled times was in the number of depositors - 3,761 in

1930 and 812 in 1934. It was likewise with dividends, the

traditional 5% dropped to 1% by 1934. In working out details

for a federal charter, government authorities suggested that

dividends be eliminated for one year in order to "shore up"

reserve funds. So, it was in this atmosphere that Fidelity

decided to make the change from State to Federal charter.
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Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 11)


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After operating under rules and regulations of a state

charter for 50 years, the Association was granted a federal

charter, number 1,075, dated December 30, 1935. It was for-

merly accepted on January 15, 1936 and became effective on

February 1, 1936. The Association underwent a name change,

becoming the Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association.

That change came easily. But, in order to comply with de-

tailed federal requirements, a new constitution with new rules

and regulations had to be written and adopted by the Associ-

ation officials. That was no small task. Directors partici-

pating were: Harry Crist, Charles Denison, Ray Hinkle,

G. K. Hoffman, Eugene Nash, Hosea Warren and Fred Good-

ing. Crist served both as president and attorney. Frank Wat-

kinds, secretary-manager, was deeply involved in charter ne-

gotiations but he resigned as of December 30, 1935 so it was

necessary for his successor, Ray Hinkle, to start operating

under federal guidelines.

At that time, 50 years ago, the secretary-manager's

salary was $2,400 per year and the cashier's was $1,200.

The president was paid an annual salary of $240.00 and the

Association attorney received $100.00 annually. Directors

were paid $5.00 per meeting attended. Janitor service was

provided at $5.00 per week. Appraisers, always from direc-

tor's ranks, were paid $1.00 for in-town and $2.50 for rural

appraisals. Interest paid on savings accounts was 2 1/2%

per annum while borrowers were charged 4% to 5% depending

on the amount of the loan. Assets at the beginnign of this

first year (1936) under federal charter totaled $742,875 and

at the end, $778,003. There were 36 delinquent accounts

reported with a total of $4,895.11.

No evidence was found to indicate a formal celebra-

tion for Fidelity's 50th anniversary. However, a large ad-

vertisement announcing this fact appeared in The Delaware

Gazette on the exact anniversary date, January 18, 1937.

The ad proudly proclaimed such things as: Half a Century of

Community Service"; "Protecting Funds of Thrifty Folks - -

Helping Tenants Become Home Owners"; and "Always Secured

- Now Insured" plus the fact that the "Average Yield to its

Investors Through These Years is Over 4 1/2%".
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 12)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 12)


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Lingering effects of the Great Depression were still

disturbing normal business activity. At one point the board

realized they had too many low-yielding investments and so

they took steps to correct that situation. Another concern

was the fact that four institutions with whom they did busi-

ness were being liquidated. Slow business conditions promp-

ted the directors to adopt the following resolution on August

30, 1936: "Resolved, that the bank (First National Bank) be

advised that there is but little real estate changing ownership

in Delaware City or County and that there is practically no

new construction of homes, therefore the Association has

been unable to make but few desirable mortgage loans."

Even Federal Home Loan Bank officials were edgy. They crit-

ized Fidelity for not being more aggresive in acquiring mort-

gage loans. Since caution had brought them this far, Fidelity

officials were not about to shed that trademark.

Things remained static during the 1936-39 era. There

were no changes in personnel or in salaries. Loans were of

the three or four figure variety. Interest paid and interest

received percentages changed very little. Repayment of the

loans was at the $5.00 to $20.00 monthly level. The treas-

urer's job was turned over to the secretary. Since the Asso-

ciation owned a number of properties and a few farms, keep-

ing them in good repair was an ongoing task. Farm land in

which Fidelity had an interest was selling for about $60.00

an acre. By the end of 1939 the number of delinquent ac-

counts was down to 10 and the assets were at $616,754.82.

Even though the volume of business was down, Fidelity, as

always, was able to maintain its strength and reliability.
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Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 13)


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The 1940s were difficult years because of WWII and

the aftermath. However, through careful management, Fidel-

ity was able to surmount these difficulties and to maintain a

pattern of growth, not spectacular, but consistent. Direc-

tors in 1940 were Harry W. Crist (president and counsel) Ray

Hinkle (secretary and manager), Charles Denison, Fred Good-

ing, George K. Hoffman, Eugene Nash and Hosea Warren.

Nash passed away in 1941 after serving 30 years. He

was not replaced. Instead the board membership was kept at

six. When Warren died in 1944, after being a director for 30

years, he was succeeded by Will McElfresh. Then in 1945

president and attorney Crist died after 25 years with Fidelity.

Denison moved into the presidency. A. L. Everitt became a

director, while Edson Williams and James Blair followed as

Association attorneys. Because of poor health, Fred Gooding

director for 16 years, resigned. R. M. Martin succeeded

him. J. C. Wirthman was made a director in 1947, thus the

board membership returned to seven. Directors were paid

$5.00 per meetings attended until 1947 when it was doubled.

Those directors who served as appraisers were paid $1.00

for local and $2.50 for rural appraisals all this decade.

Throughout the decade presidents were paid $360.00

annually and attorneys received a $100.00 annual retainer

fee. Crist, who doubled in both offices, accepted the pre-

sident's pay but refused the retainer fee. President Denison,

at his own request, served without salary. During this ten

years there were but two employees, secretary-manager Ray

Hinkle and cashier, Questa Williams. The secretary's sal-

ary was $2,400 per year until 1949 when it was $2,880. He

was also paid a car allowance. In 1949 the cashier's salary

was raised from $1,200 to $1,620. Joe Mayer served as cus-

todian at $5.00 per week.

It is interesting to note that president Denison's first

action was to call a special meeting on September 4, 1945

for the express purpose of discussing ways and means of im-

proving business. Among the suggestions were such things

as better office lighting; an advertising campaign; a new sign

and the remodeling of the entire office. Also suggested were
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 14)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 14)


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visitations by board members to other savings and loan offices

to study and observe their techniques. All of these ideas

were eventually implemented and evidently worked because

Fidelity's assets nearly doubled from 1945 to 1949.

With but a few exceptions loans were in the 5-figure

class and were made at 4% to 6%, depending on the amount

borrowed. Interest was paid semi-annually and ranged from

2 1/2% down to a low of 1 1/2 as paid in 1949. That was

the year Fidelity qualified to make FHA insured loans. At the

outset, 1940, assets were $616,754.82 and at the end of

1949 they were up to well over a million dollars.

On November 21, 1949 there was a full-page adver-

tisement in The Delaware Gazette hailing Fidelity's 62nd

Anniversary. It featured such things as individual pictures

of all officers and directors; the safety record of its opera-

tion; and the fact that they had plenty of money for borrow-

ing purposes. In this same issue, on the front page, there

was a news story announcing the fact that Delaware's only

other savings and loan association was going out of business.

Thus alertness was added to Fidelity's time-honored reputa-

tion for caution and safety.



The 1950s saw a decided increase in building, loan-

ing and saving activity, with each year showing a substan-

tial gain in dollars and customers. Both GI and FHA loans

were on the upswing. For a short time there was no charge

for appraisals, sort of a "special". Practically all loans

were at the four and five figure level, carrying a rate of 5%-

6%, according to the amount of the loan involved. Interest

being paid to savers varied from 2% to 3%.

While appraisals started in the 1950s at no charge,

that advantage was soon replaced by a $2.00 local and a

$3.00 rural fee. By 1959 this charge was up to $10.00 flat,

plus the legal fee. During these ten years the secretary-

treasurer's salary increased from $3,180 to $6,300. His car

allowance was increased from $50.00 to $70.00 a month.
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Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 15)


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Likewise the cashier's salary was raised from $1,920 in 1950

to $3,600 in 1959. Both of these employees were given an-

nual bonuses based on the year's business. For a short time

directors received $10.00 per meeting attended but by 1956

that figure had increased to $35.00 for each meeting. The

Association's legal counsel was paid a small retainer fee

throughout these ten years.

During practically all of the 1950s there were but

two full-time employees: Ray Hinkle, secretary-treasurer,

and Questa Williams, cashier. James Blair, Association

Counsel, served all but a brief time during which time

Henry Wolf acted in that capacity. Thomas Wright was em-

ployed as a bookkeeper late in 1958 and then in 1959 he was

made assistant cashier. Charles Denison, who had served

as a director for 29 years and as president since 1945, died

in August, 1958. He was succeeded as president by Will

McElfresh and as director by Harry A. Humes. During his

11-year presidency he refused any salary except that for be-

ing a director. J. C. Wirthman, who had served several of

these years as a director, resigned that post effective Dec-

ember 31, 1959.

Fidelity's officials were always on the alert. When

certain aspects of income tax laws seemed detrimental to

savings and loans, they contacted Senators Taft and Bricker

for favorable action. Then, when other savings and loans

applied for federal charters to operate in the Delaware area,

Director J. C. Wirthman was sent to Washington D.C. to

protest. Later Association Counsel, James Blair, was sent

there to further lobby against such chartering, the gist of

their protest being that Delaware's building and loan needs

already were being adequately met.

Upon its organization in the early 1950s, The Dela-

ware County Bank was added to the list of official depositor-

ies that included the First National Bank and the Federal

Home Loan Bank. Selecting depositories was an annual task

of the directors. Although not as frequent as in the 1940s,

requests for loan repayment adjustments continued to demand

director attention and action.

The two rear upstairs rooms were renovated and then

rented to the Henry Wolf law firm. The front room was leased

to the Democratic Party Headquarters. In 1956 air condition-

ing was authorized for the first floor offices. Also, Saturday
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 16)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 16)


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afternoon office hours were replaced by staying open on Fri-

day nights. By the end of 1959 assets were listed at nearly

two million dollars. That's about how things stood in the




At the beginnign of the 1960s decade, Fidelity's as-

sets were nearing two million dollars. Leslie Burkhart was

named a director, serving with Will McElfresh, A. L. Everitt,

Ray Hinkle, George K. Hoffman, R. M. Martin and Harry

Humes. Money orders were added to services available.

Loans were being made at 6% and 6 1/2% according to the

amount involved. In anticipation of the upcoming 75th anni-

versary celebration, $8,000 was allotted for new counters,

modernizing the front and installing a new heating system.

Patricia Miller was employed as a teller. Changes were com-

ing so fast that board meetings were not adjourned - just re-

cessed. Ray Hinkle retired as secretary-treasurer but stayed

on as a director. James C. Blackledge became the secretary-

treasurer in 1961 following Hinkle's departure. Because of

his health, Geroge K. Hoffman, longtime director, resigned

in 1962 and Blackledge was named to that vacancy.

In mid-January 1962, fifty years after moving from the

Lamb's Block building to its newly purchased facility at 46

North Sandusky Street, Fidelity observed its 75th anniversary

with a three day Open House. Directors' wives were present

to greet visitors and to serve refreshments. For celebrating

this milestone the facility had been given a new look. Will

McElfresh was Association president; James C. Blackledge

was secretary-treasurer; Questa Williams was cashier; Kath-

ryn McGovern was teller (having just replaced Patricia Mil-

ler) and James Blair was general counsel. At this time the
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 17)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 17)


[page 17]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 17 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

Association had a membership of 1,300 investors (savers).

Eighty of them had been investors for 25 years or more. One

member even claimed that she had been an investor 70 of

the 75 years. Assets were listed as being $2,500,000.

During the 75 years over $1,900,000 was paid out in div-

idends and interest, an outstanding achievement.

In 1963 approval was given Fidelity to make FHA

loans. Big loans for church building projects were being

considered. Other loans involving six figures were also be-

ing considered and even granted. Because of his wife's poor

health Blackledge resigned in 1963 and was replaced by Reg-

inald Moncur. Interest now being paid on savings was 4%.

Ray Hinkle resigned as a director in 1964 after serving 34

years. John R. Florance succeeded him. Also resigning that

year was secretary-treasurer Reginald Moncur. His succes-

sor was Irwin Niemoeller. Several new employees were hired

in 1965, including an assistant secretary, Jack Griffith and

office workers, Kathleen Weiser and Mary Starling.

The peak year so far as lending was in 1965. Over

200 loans were made, totaling nearly two and a half million

dollars. Total savings increased by a quarter-million dollars.

Niemoeller was made a director that year and Edward Flahive

was named chief counsel. Due to the government's tight

money policy of 1966, the building and loan industry, inclu-

ding Fidelity, endured a difficult year in making loans. To

offset this lack of business, Fidelity launched an intensive

advertising campaign. An employee for 40 years, Questa

Williams retired in 1966. Victor Milla became a director re-

placing R. M. Martin who passed away after being a board

member for 20 years.

By 1967 the advertising campaign, at about $1,000

per month, was in full swing with appreciable effect. The

Association-member appraisal committee was replaced by

professionals, on a trial basis. Mary Starling resigned from

the office staff and was replaced by Norma Hines. On April

28 and 29 another Open House was held. This was in ob-

servance of Fidelity's 80th anniversary. Directors' wives

served as greeters and served refreshments, an ongoing tra-

dition. This event also marked the 100th anniversary of the

founding of Delaware Building Association, the first building

society in Ohio to be incorporated. On February 22, 1967

the Ohio Savings and Loan League had conducted a tree-

planting ceremony and a plaque dedication commemorating
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 18)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 18)


[page 18]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 18 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

that event at Delaware County Fairgrounds. During a ban-

quet that night in Columbus, addressed by Senator Barry

Goldwater the role of Delaware was highlighted. In their

coverage of Fidelity's 80th anniversary newspapers mention-

ed facts such as: the Association had 2000 savings custom-

ers; nearly 500 home buyers and assets of approximately five

million dollars, an increase of three million dollars in six

years. It was a so-so year in 1968. However, a record

amount was added to reserve funds. Things begin to look up

in 1969. James Kern succeeded Victor Milla as a director.

Assistant secretary Jack Griffith resigned his post. Loans

were being made at 7% to 7 1/2% interest, while interest on

savings accounts was changed often in order to meet compe-

tition. Savings accounts were insured up to $20,000.

A record amount was spent for advertising. In this one year

alone over a quarter-million dollars in interest was distribu-

ted, thus indicating a good year. Near the end of the year,

president Will McElfresh died. He had completed 25 years

with Fidelity, the last eleven as president. Vice president

A. L. Everitt was elevated to the presidency. The '60s de-

cade ended with assets of over $6,000,000, that figure be-

ing three times the beginning amount.



Business continued to improve with 1970 being the

most profitable year ever for Fidelity. Loans were made at

8% and interest on savings accounts was at 5%. Certificates

were issued at 5.25% up to 6%. Improvement loans were

popular at 6%. Charles Pasley was named assistant secre-

tary and Dr. David C. Green was elected to a directorship.

An employment benefit plan, sponsored by the Ohio Savings

and Loan League, was accepted and put into effect. Assets

were up to the $8,000,000 mark. Many applications for big

loans started to show up in 1971. In fact, Fidelity was the

lead lender in the development of Hayes Colony. Borrowing

rates dipped slightly. Nearly 200 loans were processed and
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 19)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 19)


[page 19]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 19 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

the net increase in savings accounts reached nearly the fig-

ure of $1,500,000. Christmas Club participants were given

a 51st payment for the use of their money. Assets were re-

ported to be $10,000,000. Several additions were made to

the staff in 1972, namely: Edward Planisek, Preston Knight,

Kathy Baker, Karen Hughes and Sandra Stevens. There was

one resignation, Charles Pasley. Business continued to

boom. Such line items as loans for construction, property

improvement, purchase and participation agreements became

very prominent in monthly reports. Assets continued to in-

crease, now at $11,500,000.

A retirement plan for all employees was adopted in

1973. The issuing of traveler's checks became an added

service. Secretary-Treasurer, manager and director, Irvin

Niemoeller resigned, effective March 31, 1973 after eight

years of service. During his years as an officer, Fidelity's

assets increased by $8,000,000. Paul R. McAlister suc-

ceeded Niemoeller. Edward Planisek was named comptroller

a newly created post. Huntington National Bank, Columbus,

became a fourth depository for Association funds. Profes-

sional appraisers, E. Richard Sherman and E. L. Disbennett

Jr. were employed to be appraisers. Interest was 5.25% on

passbook savings accounts and certificates paying from

5.75% up to 7.50% were made available. Director John R.

Florance resigned late in 1973. Assets were $12,000,000.

Two new directors were named in 1974: C. Neilson Griffith

to replace Florance and Paul R. McAllister to replace Nie-

moeller. The well known firm of Coopers and Lybrand was

hired for internal auditing purposes. Loans were made at

8.75% and 9%. Such new loan terms as: recast of loans,

speculative construction, permanent construction; and re-

finance of clear property began to appear in Association re-

cords. A six-year certificate paying interest of 7.75% was

introduced. J. Chad Wirthman and Don Fisher were added

to the list of certified appraisers. An application for esta-

blishing a branch office was filed with the Federal Home

Loan Bank Board. Assets were $13,000,000 at the end of 1974.

Permission to expand came early in 1975. So it was

not long until a beautifully appointed, modern branch office

with three employees was opened in a leased location at 30

Troy Road, within Georgetowne Center. The formal grand

opening was March 10-14. Drawings were held for 10 pass-

book accounts of $25.00 each. New depositors were given
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 20)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 20)


[page 20]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 20 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

silver ice cream scoops. On display, in sharp contrast to

the ultra-modern laundry next door, was crude washing equip-

ment used by A. L. Everitt's grandmother while raising a

family of eight. Everitt, who had a notable and lengthy con-

nection with Fidelity, was serving as president at the time.

It was largely through the efforts of Secretary Paul McAllis-

ter that the branch office became a reality. This added loca-

tion in Delaware's rapidly growing north end provided easier

access and convenient parking for customers as well as cre-

ating a new marketing area. All services of the main office

were made available at the branch office.

There were still more developments in 1975. The

Association's historic calendar-year policy was changed to

a fiscal year, ending on June 30th. Assets were now well

over $20,000,000. Mr. McAllister resigned effecive Octo-

ber 1st and Edward J. Planisek, who had been serving as the

comptroller and assistant manager for three years, was ap-

pointed secretary-treasurer and general manager. Another

important milestone developed in late December. The 80-

year old former Delaware Hardware Store building at 60 North

Sandusky Street was purchased from Howard Kraft for devel-

opment of a much needed larger main office. Director Leslie

Burkhart was deeply involved in this acquisition. Thus, all

in all, 1975 was a busy, profitable and eventful year.

Starting early in 1976 a great deal of time was spent

concerning the use and remodeling of the newly acquired

building, a process that involved both staff and officials.

In addition, a firm of professionals was hired to assist in

the planning stage. Out of this planning came the idea of

using an "old look" motif in developing 60 North Sandusky

Street into a modern main office.

Other things happened in 1976. Loan applications

increased in both numbers and ammounts. Dates for all annu-

al meetings were changed permanently to the second Monday

in August, thus conforming wtih the new fiscal year policy.

The interest rate for loans ranged from 8% to 9%. A new pay

schedule was adopted for the 7 staff members as well as all

officers. Libaility insurance coverage for all Fidelity offi-

cers became effective near the end of 1976.

With the advent of 1977 Fidelity became 90 years

old. The early months of that year were devoted to comple-

ting the restoration of their new facility and planning a gala

birthday celebration. These activities required the com-
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 21)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 21)


[page 21]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 21 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

bined efforts and talents of manager, Edward Planisek and

his staff and of president, A. L. Everitt and his fellow offi-

cers. The restored 80-year old structure was given a new,

but "old look" with its exterior being refinished in color and

style reminiscent of the 1890s.

For the lobby expert craftmen created a Victorian Era

atmosphere with ornate lighting fixtures, plush wall-to-wall

carpeting, naturally finished oak woodwork and walls featu-

ring wainscoting of oak, highlighted with period wallpaper

and art work. The lobby's waiting area was made especially

pleasant with Victorian style furnishings. Adjacent to the

waiting area two spaces were set aside for secretarial use.

In order not to detract from the Victorian motif, the

work area, with its battery of modern business equipment,

was separated from the lobby by a row of teller terminals

fashioned from oak. Adjacent to this work area a small

private room was created for safety deposit boxes. Beyond

the lobby, management offices were positioned as well as

space for the bookkeeping department and conference,

staff, storage and rest rooms plus areas for future develop-

ment. In the recessed main entrance off Sandusky Street

a walk-up window and a night depository were installed,

both of which blended into the "old look". At the rear,

a convenient parking lot was built, with both entrances

and exits from Sandusky Street and Central Avenue. A

covered rear entrance was constructed off the parking lot,

with steps leading downstairs to a hallway that provided ac-

cess to the lobby and various offices.

In order to celebrate properly its 90th anniversary,

to show off the new "Old Look" facility and to acquaint the

public with its new location and its expanded services,

Fidelity held a Grand Opening Week, June 13-17, 1977.

Ray Hinkle, retired long-time Association official, was

given the traditional ribbon cutting honor. Refreshments

were served and gifts presented to all visitors. House plants

were given with $50.00 deposits to savings accounts and ran-

dom drawings were held for $600.00 in gift certificates re-

deemable at area places of business. The Radio Station WD-

LR did live broadcasts from the facility on certain days.

After touring the new facility, one prominent citizen

remarked, "It is a very significant and handsome addition to

the downtown appearance of Delaware. I hope that it will

encourage others to follow the excellent example you have

Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 22)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 22)


[page 22]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 22 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

Other things happened in 1977. The former office

building at 46 North Sandusky Street was sold to Cedo Cor-

poration. The unused rear one-half of the branch office was

subleased to Buehler's; a program of surprise cash counts at

various teller terminals was instituted; the liability policy

covering officers was changed to a different company and a

non-discriminatory policy in making loans became effective.

In 1978 loans were made at 9% and 10%, with employ-

ees getting special consideration on their loan applications.

A limit of $15,000 was placed on home improvement loans.

Traveler's checks were issued at no charge to Senior Citi-

zens holding Golden Buckeye cards. A new salary schedule

for all 8 employees was adopted along with a provision that

called for automatic, semi-annual reviews of existing pay


Highlights of 1979 included the purchase October 9

of the adjoining building at 58 North Sandusky Street. For-

merly a Sears Store was located at this site owned by Mar-

guerite Burgess.

Interest on passbook savings accounts was set at

5.5%. Continuing a trend of the times, pay raises were

given to all staff members and officers. Outright authority

was given Association officers to make first mortgage loans

up to $45,000. Interest rates on loans continued to climb

upward, now being at 12.5%. It was decided to convert un-

developed space on the second floor into a room for use by

auditors and examiners. Donations were made to the Hayes

High School Band Uniform Fund and for the downtown Christ-

mas lighting project. With deregulations of savings and

loans in the offing, a whole new future was opened up for

Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 23)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 23)


[page 23]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 23 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]



In 1980 a revised sick leave plan was adopted. Un-

solicited outside offers for possible mergers, a common ma-

neuver of that day, were turned down. The usual donations

to youth groups were made plus one to the Soil Conservation

District. Pay raises were given to all employees. NOW

accounts and roll over mortgages were introduced. An offer

designed to relocate the branch office to a place inside the

Buehler Store was also turned down. Loans were made at

rates that fluctuated between 11% and 15%. Due to a rash

of bank robberies in Columbus it was decided to install a

camera in a strategic spot. Economic conditions influenced

much of 1981 activity. The trend was toward shorter term,

higher cost certificates of deposits and a greatly increased

average of dividends paid out. Such a business climate re-

quired not only caution but also constant reviews of the

Association's investment portfolio. Interest charged on

loans rose to as high as 18%. Second mortgages, up to 80%

of appraisal value, not to exceed $45,000 and with a 10-year

limit, were made available. The usual annual pay raises

for all employees were granted. However, the directors and

legal counsel, due to 1981's economic slowdown, decided

to take cuts in their fees. Despite the slowdown, Fidelity's

assets were up to over $27,000,000 as 1981 ended.

During 1982 a third teller terminal was installed at

the branch office. A great deal of discussion centered on

possible restructuring of assets. IRAs were introduced.

Interest on 30 month CDs was limited to 14%. Money Ma-

ker accounts and 91-day CDs were authorized. Inquiries

regarding possible mergers continued to surface. No inter-

est in these mergers was shown. Salaries were increased.

Considerable attention was given to proposed methods for

disposing of low-yielding loans. With the office building

now five years old contracts were awarded for painting and

other exterior work. The year 1983 was ushered in with on-

going discussions concerning possible consumer type lend-

ing; a more aggressive mortgage lending policy and possible

sale of certain low-yield mortgage loans. Changes were

made in advertising agencies and in internal audit compan-

ies. Thomas Ivory was employed as assistant treasurer

and Ed Madison was engaged to appraise for second mort-
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 24)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 24)


[page 24]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 24 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

gages and for lots. Twelve-month CDs with a $500.00 mini-

mum were introduced. Permission to make loans made possi-

ble by passage of State Issue I was authorized by the direc-

tors. Since he was moving from Ohio, Leslie Burkhart re-

signed his directorship after 23 years of service, including

8 years as Association vice president. Business conditions

were beginning to improve by the end of 1983.

Fidelity experienced a good year in 1984. Richard

Dawson was elected a director succeeding Leslie Burkhart.

A change was made in the insurance company managing the

retirement plan for Fidelity. Salaries for all employees and

officials were increased and a maternity leave policy was

formulated. In order to complete a change in data proces-

sing firms new conversion equipment had to be installed.

A. L. Everitt resigned from the board after being a member

for 39 years. He was president for 8 of those years, during

which time the branch office was established and the present

facility became a realty. Noteworthy, too, was the fact that

Fidelity's assets increased by over $30,000,000 during his

connection with the Association. Everitt passed away in

December 1984.

By 1985 interest rates were beginning to fall. The

business climate was much better. Restructuring of Associ-

ation assets continued to be a prime topic. Lloyd Baker took

A. L. Everitt's place on the board of directors. A sizeable

special industry-wide assessment was paid to the Federal

Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. Female employees

were given a 6% salary incrase. Martha Law was named

assistant treasurer after Thomas Ivory resigned from the post.

Fees paid to directors were increased and year-end bonuses

were distributed. By the year's end assets were all the way

up to $32,664,250.

While heading into the last lap (1986) of its first 100

years of serving the Delaware area things shaped up like this:

interest rates on loans dropped to 10% and below; requests

for refinancing soared; interest on CDs and various other

savings plans inched downward; selected employees were

given salary increases; and potential sites for expansion

were discussed but no action was taken.

When the fiscal year ended on June 30th, assets were

up to $36,523,620. A Centennial Committee was formed com-

posed of directors C. Neilson Griffith, James L. Kern, vice

president and Harry A. Humes, president, to plan Fidelity's
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 25)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 25)


[page 25]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 25 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

100th anniversary celebration. In approaching its 100th

birthday, January 18, 1987, Edward J. Planisek Jr., manage-

ing officer, announced that Fidelity's assets were up to a

record high of $40,000,000. He also announced that the

number of borrowers and of depositors were at all-time highs.

It was in this upbeat atmosphere that Fidelity's first century

came to an end.


In summation, Fidelity has survived wars, depres-

sions, slowdowns, recessions, regulations, panics, in-

flation and competition, thus attesting to its durability,

flexibility and credibility. The Association can take great

pride and satisfaction in the fact that it had helped thou-

sands of people purchase, build or remodel their homes.

Likewise thousands have entrusted their savings with

Fidelity and they have been rewarded with high interest

rates and guaranteed safety. In short, Fidelity has been

good to the people of the Delaware area and Delaware area

people have been good to Fidelity. Otherwise there would

be no Centennial Celebration. It has bucked the merger

trend and is still independent and Delaware's only home-

town savings and loan Association. And judging from past

performance Fidelity will be around for as long as man's

quest for shelter is alive.
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 26)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 26)


[page 26]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 26 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]


Since its founding 100 years ago, secretaries have

been regarded as top person in Fidelity's day by day opera-

tion, always doubling as manager and sometimes as treas-

urer. In recent years the title has become a combination of

secretary/treasurer/managing officer, without a brief, des-

ignated title. Their salaries down through the years were

generally in line with thoes in similar businesses. Such

benefits as car allowances, bonuses, insurance and retire-

ment programs were added over a long period of time.

In Fidelity's 100 year history only nine men served

in this managerial capacity. Longest tenures were those of

Frank S. Watkins (32 years) and Ray D. Hinkle (26 years).

Their combined years covered more than one-half of Fidel-

ity's entire existence. A considerable share of Fidelity's

success would have to be attributed to these capable and

devoted administrators: C. O. Little (1887-1892), W. E.

Moore (1892-1903), Frank S. Watkins (1903-1935), Ray

D. Hinkle (1935-1961), James Blackledge (1961-1963),

Reginald Moncur (1963-1964), Irwin Niemoeller (1964-1973)

Paul McAllister (1973-1975) and in 1975 Edward J. Planisek

was named secretary-treasurer and managing officer. He is

still serving in those capacities as Fidelity closes out its

100th year.


Under the charter and by-laws adopted in 1936, the

board of directors was charged with directing Association

business. The board, as constituted, consisted of seven

directors. They elected their own officers and formed them-

selves into operating committees. Regular monthly meetings

were mandated with provision for special meetings, if neces-

sary. Among board duties were these: review and act upon

loan applications; set interest rates for loans and for sav-
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 27)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 27)


[page 27]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 27 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]

ings accounts; evaluate monthly financial reports and hire

employees and set their salaries. In addition, for many

years, it was customary for a committee of directors to make

appraisals as part of the loan process. For this service

each appraiser was paid a small fee. However, in recent

years, the directors turned over this important duty to pro-

fessionals. When the Association was organized, the di-

rectors served without pay. Then as business increased,

they paid themselves small amounts for meetings attended,

a trend that has continued upward until nowadays they are

receiving an annual salary comparable to directors in like

businesses. A 1936 by-law states that the Association

"shall extend leniency and indulgence to borrowers in dis-

tress". Actually the officers and directors have been fol-

lowing that practice for 100 years and it has enhanced the

image of Fidelity by so doing.

Basically the director's role and duties during those

50 years of state supervision differ very little from those of

the past 50 years of federalization, except for the growing

complexities of doing business in our constantly changing

economy. Credit for much of the Association's success and

longevity would have to be attributed to these 53 outstand-

ing business and professional men who gave so liberally of

their time and talent over the past century while serving as

directors: Lloyd Baker, D. H. Battenfield, B. W. Brown,

Leslie Burkhart, Dr. H. P. Caldwell, H. L. Clark, W. J.

Cone, Joseph C. Cox, Robert Cox, Harry W. Crist, Rich-

ard Dawson, Charles W. Denison, A. L. Everitt, John R.

Florance, Max Frank, W. T. Gessner, Fred M. Gooding,

Dr. David C. Green, C. Neilson Griffith, J. H. Grove, Dr.

W. H. Hague, C. E. Hills, Ray D. Hinkle, George J. Hoff-

man, George K. Hoffman, Harry A. Humes, W. C. Jaynes,

James L. Kern, C. O. Little, A. Lybrand Jr., R. M. Martin,

Paul R. McAllister, H. J. McCullough, Will McElfresh,

Victor Milla, Martin Miller, W. E. Moore, Eugene P. Nash,

E. E. Neff, Irwin Niemoeller, W. S. Parks, F. J. R. Pfiffner,

Edward J. Planisek, J. H. Smith, W. A. Smith, Frank S.

Sprague, V. D. Stayman, J. D. Van Deman, Hosea Warren,

Frank S. Watkins, H. A. Welch, J. C. Wirthman and Bene-

dict Yehley.
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 28)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 28)


[page 28]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 28 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]


The founding president was B. W. Brown. Other

early presidents were Max Frank, C. E. Hills, J. D. Van

Deman, and D. W. Battenfield. Following them were

Eugene P. Nash (1928-34), Harry W. Crist (1934-45),

Charles W. Denison (1945-58), Will McElfresh (1958-69),

and A. L. Everitt (1969-77). Harry A. Humes succeeded

Everitt as only the 11th president in Fidelity's 100 year his-

tory. He is still serving in that capacity. Presidents have

always been elected by the board of directors from within

their own ranks. Early on, they were paid the same fee as

directors, plus an additional amount for performing presi-

dentials duties, generally on a per meeting attended basis.

This method of remuneration still prevails. As times and

circumstances permitted, presidential pay has been upgra-

ded to its present level. Fidelity has been fortunate to have

had such qualified and dedicated leadership during its first

100 years.


From its inception Fidelity's by-laws provided for a

legal adviser as part of the official family. The beginning

fee for providing this service was limited to $18.00 per quar-

ter. J. D. Van Deman was the first of Delaware's distin-

guished attorneys to serve Fidelity. Others who acted as

the Association's legal counsel included W. J. Cone, James

Lytle, C. H. McElroy, Edson Williams, Harry Crist, and

James Blair. In 1965 Edward Flahive was named legal coun-

sel and he still holds that position. Attorneys Van Deman

and Crist each served several years as both Fidelity presi-

dent and legal counsel, but without pay for the latter post.

Other Delaware attorneys, on occasion, were called upon to

represent Fidelity in specific legal matters. There is little

doubt but that the Association's legal counselors played an

important role in its 100 years of solving housing needs of

thousands of people.
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 29)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 29)


[page 29]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 29 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]


The name of Ray D. Hinkle stands out prominently in

Fidelity's history. He started a long and distinguished ca-

reer at Fidelity on June 1, 1927 as bookkeeper. Very soon

thereafter he was named cashier. When long-time secretary

and manager, Frank S. Watkins, resigned in January of 1935,

Hinkle was named to that position and he stayed on until re-

signing on May 1, 1961. In 1930 he had been elected as a

director and remained in that capacity for 34 years. During

1962-64 he served as vice president. Hinkle's career en-

compassed such difficult years as those of the Great Depres-

sion, the change from state to federal charter and World

War II with its trying times. When Hinkle became secretary

and manager in 1935 Fidelity's assets were recorded as

$778,003. When retiring from that position in 1961, the as-

sets were up to $2,184,300. His genuis for making safe

loans and for protecting depositor's funds is legendary.

Some of his passing recollections include his former

boss telling a demanding customer, "Yes, we do have a

board of directors, but I am boss." He recalled the time he

complained to a supplier via mail because his six-month old

order had not arrived - only to receive a terse three-word

note stating, "Sorry as hell". Also the trials and tribula-

tions of the Great Depression days when he made "house

calls" in an effort to collect past due accounts such as the

delinquent farmer who had promised to pay "When his wheat

was threshed".

After attending Ohio Wesleyan University for two

years, Questa Williams came to Fidelity July 1, 1927 as the

bookkeeper. In 1936 she was made cashier, a position she

held until her retirement October 1, 1966. She served under

five different secretary-managers for a total of 40 years, the

longest tenure of any Fidelity employee. Secretary Ray Hin-

kle, Questa's boss for many of those years, had this to say

about her, "Questa was an excellent employee who did her

job faithfully, year in and year out".
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 30)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 30)


[page 30]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 30 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]


When spread over a century, Fidelity's advertising

has had to have an impact on its growth and visibility.

Often large display ads were used to publicize anniversa-

ries, dedications, grand openings, annual reports, and

important events. Smaller ads, some done professionally,

were used to highlight their ever increasing services as well

as to urge people to be thrifty and save, preferably at Fidel-

ity, of course. Even classified ads and direct mailings

were found to be effective in making contacts. With the

advent of radio and still later, cable TV, these new dimen-

sions were put to use. Certain phrases and slogans, taken

from advertising copy, have become Fidelity trademarks,

such as: "Pin your future to thrift".

"Not how big, but how strong".

"Safety and service since 1887".

"We're everything friends are for".

"Always secured, now insured".

In the 1950s a great deal of emphasis was given this

phrase, "A local institution, conducted by local people, for

the benefit of local people". The combination of media adver-

tising and good will generated by satisfied customers has

made and kept Fidelity a household name for these many

Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 31)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 31)


[page 31]

[corresponds to unlabeled page 31 of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]


Fidelity has always been community minded. Their

very first donations were made to the Delaware YMCA, long

since defunct, and to the equally old Commercial Club, a

service organization engrossed in beautifying the downtown

area. There has been always a special interest in support-

ing youth movements such as Junior Achievement, Dollars

for Scholars, Boy Scouts of America, Junior Fair and Hayes

High School band. Sports-wise, Fidelity has sponsored

softball and bowling teams.

Special need causes brought on by both World Wars

were assisted monetarially. Regular support has been

given to the Red Cross and the United Way and its predessors.

Chamber of Commerce membership was always a must as

was support of their projects. A sizeable donation once

was made to help keep K & W Rubber Company in Delaware.

Such diverse things ranging from the Soil Conservation Dis-

trict all the way to Ohio Wesleyan University's Music Ren-

aissance Project received Fidelity financial assistance.

Perhaps one of Fidelity's advertising slogans says it best,

"A local institution conducted by local people for the

benefit of local people."
Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 32)


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years (p. 32)


[page 32]

[corresponds to back cover of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan 100 Years]






Dublin Core


Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years


Centennial Celebrations--Ohio--Delaware--1887-1987
Delaware--Delaware County--Ohio


This book recounts the history of the first 100 years of Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association (1887-1987) in Delaware, Ohio.


Author Ray Buckingham; Fidelity Savings and Loan Association














Author Ray Buckingham; Fidelity Savings and Loan Association, “Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association 100 Years,” Delaware County Memory, accessed May 23, 2024,

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