The following is an abbreviated version of the bank history as first written by Richard Clements on November 18, 1983.
The American Exchange Bank was incorporated July 13, 1889 and bank business began on September 9, 1889. The incorporators were F. E. Stevens, E. A. Stopher, W. S. Waters and C. D. Stevens. The bank first used an existing building near the corner of the intersecting county roads in Elmwood. Around 1892 the bank moved into an adjacent building on the corner of the intersecting county roads. This new building was 60 ft by 28 ft by 24 ft and had brick walls 14 inches thick. The vault in the building was 14 ft by 14 ft by 12 ft. The building cost was $4,911.89.
The Aldrich family became involved with the bank on April 1, 1909. On that date John P. Cobb purchased 60% of the bank stock and Charles S. Aldrich purchased 20%. These two became president and vice-president and received a monthly salary of $75. Bess Streeter Aldrich was a minor shareholder as of April 1911 but became an active part of the bank in 1925 when her husband, Charles, died suddenly. She continued as a director of the bank until 1938.
The Clements family became involved with the bank on March 9, 1910 when Byron I. Clements purchased 15% of the bank stock. Guy L. Clements began working as Assistant Cashier at the bank at this time at the age of 22. Guy became president of the bank in 1938. He remained president until his death in 1970. His son, Dwight, was president of the bank from 1970 until 1982. At that time, one of Dwight's sons, Richard, became president of the bank. Another son of Dwight's, Robert, is a vice president of the bank. The building was donated by the bank for use as the Aldrich Center.
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