Remembering Our Founder

dan-will-portraitVinton County National Bank founder Daniel Will is remembered for building the bank and presiding over the institution for more than one-third of the bank’s history. He was a colorful character and a self-made man who spent a lifetime pursuing his own version of the American Dream.

Born in Hocking County, Ohio in 1832, Daniel Will came from a family of ten children. He did not come from a wealthy background. Instead, he is said to have started life with no capital, but an abundance of energy and industry. His formal education was confined to the “Three R’s” which allowed him to educate himself through observation and reading. He soon proved himself to be skilled in the areas of business and finance, expertise that proved useful in his early career owning general stores in Zaleski and McArthur.

daniel-will-2In 1850, he assisted in driving stock to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for an $11 monthly salary. He returned home just as he went to Pennsylvania – on foot – and taught a term of school that fall. By spring 1851, Daniel was employed as a clerk in his uncle Joseph K. Will’s store in McArthur. He remained with his uncle for three years, earning an annual salary of $125. He then entered a partnership with his uncle, remaining in this position until 1858. At that time, he withdrew from the partnership with his uncle and opened a store in the neighboring town of Zaleski. He soon took on another partner, his father Jacob G. Will.

Daniel eventually opened a general store in McArthur, operating not on credit like his competitors but on a cash system that allowed him to buy at large discounts and then sell lower than the general market price. Before long, he was selling more merchandise than the other three stores in town combined.

His brothers Jacob and Aaron began to clerk for him and became his partners in 1865. Two years later, he established the bank of Will, Brown and Company. When this bank consolidated with Vinton County Bank on September 1, 1868, Daniel was chosen to lead the new Vinton County Bank as president.

Daniel Will was a banker for 57 years, making it difficult to separate his life story from the story of the bank. He never married, devoting himself instead to business and community. He served the bank until his death in 1924 when he died at the bank at the age of 92.

Upon his death, he was memorialized by local newspapers including The McArthur Democrat Enquirer which remembered him as “the oldest and best known banker in the state, if not in the United States.”

Daniel is said to have had many interests outside of banking. He was the owner of the Will Hotel and of 1,600 acres of land in Vinton County as well as other real estate in McArthur. He was not a politician but, by all accounts, labored for the advancement and general welfare of his community.

Throughout his distinguished career, Daniel established a reputation for being steady and conservative in every way. Vinton County Historian Lew Ogan wrote, “Daniel Will informed my father once upon a time that he felt he was doing a favor to his friends and fellow citizens when he established a bank for their convenience so they could conserve their life earnings for a profit. This he did as his bank was known far and wide, a reputation, if you please, as a safe institution. When the hard times came in 1893 and 1894, Mr. Will was prepared to meet the situation.”

Daniel Will started life with few resources other than his own wits and a strong work ethic. He proved that hard work and determination could take a young man places in nineteenth century America and he set out to use his businesses to help his neighbors achieve their own dreams. Daniel Will today is remembered mostly by a framed portrait in our first bank in McArthur but he set into motion a business and a small-town banking mentality that can still be felt today.

VCNB Celebrates 150 Years

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VCNB began life in McArthur, Ohio as Vinton County National Bank. We have been in the same location for 150 years, except for a few months when we moved out to construct a new building in 1925. Today, the VCNB Financial Family has grown to be far larger than our founder Daniel Will probably ever imagined possible.

In 1867, a bank was founded to serve the citizens of Vinton County, providing a safe place to keep deposits and a reliable source for borrowing money. Today that bank is preparing to celebrate a milestone anniversary. Vinton County National Bank is 150 years old!

There aren’t a lot of businesses in this nation that can boast such a long and storied history. We have survived twenty-eight Presidents, recessions and depressions, war and peace. We were here for the construction of the Statue of Liberty, the rise of the automobile and the fall of the Berlin Wall. We are known for being early adopters of technology from the Xerox copier and the earliest computers to the most advanced technology the 21st century offers the world of banking.

Through it all we have worked to be good neighbors, to be a responsible corporate citizen and to always remember where we came from. This year, we’re also going to have some fun while we celebrate our 150th anniversary all year long!

While we haven’t been in some of our communities for 150 years, we want all of our offices to join in the fun by having an anniversary event in 2017. We also will be offering special promotions throughout the year.

Our biggest event though will be at our first office in McArthur. We will partner with the Vinton County Athletic Boosters to help with their 4th of July Celebration. We are still working on the details but we will be bringing a great entry to the parade, will host an open house at the bank, will sponsor entertainment for the festival and host a fun day with the Ohio Village Muffins. If you haven’t heard of the Muffins, check them out here.

They play baseball with mid-nineteenth century rules, uniforms and equipment. We’ll have them here to play baseball and softball games against our bankers and other community members. That day will feature some other nineteenth century fun including old fashioned games for the kids, food, music and more.

To say that we are excited would be an understatement. We are elated for the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary.

Incidentally, our bank building in McArthur was constructed in 1925 and dedicated with an open house on Saturday, July 4, 1925. Our open house to commemorate the 150th will be held on Saturday, July 1, 2017. We promise we didn’t plan it that way but we do think it’s a neat coincidence!

We will have a lot more details about our celebration in McArthur to release in the coming weeks and months. The celebration will begin with the parade on Friday, June 30 and will continue throughout the weekend. We hope you will mark your calendar and come for all the festivities.

We also are working on the events all our other offices are hosting or participating in this year. We will post details here and on Facebook as information becomes available. We also have a page on our website where you can learn about upcoming events, current specials and the bank. Be sure to bookmark the page and check back for new information!

You can also subscribe to this blog so that our stories are delivered straight to your inbox or follow us on Facebook where we have contests, vintage photos and other great content. Have an old photo or story about VCNB you would like to share? Tell us about it in the comments section!

Small Business Spotlight: Pataskala Meats

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Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month! 

On a cold and blustery December day, the doors of  Pataskala Meats opened up for a visit from VCNB and a chance to be featured in our Small Business Spotlight series.  As one of the only butcher shops in the area to be built from the ground up in the last thirty years, Pataskala Meats showed itself to be a happening place full of unique eats at great prices.

Pataskala Meats is the project of Kirk Hall, who has spent much of the last twenty years working on his family farm and raising sheep.  With the dream of creating his own butcher shop and market, Kirk spent years looking for existing buildings to renovate to make this idea come to life.  But time and time again, he kept coming back to a lot sitting along Broad Street in Pataskala.  In 2011, Kirk pulled the trigger and purchased the oft-visited lot and went to work.  Instead of renovating a building, he’d be building from scratch.  And after ninety truck-loads of clay were brought in to raise and level the ground and a dilapidated building was demolished, Kirk began work on his shop.  After four years of hard labor, enormous expenses on pavement, cooling racks, and processing equipment, Kirk was ready to open the doors of Pataskala Meats in spring 2016.

Pataskala Meats is a USDA licensed butcher shop first and foremost, working mostly with cows, pigs, sheep, and goat.  With two hanging coolers in the back, Kirk and his crew are able to immediately begin the cooling process and continuously move the meat along for further processing.  With a USDA inspector on hand on a regular basis, the process and the meat itself is inspected and stamped for approval for sale to the general public.  Pataskala Meats also takes orders from private customers and farmers for their own use and consumption as freezer meat.

After the cooling and hanging process, the meat is cut and divided for packaging.  Kirk’s smoked meat is so popular the smoker is nearly pushed to the limit by constant use.  “We’ve found it’s too small really – it’s constantly running!” he says.  Bacon is marinated for five days before being put through the smoker, the ham is injected with a secret mixture before running through, and smoked pork chops are one of Kirk’s personal favorites.  Pulled pork and other meats are smoked by request.

Photos of Kirk’s family farm line the market walls in the front of the building.  The fresh cut steaks, chops, specially blended sausages, and house made jerky make headlines, but there’s more happening here.  With the best prices around on deli meats and specials (seriously –smoked ham was going for $.99/lb at the time of our visit!), house made potato salad and sides, and an incredible variety of cheeses, spices, and condiments, the market clearly has something to offer everyone.  Huge coolers hold everything from specialty items and frozen foods to sweet tea and Monster energy drinks.  Aisles of shelves are lined with sweet treats and salty snacks, including some packaged in bulk.  Pataskala Meats was just awarded with a liquor license as well, and will soon have a selection of wine available.

Whether you are grilling, picnicking or tailgating, you can find all your fixings at Pataskala Meats!

Perhaps the market’s most unique offering is that of a cooler dedicated to your furry friends.  Raw pet food is ground, packaged, and sold either in bulk or in one pound tubes for $.75/lb, and various sizes of smoked bones can be purchased for your pets.  These bones can be as large – or as small – as you request, and can be cut to size if you prefer.

We thank Kirk and his staff for giving us a glimpse into what they have going on during a bitterly cold day, and we look forward to seeing Pataskala Meats grow as they continue settling into their location at 12397 Broad Street. Follow them on Facebook or call  740. 927.3006.

 

Mobile Deposit Is Now Free!

Mobile Deposit is now FREE! Yes, you read that correctly! You spoke and we listened. Mobile Deposit is now available free of charge to customers who use our mobile app.

This is just one way we’re saying thanks this holiday season to all our loyal customers who enjoy using this convenient product.

If you haven’t tried mobile deposit yet, you really should check it out. This feature uses your phone’s built in camera to take pictures of your check. It submits the images electronically to make a deposit to the checking or savings account of your choice.

Here are the directions for use:

  1. Log in to the VCNB Mobile Application on your phone.
  2. Select Deposits
  3. Select New Deposit.
  4. Choose the account to deposit.
  5. Enter the amount of the check.
  6. Endorse the check with signature and write “For Mobile Deposit Only.”
  7. Capture pictures of the front and back of the endorsed check.
  8. Confirm deposit details and click Yes to complete.

That’s it! The process takes just a few minutes and saves you a trip to the bank. Best of all, now it’s free!

 

 

 

 

Make The Holidays Easier With VCNB

Tis the season for holiday giving and that means you’ll probably be doing a lot of spending. VCNB has a product called Popmoney® personal payment service that is perfect for the holidays and today we’re talking about three times it might come in handy for you!

This service allows you to send money to another person electronically. All you need is the mobile phone number or email address to send the funds and it’s easy for them to have it deposited into the bank account of their choice. Each transaction costs just .50 cents, making it an affordable, easy and relatively quick way to get money to another person. Popmoney can be used from our mobile app, VCNB Mobile or through Online Bill Pay so you can literally send funds at any time.

Shared Gift Giving – In a lot of workplaces, co-workers combine their resources to buy their boss a nicer gift. If you’re like a lot of Americans, you may not carry a lot of cash or your checkbook to work. Pay your share by sending your contribution electronically to the person collecting the funds.

Festive Meal With Friends – Your group is going out for dinner to celebrate but the restaurant requires a party of your size pay on one check. Don’t make your friend who’s footing the bill wait for your share! Just send them the funds via Popmoney, right there from the dinner table!

Last Minute Gift  – Forgot to buy a gift for someone on your list? No sweat! You can use Popmoney to send them cash, along with a holiday greeting!

Remember, you can also use Popmoney to request funds! Say you’re in charge of buying mom and dad’s gift from you and your siblings. Let your brothers and sisters know how much they owe by sending a request via Popmoney. They can respond to that request directly, and send the money right back to you. No muss, no fuss and no excuse for your baby brother not to pay his share!

How might you use Popmoney this holiday season? Tell us in the comments section below!

Santa Claus Is Coming To VCNB!

Santa illustration.jpgSanta Claus will be coming to town for visits at several VCNB offices this December. Here’s the scoop on where and when to find him! Bring your own cameras to get pictures of the jolly old elf with your kids and grown-up kids!

December 9
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, E. Main St. in Lancaster
Visit with Santa and tell him your fondest Christmas wish!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center , Bremen
Meet Santa and come prepared to share your Christmas wish list!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Canal Banking Center, Canal Winchester
Enjoy a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

December 17
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ross County Banking Center, Western Avenue in Chillicothe
Visit with Santa while you enjoy cookies and punch. There will also be a drawing for a jumbo prize. Don’t miss out!

December 17
10 a.m. to Noon
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, Pataskala
Have fun with a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

There you have it! The magic of Santa will help him travel to several of our banks, spreading joy and providing lots of photo ops for the good little boys and girls! Come see us and be sure to bring your camera!

Small Business Spotlight: Ravenwood Castle

Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard. Today we’re visiting Ravenwood Castle in Vinton County. 

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The Great Hall of Ravenwood Castle is a popular destination for weddings, gaming conferences, romantic dinners and more!

If you want to get away from your daily life, Ravenwood Castle offers a unique getaway to guests who seek solace and beauty close to home. Ravenwood is one of Ohio’s most talked about lodging places and is just a few miles outside of McArthur.

The design of Ravenwood was inspired by English castles of the twelfth century but only opened for business in 1995. Its location in the Hocking Hills region provides a beautiful wooded setting and sense of isolation that is craved by many who seek relaxation. Yet it’s close enough to other Hocking Hills attractions including state parks, shopping and dining to be convenient for those who wish to strike out for some adventure.

Owners Jim and Pam Reed purchased Ravenwood in 2012 after visiting many times since the mid- nineties. Jim’s twenty years of business experience are put to work managing operations while Pam’s knack for event planning and guest relations have brought new life to the facility.

“This is a great place to get away and to relax. The castle is all about putting the technology down and talking to each other. There’s no WIFI here and there are no tvs in most of the rooms. My kids actually play together and have a great time when we’re here and we hear often that guests like that they can relax and be themselves here. You don’t have to be dressed up. We just want you to feel at home,” she said.

Guests can choose from several lodging options including a Castle suite, a cottage in a medieval village or cabin in Huntsman’s Hollow. All are well appointed and designed with the privacy and comfort of the guest in mind. Guests are treated to breakfast in the Castle’s Great Hall every morning.

Pam noted that the public can enjoy a buffet dinner by reservation most Friday and Saturday nights. In addition, Raven’s Roost Pub provides great atmosphere with a menu of pub fare and selection of hand crafted beers, wines and mixed drinks. It is open most Friday and Saturday nights.

She also discussed the success Ravenwood has enjoyed with a variety of events. She said Murder Mystery Weekends are scripted specifically for Ravenwood and are held, not just for an evening, but for an entire weekend. The experience begins with an email prior to arrival and clues left in the rooms when guests check-in.  Activities take place throughout the weekend until the identity of the murderer is learned on Sunday. “It’s written exclusively for us. You can’t get this experience anywhere else and I think that’s why we have so many repeat guests. People love it so much they come back time after time,” Pam said.

Ravenwood also hosts events throughout the year including beer and wine tastings, a Tudor Christmas and a celebration of Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday. In recent years they have hosted gaming events including a summer gaming convention called Con in the Castle. This event features three days and two nights of gaming activities related to role playing and board games.

Their Hoop and Stick Con is a winter weekend of gaming fun and fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. This year, Ravenwood is on track to donate $10,000 to this charity which benefits Children’s Hospital. Pam said that she and her husband have been supporters of Children’s Hospital since their newborn child required some care at Children’s several years ago. “They were so wonderful, especially for first time parents. We’ve just always wanted to give back and realized that we could use this place to pay it forward,” she said.

Those planning weddings should note that Ravenwood also offers a number of wedding packages that range from a wedding of fifty inside the castle to a 150 person outdoor wedding.

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Pam added that they see many repeat guests and that the staff works hard to make every guest want to come back. “Our goal always is to make sure our guests have the best experience they can.  And we always ask ourselves how what we are doing will impact our guests. We have an amazing staff and wonderful innkeepers. They work like a team and it’s truly amazing how much they get done,” Pam said.

The Reeds are continually making improvements at Ravenwood and she indicated their work is not done. “We’ve been working to improve the property. Refurbishing the rooms has been an ongoing process and we plan to continue working on projects and investing in the property,” she noted. “This has been such an experience, truly a leap of faith, but it has been so rewarding to see it pay off.”

Ravenwood Castle operates every day of the year except for Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The public is welcome to visit the public areas of the Castle during the day. Ravenwood is located just off St. Rt. 93 at 65666 Bethel Rd., New Plymouth. Call 740.596.2606, click here to visit their website, or here to follow them on Facebook.

 

 

 

VCNB Debit Cards: Fraud, Frozen Cards And How To Prevent This From Happening To You

Our customers are mobile. They travel around the neighborhood, the nation and the globe. As they go about their day, working, running errands and having fun, we find that our customers are relying on their debit and credit cards as a primary form of payment and we love that! We are glad when our customers are so comfortable with VCNB that they want to use our cards.

Yet we want to remind customers that technology is not flawless and that on occasion, paying with your card isn’t possible. In fact, there are a few things we hope you will remember.

Fraud is rampant in our society today. That’s why we have 24-hour fraud protection for our customers. When our Fraud Department sees suspicious activity, they will take steps to protect you. That means the suspicious charge could be declined. It means our Fraud Department will attempt to call you to confirm the purchase and that means they will turn off your card if they cannot reach you. We understand this can be an inconvenience but most customers would prefer to be inconvenienced for a few minutes rather than have a stranger stealing their money.

Sometimes whatever caused the red flag is indeed fraudulent activity. Sometimes it’s really the customer, just spending outside their regular pattern or with a retailer that is known for higher than normal rates of fraud.

For example, if you buy gasoline in Lancaster, Ohio and ten minutes later a charge in California shows up on your card, there will be suspicion of fraud.

When there is a suspicious charge we will call whatever number you have on file with the bank. If you’re out shopping and the only number we have is your landline, you have no way of knowing there’s an issue until your card is declined. When you get home you’ll find a message that provides a case number and requests a return call for something we could have cleared up while you were at the register.

That’s why we ask our customers to provide their mobile phone number. This is an easy way you can do your part in keeping your accounts safe while minimizing the inconvenience.

We also cannot stress enough the importance of carrying a second form of payment. We’ve known customers to travel hundreds of miles from home with nothing in their wallet but a single piece of plastic. If catastrophe strikes and your card is lost, stolen or shut off because it was victim to fraud, you may find yourself in dire circumstances. Always carry a second form of payment – a little cash or another card will be a lifesaver if you have issues with your favorite card.

Now through the end of 2016 we are offering VCNB prepaid gift cards with no purchase fees. Accepted anywhere that Mastercard® can be used, these gift cards are a terrific second form of payment.

Also remember that if your card is declined, repeatedly swiping your debit card will not make it work and may even cause your card to be turned off. Instead, contact your local branch or Customer Service  during business hours or our Fraud Department at 1.800.262.2024.

We know our customers love the convenience of swiping their card. We love it too! Just remember to protect yourself by carrying that emergency second form of payment and by giving us your mobile phone number.

 

VCNB Gives Back

Sunday was World Kindness Day and, as a community bank, we think that’s kind of a big deal. In fact, the idea of being good to our customers, employees and communities is something we embrace every day.

We try to be a good corporate citizen and to lead by example, supporting as many community functions as we can across all the communities where we do business. Since our footprint has expanded a lot during our 149 year lifetime, the area where we try to do good is also expanding. From as far south as our hometown in Vinton County up through Logan, Lancaster and Chillicothe to Grove City and all points in between, we donate money and time to countless community and school groups.

This year we expect to spend more than $220,000 in our local communities!

We also reward our employees for their volunteer efforts. In an average year, our employees collectively donate several hundred hours each year to organizations close to their hearts. Animal shelters, food pantries, school events and countless community events benefit from the generosity of our wonderful employees who like to help out where they can.

During the holidays we like to spotlight some local groups that need public support and give our customers the opportunity to help out as well. Throughout the month of November we’ll be collecting donations for the following:

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Thanks to Dollar General of McArthur for kicking off their coat drive with a big donation of coats, hats and gloves for kids. Rachel Hoyt, Carol Faber and Heather Ramey are pictured with a few of those items!  

Vinton County National Bank in McArthur – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program. New and gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves will also be accepted for kids in need in Vinton County schools.

 

Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program.

Hocking Hills Banking Center in Logan – Monetary and donations of items will be collected for the Hocking County Humane Society. Click here for more info. 

Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville – Monetary donations will be collected for the local Backpack Program.

Ross County Banking Centers in Chillicothe – Monetary donations will be collected for the Good Sam Food Pantry.

Ross County Banking Center in Richmond Dale – Monetary donations will be collected for the Mission Family Ministries and Goshen Run.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Circleville – Monetary donations will be collected for Emergency Clearing House Association of Pickaway County.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Ashville – Monetary donations will be collected for local Backpack Program.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Commercial Point – Bank will purchase canned goods for a local church at Thanksgiving and will also participate in Secret Santa at the church.

Friendly Bremen Banking Centers in Lancaster and Bremen – Monetary and non-perishable food donations will be collected for local food pantries.

Friendly Bremen Banking Center in Pataskala – Monetary donations will be collected for a local food pantry.

Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester – Bank will accept monetary donations for the Canal Winchester Food Pantry.

Franklin County Banking Center in Grove City – Bank will accept monetary donations and packages of new men’s and women’s socks for Socks For Soldiers.

 

If you’re in the area and would like to help out a local organization, we hope you will stop by a branch and make a donation. The bank will also contribute funds to each of the organizations we are spotlighting this holiday season.  All of these collection efforts are for good causes and we are excited to help them!