Community History – Covington – Western German Savings Bank

West End
Western German Savings Bank

The Western German Savings Bank was established in the west end neighborhood in February 1908. The first officers were: Louis Fritz, president; William Riedlin Jr., vice president and Edward Linneman, secretary and treasurer.

A permanent headquarters was constructed for the bank in 1908. A location at Pike and Ninth Streets was selected. The building was three-stories in height and cost $10,000 to construct. In the following year, Edward Zeis was elected president of the bank. Zeis was re-elected in each succeeding year until his death in 1946.

In 1918, the officers of the bank decided to change the name of the institution. This was during the First World War when anti-German hysteria was at its height. At this time the institution became known as the Security Savings Bank.

The bank survived the Great Depression years with relative ease. In 1931, the bank did so well that 10% bonuses were given to the employees. In 1932, the bank had over $1.7 million in assets.

In 1946, George J. Wieschorster was elected president of the bank. Wieschorster began his association with the bank in 1909. Under Wieschorster’s guidance, the institution paid stockholders dividends of as much as 20%. In the mid 1950s, the bank experienced another name change. Security Savings Bank became Security Bank Inc. In 1958, the institution celebrated fifty years of service to the community.

Security Bank continued to prosper throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The banking business, however, began changing in the 1980s. Smaller banking institutions were being bought by larger national institutions. This was the case with Security Bank. In 1987, the bank was purchased by Fifth Third of Cincinnati. The last officers of Security Bank were: Thomas Willenborg, president; James T. Middendorf, vice president; Robert L. Luckhardt Jr., secretary-treasurer and Mark A. Schwartz, assistant secretary-treasurer.

1987 Covington City Directory; Cincinnati Business Courier, December 14, 1987, p. 13; Kentucky Post, July 8, 1908, p. 2, October 7, 1908, p. 2 and January 1, 1918, p. 1; Kentucky Times-Star, January 16, 1958, p. 7a.

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