Erie's only “Hometown Bank” has a rich history of providing the “Hometown Touch,” which only Marquette Savings Bank can offer. Although Marquette distinguished itself more than a century ago as a leader in residential lending and savings programs, the community bank has maintained that distinction over the years yet continued to evolve into one of the area’s most financially strong, full-service financial institutions for retail and business customers. Then as today, Marquette has made a niche for itself by seeing that local money stays local, including the reinvestment of millions back into the community by financially supporting only-local charities, causes, organizations, programs and institutions. Renowned for its tagline, “The Hometown Bank with the Hometown Touch” Marquette Savings Bank has long been committed to the idea that with home ownership comes a sense of responsibility and pride not just in one’s home, but also in one’s community.
The "hometown" concept began in the early 1900s when a group of 38 local businessmen formed with a common purpose of stimulating savings and loan programs to help local residents with home ownership and improvements. These businessmen, members of the Knights of Columbus, served as a social auxiliary to the Erie council and named themselves The Marquette Club. Named in honor of Jacques Marquette, a French Jesuit missionary, this group played an important part in the many successes of the Erie council. It was the financial arm of the local council as it provided financial support of maintaining and operating the council chambers and club rooms. Many members who were responsible for the birth of this club also formed an organization for the purpose of creating a place where members of the Knights of Columbus could invest their savings and obtain mortgages to build their homes. Originally chartered only for the use by Knights of Columbus members, the by-laws were later amended to permit any local resident to join.
During an April 1908 organizational meeting, the following members were elected to offices: Charles P. Deuser as president; Frank D. Schultz as vice president; William H. Kneib as recording secretary; and Dr. F. C. Callaghan as treasurer. On May 27, 1908, then-Pennsylvania Governor Edwin S. Stuart approved the institution they had created under the name “Marquette Building and Loan Association,” with assets of $2 million.
Business transactions were held at various locations along State Street in downtown Erie for a two-hour period on Tuesday evenings. Deuser retired in 1920 and John J. Mead, Sr., was elected president, a position he held until his death in 1941. Under Mead the association moved into a small office area in the newly constructed Erie Daily Times building on 110 West Tenth Street. With two desks and a counter, the association began daily transactions.
As business increased, new headquarters were rented in April 1939 at 920 Peach Street. In 1945, the association purchased the building where the bank’s main office has been located ever since. In 1951 the association was admitted as a member in the Federal Home Loan Bank system and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation.
B. A. Brugger succeeded Mead as president of the association until 1955. In 1958, the association's 50th anniversary, President H. A. Obert announced assets had reached $15.5 million. In 1960 Frank L. Vogt became the bank’s president, a position he held for 42 years.
In 1963 the first of five regional branch offices opened in Meadville, Pa., and the following year another opened in the Liberty Shopping Center, located in Erie. The membership approved a name change in 1971 and the association became known as Marquette Savings Association. In 1993, a new charter was granted to better serve Erie area customers, and the name was changed to Marquette Savings Bank.
In 2002, Michael B. Edwards succeeded Vogt to become the bank’s chief executive officer and remains in that position today. Under his leadership, Marquette constructed three full-service offices in Erie and added a drive-thru branch office on Park Avenue in Meadville. In late August 2009, Marquette acquired three former National City Bank offices in Crawford County bringing to 12 the total number of offices in Erie and Crawford counties.
Late in 2013, Marquette embarked on a $3.2 million capital improvement project in Meadville, Pa. which includes the demolition of its drive-thru branch and in its place, the construction of a full-service, regional office. More improvements will follow including the construction of a new drive-thru office on North Street and renovations to Marquette’s original Meadville location on South Main Street.
For over a century, one thing has stood the test of time and that is Marquette Savings Bank’s "Hometown Touch." It's what has set Marquette apart from the beginning and what customers still experience today--where people who know you still answer the phone and where the customer still comes first.
Today, Marquette has 126 employees in 12 locations serving Erie and Crawford counties. Assets are now approximately $813 million and we plan to keep them working for us right here in our community, where the hometown customer is our only customer.