017-020 History of Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company


Dublin Core


017-020 History of Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company


A typescript narrative history of Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company from its foundation in 1871 by Joseph I. Irwin through the 1960s.





In Copyright
The organization making this Item available believes that the Item is in copyright. The organization either is the rights-holder, has obtained permission from the rights-holder(s) to make their Work(s) available, or makes the Item available under an exception or limitation to copyright (including Fair Use) that entitles it to make the Item available.








301 Washington Street (Columbus, Ind.)

Is Part Of

Cline Keller Library General File Collection, Irwin-Union, Bartholomew County Historical Society, Columbus, IN; 301 Washington Street: Cornerstone of Columbus, Indiana (digital collection).

Bibliographic Citation

History of Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company, n.d., Irwin-Union, Cline Keller Library General File Collection, Bartholomew County Historical Society, Columbus, IN.


Bartholomew County Historical Society


Bartholomew County Public Library

Text Item Type Metadata


Four-page typewritten document

Typewritten text (sheet 1):


Irwin's Bank began business in 1871 as a department of the dry goods store of Joseph I. Irwin in Columbus. Joseph I. Irwin, besides his activity as a merchant, was renowned for real estate development, tin plate manufacturing (at Anderson, Indiana, and Monessen, Pennsylvania), construction and operation of the Indianapolis, Columbus, and Southern Traction Company, and for development of the Union Starch and Refining Company. From 1883, Joseph I. Irwin had active association with his son, William G. Irwin, who assumed the presidency of Irwin's Bank at the time of his father's death in 1910.

During his 33 years as bank president, William G. Irwin became known throughout Indiana and many other states of the nation as a corporation executive and director. He successfully backed C. L. Cummins' development of the diesel engine, the production of which is now the city's largest employer. He, along with his sister, Mrs. Linnie Irwin Sweeney, substantially contributed toward financing the famous Sarrinen-designed First Christian Church. He served several years as a director of the United States Chamber of Commerce. He was a member high in the councils of his political party and was Republican national committee-man from Indiana for some years.

In 1922, People's Savings and Trust Company, whose president was M. O. Reeves, and the Farmers Trust Company, whose president was John M. Thompson, merged to form the Union Trust Company. Mr. Reeves, president of the new bank, was succeeded in 1925 by W. E. Parker.

Typewritten text (sheet 2):

In 1928, Irwin's Bank and Union Trust Company decided to merge their resources to form Irwin-Union Trust Company. The personnel of both banks was retained in the merger that named William G. Irwin president. W. E. Parker was made a director, as were: A. W. Cox, W. H. Scott, H. J. McGinnis, H. L. Rost, C. M. Setser, J. V. Hilger, H. B. Blessing, F. P. Brockman, F. C. Tellman, C. H. Weigand, William Armuth, A. M. Kirkpatrick, J. H. Schaefer, F. H. Suhre, G. L. Reeves, Ernest D. Snider, W. G. Irwin, Meredith Lienberger, Hugh Th. Miller, and J. W. Suverkrup.

Thus ended the 57 year history of Irwin's Bank as a private bank in Columbus. William G. Irwin continued as president until his death in 1943. At that time he was also president of the Indiana National Bank of Indianapolis.

Hugh Th. Miller had joined the bank in 1899 and succeeded his uncle, William G. Irwin as president in 1943. He served as president in until his death in 1947. Upon the passing of Hugh Th. Miller, the board of directors named his son, J. Irwin Miller as the new president.

In December, 1953, Irwin Miller assumed the newly created office of chairman of the board and S. Edgar Lauther, who had joined the bank as a vice president in 1946, became president. This delegation of authority allowed Mr. Miller to focus greater attention on the corporate management of Cummins Engine Company of which he is chairman, and to state and national commitments. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of American Telephone and Telegraph and The Chemical Bank of New York. He is also a Trustee of Yale University, Butler University, The Ford Foundation, and the Museum of Modern Art of New York. He has served as president of the National Council of Churches. He has

Typewritten text (sheet 3):

also served on five Presidential commissions. Mr. Miller's commitment to economic progress and the resolution of urban problems is recognized nationally.

His appreciation for outstanding architecture has long been apparent. In the early 1950s, Mr. Miller, realizing the need for larger facilities for the bank, approached Eero Saarinen, an internationally-known architect and long-time friend. Mr. Saarinen designed the building at the corner of Fifth and Washington Streets which has served as the bank's main office since 1955. To meet the needs of the increasing economic growth of Bartholomew County, Irwin Union acquired the Hope State Bank in 1956 as its first branch office. Three other branches have since been built with a sixth permanent office at Columbus Center scheduled to open in the summer of 1970. Plans are also being drawn for an addition to the downtown office. In November of 1964, S. Edgar Lauther left the bank and has subsequently been named chairman of the board of American Fletcher National Bank of Indianapolis. Upon his resignation, Paul N. Dinkins succeeded to the presidency, and On April 15, 1969, witnessed Irwin Union's achievement of attaining $100 million in total assets. The present directors include: J. Irwin Miller, Chairman, Eugene I. Anderson, Paul N. Dinkins, George Doup, Edward E. Edwards, Lowell E. Engelking, Frank C. Forster, Clarence O. Hamilton, Alvin L. Kuehn, William R. Laws, Jr., Paul H. Pardieck, Carl M. Reeves, Fred H. Suhre, E. Don Tull, and Ed L. Voelz.

The present officers include: Chairman of the Board, J. Irwin Miller; President, Paul N. Dinkins; Senior Vice President, Richard M. Bishop; Senior Vice President and Cashier, John A. Nash; Senior Vice President and Secretary, Alvin L. Kuehn; Vice President and Auditor,

Typewritten text (sheet 4):

Robert E. Kirk; Vice President and Trust Officer, Richard C. Burrows; and Vice Presidents Philip B. Pitkin, A. R. Engle, Earl L. Sprague, and David M. Giles.


Unknown, “017-020 History of Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company,” BCPL Archives, accessed May 30, 2024, https://bcplarchives.omeka.net/items/show/160.