Yesterday's article addressed how the State Bank of Fowlerville, operated by John C. Ellsworth, became the Community State Bank in 1942. Shortly after setting this information up, I came across an obituary for Mr. Ellsworth, born in 1847. It follows, as published in The State Journal ~~
Fowlerville, Sept. 22~~John C. Ellsworth, president of the Fowlerville State Bank since its organization in 1904 and who had been engaged in the bank business here for the past 66 years, died early Friday morning. He had been in ill health for several years.
Born in West Berkshire, Vt., August 24, 1847, he moved with his parents to Greenville when a small child. He had often recalled playing with Indian children during his boyhood at Greenville. For a short time during his youth, he took up railroading and fired the first engine, the 'Buena Vista,' from Saginaw to Flint.
He obtained his business training in the banking office of his brother-in-law, Alex McPherson of Howell, where he served in various capacities from 1865 to 1872. In 1872, he and Alex McPherson opened the Rockford Exchange bank at Rockford. He sold out his interest in this bank in 1873 to Hyde and Company, and formed a partnership with Milo L. Gay and opened the Fowlerville Exchange bank. Following the death of Mr. Gay in 1884, he purchased his partner's interest and continued the business as the Fowlerville Exchange bank until 1904 when he organized the Fowlerville State bank of which he became president and continued in this capacity until his death.
Survived Panics~~The bank passed through the several panics of the past three score years and more. It was one of the first banks to reopen following the state banking holiday.
Mr. Ellsworth, for several years, was director of the Fowlerville Cornet band and, in later years, enjoyed a pipe organ which he had installed in his residence.
He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Julia Griffin of Fowlerville and Mrs. Carolyn Edwards of Lansing, and two sons, Alex Ellsworth of Pontiac and Hanson Ellsworth of Mississippi.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed.
I added the following picture of the large house on North Grand Avenue, just south of the Family Impact Center. Although it is now owned by someone different, in the early 1900s, this house was known as Banker Ellsworth's house (and is still sometimes referred to that way).