echanics Bank began operation in Ludlow on June 20,
1906. In that same month, the bank purchased the Odd Fellows Hall on
Elm Street from Amos Teed and Dr. R.H. Crisler for $15,000.00. The bank
used a room on the first floor of this building for offices. The first
cashier of the institution was T.W. Balsly. Dr. R.H. Crisler made the
first deposit in the bank and Mrs. E.L. Tarvin drew the first check.
By noon on the opening day, the citizens of Ludlow had made deposits
of over $20,000.00.
The Farmers and Mechanics Bank was put into a state of crisis in 1926.
Thomas Balsly, cashier of the institution since its inception, admitted
that he had embezzled large sums of money (a later audit indicated the
loss of $78,000.00). On April 10, 1926, bank officials closed the doors
of the institution fearing the lack of sufficient funds. Before Balsly
could be charged with his crime, he committed suicide in the basement
of the bank building on April 12, 1926.
Officials of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank moved immediately to seize
Balsly's property. He owned a 935-acre farm in Boone County and a home
in Ludlow. The seized property totaled $113,249.00 - enough to cover
Initially, officials of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank believed they
would have to merge with another institution to cover their debts. Arrangements
were made with the First National Bank of Ludlow for such a merger.
The acquisition of funds from the Balsly estate, however, meant the
merger did not have to proceed. The Farmers and Mechanics Bank re-opened
on May 16, 1926. Robert H. Berger was name the new cashier of the institution.
New directors were also named at this time, including: Frank L. Michaels
of Covington, William Dooley of Ludlow and Dr. R.H. Crisler of Boone
The incorporators were listed as: Amos Teed, Fred P. Bert, Dr. R.H.
Crisler, H.W. Robinson, Edward C. Farrell, Frank L. Michaels, George
Masser and A.E. Stricklett.
On July 4, 1926, an announcement was made that the Ludlow Savings Bank
would merge with the Farmers and Mechanics Bank. The new bank was named
the Bank of Ludlow. The offices of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank in
the Odd Fellows Hall became the home of the new institution. The first
directors of the bank were: E.H. Daugherty, Charles Woolford, H.G. Chrissinger,
W.H. Dooley, Frank L. Michaels, Fred P. Bert, George Masser, Robert
H. Berger, H.W. Robinson, Edward C. Farrell, Joseph W. Wyatt, Amos Teed,
E.A. Stricklett and R.H. Chrissler.
The new Bank of Ludlow did not survive the Great Depression. In January
1931, bank officials closed the institution. In February of the same
year, state bank examiners ordered that the assets of the institution
be liquidated. The bank did not have the funds to pay all creditors.
Efforts began to recall all outstanding loans.
Kentucky Post, June 1, 1906, p. 3, June 6, 1906, p. 5, June 19, 1906,
p. 2, and June 20, 1906, p. 5, July 17, 1922, p. 1, April 11, 1926,
p. 1, April 12, 1926, p. 1, April 13, 1926, p. 1,May 8, 1926, p. 1,
May 8, 1926, p. 1, May 14, 1926, p.1, July 10, 1926, p. 1, and June
9, 1931, p. 1; Kentucky; April 20, 1932, p. 1; Times-Star, August 11,
1931, p. 1