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THE REVIEW TIMES. Fostoria Ohio, Monday July 3, 1967

Was Dean Of Ohio Bankers

Andrew Emerine, 94, Claimed Early Today
                                                                         BY HARRY STONEBERGER

        Andrew Emerine, 94, dean of Ohio bankers and former chairman of the board of the Tri-County National Bank and of the Seneca Radio Corporation, died at 8 a. m. today, July 3, 1967 at the Villa Maria Guest House at Green Springs, where he had been a guest for more than a year.

        His long career in banking started in 1891 when he was employed as a collector for the First National Bank of Fostoria which had been organized by his father, Andrew Emerine, Sr., in 1882. His salary was $30 a month and his duties included collecting sight drafts from merchants along Main St., few of whom had checking accounts.
        His radio career started in 1949 when he purchased the FM station operated by Lawrence Harry. Under his guidance the station became WFOB-AM and FM, and went on the air in December 1952 at its present location on Kill Deer Hill, south of Fostoria on U.S. Route 23.
        The bank had been organized by his father, Andrew Emerine Sr., with an authorized capital of $50,000 of which $25,000 was paid in. His father, the past president, remained inactive charge of the bank for 41 years. Upon his retirement in 1923, his son became the president and remained in this post until 1952, when he became chairman of the board and his son-in-law, Eldren Layton, who joined the bank in 1937, became president.
        The bank, originally located at 110 N. Main St., moved into the Emerine Building at Center and Main Sts., the present location of the S. S. Kresge Store where it remained until 1933 when it moved into the present quarters, which had been occupied by the old Union National Bank.
        The bank during the first few years did a very modest business and all correspondence and accounting was done by pen and ink. It weathered the money panic of 1893 and assisted many of the newer business in Fostoria in keeping with banking practices at the time.
        In 1887, natural gas was found in the Fostoria area and this attracted glass manufacturing plants into the village. At one time seven glass plants were located here. These included the world-famous Fostoria Glass which later moved to West Virginia when the gas supply was exhausted.
        The promotion of the younger Emerine to the vice presidency brought much new business to the bank. He had been managing several farms while serving in a lesser capacity at the bank.
        He was elected bank president in 1923 and a year later his father died at the age of 94.
        He had served his apprenticeship as president of the First National Bank of North Baltimore from 1917 to 1920. He also was president of the Croghan National Bank and Savings Co., at Fremont from January 1933 to January 1934.
        He won national recognition as a collector of mechanical bands and was the subject of articles in two national magazines. The first article appeared in the old Liberty Magazine. A later article in the Saturday Evening Post was titled "The Sorcerer of Fostoria."
        Mechanical banks manufactured around the turn of the century and were valued according to the scarcity. Some of his banks were valued in excess of $1,000. His collection was rated as one of the five most valuable in the world and was listed in the American Automobile Association's guide as an attraction in Fostoria.
        The banks were housed in a museum he established on the mezzanine floor of the First National Bank.
        Another feature of his museum was a fine collection of antique firearms, including flintlocks, derringers, pepper-boxes, wheel-locks, match-locks, Colts, pistols of from one to five barrels, cane guns and whale guns. The collection was assembled over a period of more than 35 years.
        The bank collection was sold some time ago to a representative of the Mosler Safe Co., manufacturers of bank vaults and heavy-type safes.
        During his long career in banking the First National Bank established branch banks in Tiffin, Bradner, Risingsun, Bloomdale and one on N. County Line St.
        Operating in three counties the bank's name was changed to the Tri-County National Bank.
        He was interested in Fremont's history and had 30 replicas made of Old Betsy, a muzzle-loading cannon used by Major Croghan in defense of the area against the British and Indians. One was presented to the Birehard Library and another to the Hayes Memorial.
        He often said his most exciting experience in the banking business was when his bank was robbed by the notorious bank bandits and outlaws, John Dillinger and Homer Van Meter in 1934.
        The bandits entered the bank with topcoats covering sub machine guns. They announced their intentions and ordered the bank personnel to line up in front of the bank counters. Mr. Emerine was a little slow in lining up and Dillinger grabbed him and forced him into the line. Mr. Emerine's shirt was torn by the force.
        The bandits started to leave by the Main St., door with bank personnel protecting them from a crowd that had assembled. They returned to the bank lobby and left through the W. Tiffin St., door of the drug store.
        Police Chief Frank P. Culp was seriously wounded by the bandits when he entered the bank lobby to shoot it out with them.
        The bandits stole $13,990 in the robbery. The money was not recovered but the insurance company paid the bank's loss within a week.
        The babdits fired several shots in the street and Dillinger rested his machine gun on Mr. Emerine's shoulder while firing.
        The bank was one of the few that defied Roosevelt's Bank Holiday in 1933.
        Knowing his bank was sound and had plenty of cash on hand, Mr. Emerine kept it open and advised all depositors that the bank was ready to transact any and all banking business. He said many depositors withdrew their money and then placed it in a safety deposit box in the same bank.
        During his ling banking career he acted as financial advisor to thousands of Fostoria area citizens and his advise helped many small businessmen to weather the money panic in 1907, the hectic period of 1920-29 and the depression of 1933.
        Many Fostoria businesses of today got their start through conservative loans and advice made by Mr. Emerine and his advice extended to other bankers in the area. His interest in the bank was sold, June 1966 to Fostoria Corp.
        At the 1966 annual meeting of Group 3 of the Ohio Bankers Association he was honored for his "75 years of devoted service to banking."
        He was civic-minded and participated in various city activities including fund drives and was a contributor of all fund drives. His name usually was first on subscription lists and his activities included the Boy's Village at Smithville.
        He was a member of the United Commercial Travelers and served on its board for many years. He was also a member of the Elks Club, Demar's Hunting and Fishing Club at Fremont and served as its president, the Catawba Cliff Club, the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Fostoria Country Club.
        He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
        He was born in Fostoria Dec. 17, 1873, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Emerine. His father was an apprenticed harness maker and broker before he and a few associates organized the First National Bank of Fostoria.
        Mr. Emerine was married twice. His first wife was Miss Bessie Lepard. Following her death, he was married to Miss Lucy Dewey of Clyde. His second wife died in August 1964.
        In 1962, in an interview taped by Lyman Carr. Mr Emerine described his two marriages as "the most pleasant any man ever experienced."
        He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Jane Emerine Layton, and two granddaughters, Nancy Layton, Evanston, Ill., and Mrs. Susan Layton Brown, Battle Creek, Mich.
        Services will be Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the Mann Funeral Home with the Rev. F. Richard Sinclair officiating. Burial will be in Fountain Cemetery.
        Friends may call at the funeral home from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Cancer or Heart Funds or to the Fostoria Woman's Club.
        Elks services will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home.


      

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