By David Fleet
Goodrich-On Aug. 15, the Chase Bank branch, 7301 State Road is being consolidated and closing. Chase will continue to operate branches in nearby Grand Blanc, 8238 S. Saginaw St., Ortonville, 761 Ortonville Road and Davison, 1121 S. State Road, Davison.
“Like any good retailer, we constantly evaluate our branch network to ensure we’re in the right locations as our customers’ needs change,” said Brian Hanover, Chase spokesperson who made the announcement last week.
“Sometimes we consolidate a branch when another is nearby or traffic is low. This allows us to provide a strong, successful branch network that can serve our community for the long-term.”
Employees will be placed in other openings in the area, he said.
“Banking is no longer a one-sized fits all approach,” he said. “Our customers are rapidly adopting new technologies and innovations, such as mobile, online, and in-branch technologies that allow them to bank how, where and when they want for everyday banking activities. Chase has more than 50 million active digital users, the most visited online banking portal in chase.com, and a top-ranked banking app in Chase Mobile.”
Banks in the village have come and gone over the past 180 years.
At the corner of Man and Clarence streets on December 1836 the first building in Goodrich was built—it was a home, store and the first bank.
The Wildcat bank had its own currency too, and according to Michigan history stayed open until 1838. The village had no bank again until Oct. 1, 1908 when a co-partnership agreement was completed—the capital was $5,000. The bank stayed open until the bank holiday of 1933 closed the doors of all banks in the United States. Depositors received a percentage of their bank balances.
Pete Morey, now 74 was just 12 years-old when the bank returned to the village 24 years later.
“We got out of school for an hour to go up town,” said Morey, a long time resident and former village council member. “I was just in the seventh grade and old enough to walk downtown to watch the big grand opening of the bank. My school teacher was Beryl Fox who made the very first deposit in the new bank.”
Fox was a mathematics teacher and organized a group to bring the bank to the village. Community members pledge $1,010,000 in deposits and May 24, 1957 the State Banking Commission in Lansing approved the petition for the village bank.
“There was a ribbon cutting, the high school band played and people made speeches,” he said.
Morey said there had been groups working since the 1940s to get the bank open.
“Before the bank opened in 57, as a kid, I’d walk down Hegel Road past the old vacant bank building and look inside and see the door to the safe open,” he said. “Today it’s Cranberries Cafe. I had one of the first savings accounts in the bank in 1957 and in 1965 when I was married rented a safety deposit box.”
Morey said he’ll miss his bank.
“A lot of banks can survive in a small community,” he said. “But, it’s bottom line dollar that matters. I’m old fashion, if I want cash I go inside a bank and cash a check—I see people I know in there, I visit with people and meet others there too. Many area businesses go to a local bank including the village and township governments use our local bank.”
In 1980 the Hegel Road Genesee Bank, moved from Hegel Road out to 7301 S. State Road. The bank later became Chase Bank