In 1937, during the Great Depression, a man approaches the entrance of the “solid as a rock” Isabella County State Bank, nestled in the heart of downtown Mount Pleasant, on the corner of Broadway and University streets.
A close-up of the photo reveals a barber pole and advertising for a barber shop and beauty shop located at the right of the bank’s entrance. Signage in windows above the entrance announces an insurance, surety bonds, and real estate business. Along the people-filled sidewalk, to the left of the large bank clock and M20 sign, other signs advertise Western Union, Consumers Power Co., A.M. Ward, Joseph’s Store, Rexall Drugs, Broadway Theater and its marquee promoting “China Passage,” the Oakland Pontiac dealership, and a gas station.
Isabella Bank, as the conservative community bank is now called, was founded in 1903 by John S. Weidman. Since then, the bank has grown to include 27 offices located throughout Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Montcalm, and Saginaw counties. In 2013, Isabella Bank was included in the Detroit Free Press list of Top 100 Workplaces.
The continuing success of Isabella Bank is maintained by a culture rich in philanthropy and excellent customer service. Bank employees there are active leaders in their communities, dedicated to helping customers achieve their financial goals. Isabella Bank believes that by giving monetary support to local nonprofits and economic development initiatives it is investing in the future of the communities. Such support includes community sponsorship and events; education (financial literacy, scholarships, building campaigns, athletics, after-school programs); economic development (community projects, leadership development, entrepreneurship programs); and basic needs (food, shelter, health care, senior services, emergency relief).