In the latter part of 1903, a group of local businessmen got together and decided that the agricultural community of Ukiah needed a third bank. The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held December 2, 1903. The Board of Directors consisted of A.F. Redemeyer, J.H. Barker, George W. Stout, J.L. McCracken and J.M. Mannon.
Savings Bank opened its doors for banking business on December 11, 1903 in the Redemeyer Building at the corner of State and Perkins in Ukiah. Savings Bank’s first President, J.H. Barker was the teller that day. The first deposit of $100 was made by a blacksmith, W.H. Chessall and recorded in the Bank’s ledger with quill and ink. The following day, Mary J. Thompson of Ukiah took out the first loan, a mortgage on her property for $300, payable in one year at 9% interest.
On December 30, 1903 a letter was received from Arthur L. Tracy of Cummings offering his services as Cashier of the Bank. The offer was accepted and he assumed his duties in January 1904 at a salary of $75 a month. He remained with Savings Bank until he passed away in 1950.
Due to growing business the Bank moved in 1909 to larger quarters on School Street, into what was later known as the Republican Press Building. In 1914 Judge James M. Mannon succeeded Mr. J.H. Barker as Savings Bank President. By 1915 business had increased so that a full time assistant cashier was needed. William Bromley, who had been an electrical engineer for the City of Ukiah when electricity first came to the city, was employed to fill this office.
In 1915 the property at the corner of School and Standley in Ukiah was purchased and construction of a new bank building soon began. As reported in the Ukiah Republican Press, President J.M. Mannon stated that the policy of Savings Bank in building its new home will be to patronize home industry to the greatest extent possible. Contractor U.N. Briggs burned the new bricks that were used for the construction.
In 1923 Savings Bank celebrated its first 20 years. It had several thousand depositors and was a solid financial institution in the state. The Bank had aided the growth of business and proved to be a real factor in the advancement of Mendocino County. Charles M. Mannon was made a Director in 1923 and in 1926 he was named Savings Bank President following the death of his father, Judge J.M. Mannon.
The Bank of Hopland was purchased in 1927, making this the first branch of Savings Bank of Mendocino County. R.E. Shimmin was the first Branch Manager of the Hopland office. By 1930 Savings Bank assets had grown to $1,540,972.
In 1931, while the Great Depression was at its height, Savings Bank bought the assets of First National Bank of Ukiah. Depositors were assured that Savings Bank would honor their accounts. In 1933 President Roosevelt proclaimed March 6th – 9th a “bank holiday”. All bank operations were halted. This measure was taken to stop hoarding of money by persons fearing bank failures. Only financially sound banks were allowed to open after the holiday. On March 10, 1933 Savings Bank of Mendocino County, being determined financially sound, reopened its doors for banking business.
In 1952, Savings Bank purchased the Christian Church property on School Street, giving the Bank a 140 square foot lot for expansion. In 1953 the Bank celebrated 50 years of service with assets of $10,494,851 and a staff of 24. By 1956 the addition and remodeling of Savings Bank’s main office on School Street was completed. The Bank opened the first drive-up windows in Ukiah, the “Auto Bank”. A year later Savings Bank opened Ukiah’s first “Walk-Up Window” that allowed pedestrian customers to bank before and after regular banking hours. William Bromley acquired the position of Savings Bank President with the passing of Charles M. Mannon in 1957. Mr. Bromley was President until his retirement in 1964, when he then became the Chairman of the Board, holding this position for five years.
In 1963 the Barker Warehouse property (E.C. Kraft Building) was purchased. The new remodeling extended the bank building 20 feet north providing space for Loan Officers and a new Board Room. New bookkeeping equipment was purchased to facilitate the processing of the large amount of paperwork necessary for bank business. In 1964 Frank Branson acquired the position of Savings Bank President following Mr. Bromley’s retirement and the Barker and Schamber property was purchased. The Bank now owned the block facing School Street from Standley to Smith allowing the parking lot to increase to almost double its size and new drive-up windows were installed. In 1969 the Van Allen property at the corner of Oak and Smith streets was purchased. In 1972 the Fraga Building property at the corner of Oak and Standley streets in Ukiah was purchased, making the entire square block bordered by Standley, School, Smith and Oak streets Savings Bank property.
November 11, 1966 Savings Bank opened its second branch in Ukiah at 1200 South State Street with William Cherry as Branch Manager. Known as the “Round Bank” because of its circular structure, it reminded residents of a flying saucer, in keeping with the Space Age. By this time the Ukiah City Limits had more than tripled and there were two new shopping centers, Yokayo and Deep Valley. The residential area now extended into both the western and eastern hills, north to Redwood Valley and south to Hopland.
In 1969 a local educator, W.A. Chessell acquired the position of Savings Bank Chairman of the Board. In the Fall of 1970, Charles Shimmin was elected Chairman of the Board to replace Mr. Chessell upon his retirement as Chairman. Charles Shimmin had been employed with Savings Bank since 1935, working many positions within the Bank.
When a large chain bank purchased the assets of Coast National Bank in Fort Bragg, Savings Bank felt that the coastal citizens should still have the choice of a local independent bank. On February 16, 1970, the Fort Bragg Branch of Savings Bank of Mendocino County opened its doors at a temporary location at 205 South Main Street. Carl Daubeneck was Branch Manager. By this time Savings Bank assets were $30,366,738. September 1971 Savings Bank purchased the property at the corner of Franklin and Chestnut streets, Fort Bragg. On December 6, 1972 the Fort Bragg Branch opened its doors at the new property. Mr. Lewis Sbrana was Branch Manager.
October 1974 the North Ukiah Branch opened for business at the corner of State Street and Low Gap Road. Mrs. Jacqueline Peterson was Branch Manager. This office was unique to Mendocino County as a bank with visual remote drive-up windows, dubbed the “Fastest Teller in Town”. June 28, 2013 the North Branch closed after considerable research and evaluation of in-branch transactions which found that customer preferences were moving towards using new banking technology.
Charles B. Mannon was named Savings Bank President on January 1, 1976 following the retirement of Frank Branson. Mr. Mannon’s Great Grandfather, Judge J.M. Mannon was a Founder of the Bank and President from 1914 to 1926. His Grandfather, Charles M. Mannon served as Bank President from 1926 to 1957. As Savings Bank celebrated 80 years of service in 1983, President Charles B. Mannon stated, “There is a segment of our community which needs the kind of service we provide - intelligent, personalized, innovative and local. To our slogan, ‘Bank With Us - Grow With Us’ must be added this specific thought: The dollars our depositors place with us are put to work in our Mendocino County area. We have faith in our county and look forward to another 80 years of service to this community.” Charles B. Mannon held the position of Savings Bank President until 2011. Today he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
April 1976 the Redwood Valley Branch opened its doors with Patricia Simerson as Branch Manager. This new branch serves the customers in the “suburbs of Ukiah”. In 2017 the outdated drive-up pneumatic tube system was replaced with an ATM which provides service to the entire community and folks in surrounding areas.
The Mendocino Branch opened in October 1977 in the historic Masonic Lodge Building. The Bank purchased the historic building, giving the lodge retention of its meeting hall upstairs and the kitchen. The downstairs interior was remodeled for use by the Bank using redwood extensively and brass cages reminiscent of the early 1900s to give the bank an antique interior with up-to-date and modern service. Lew Sbrana opened the Mendocino Branch as Manager and Dan Gill was appointed Fort Bragg Branch Manager. December 1978 the Bank celebrated 75 years serving its communities in the best tradition of banking with seven offices and 118 employees.
Mid-1981 Savings Bank opened its own data processing center. Online access provided up-to-date, accurate information instantly available over the telecommunications network. There were 10 employees in this division. Later that year the Pear Tree Branch opened on December 21, 1981 in the new Ukiah Pear Tree Shopping Center. The new branch was managed by Patricia Simerson and featured four drive-up lanes and a merchant window. In 1985 Savings Bank installed Automated Teller Machines (ATM'S) at the Pear Tree and Fort Bragg offices. The machines were dubbed Savings Bank’s new “Instant Teller”. By 2016 even fewer customers were coming into a branch to do their banking due to the advancement of technology. This led to the decision to close the Pear Tree Branch on December 2, 2016.
In 1993 Savings Bank celebrated 90 years of service with assets of $360 million and more than 160 employees. The Main Office moved to a temporary location at 107 South State Street in Ukiah as the downtown Ukiah site, its home since 1917, fell to the wrecking ball to make way for a new bank building. The entrance archway was preserved and reinstalled as part of the new structure. In July 1994 Savings Bank moved its headquarters back to the familiar location, its historic North School Street site. The new building which is used today is 60,000 square feet in size.
In 1995 Savings Bank instituted a new computerized telephone access system, TeleBank, enabling customers to access automated deposit account information. In February 1999, the Bank installed an entirely new computer system – hardware and software. The new system, which was Y2K compliant, replaced a system that was used for the past 20 years. Moving forward with offering the convenience of electronic banking services to customers, Savings Bank introduced the debit card in 2000 and had their sights on launching internet banking in the coming year. By 2002 banking online began to become a popular and convenient way for Savings Bank customers to conduct banking business with the introduction of Online Banking and BillPay services.
In 2003 Savings Bank celebrated a century of service and relocated the South Ukiah Branch to the newly constructed building at the Redwood Business Park on the corner of Airport Park Boulevard and Talmage Road. After 40 years, Saturday hours were reinstated at the South Ukiah Branch.
At the end of the year in 2003, after serving more than 34 years as Chairman of the Board, Charles Shimmin resigned his post. In his place, Floyd A. Ross was named the Bank’s new Chairman. Mr. Ross came to Savings Bank as a part-time student employee in 1949. At that time there were less than 20 employees. In 1951 he took a leave to serve in the U.S. Navy, returning in 1955. He was appointed Executive Vice President in January 1979 and elected to the Board of Directors in October 1993. After 63 years of dedicated service, Mr. Ross retired on December 31, 2012.
In 2005 Savings Bank expanded beyond the Mendocino County line, into Lake County with an office in Lakeport with Susie Robinson as Branch Manager. December 5, 2011 the Lakeport Branch moved to its newly constructed office on South Main Street which offers the convenience and extended hours of drive-up banking. The new branch represents the Bank’s long-term commitment to serving the residents and businesses in Lakeport and the surrounding Lake County communities.
In 2009 Savings Bank expanded its electronic banking services to include Mobile Banking to provide customers with a convenient and secure way to access their accounts from their mobile device to meet their on-the-go lifestyle. The Apps for Apple® and Android® devices allow customers to manage their finances anytime, anywhere!
On July 6, 2010 the two branches of the Bank of Willits, one in Laytonville and the other in Willits, opened their doors as Savings Bank of Mendocino County. Merging Savings Bank and the Bank of Willits brought together two organizations with shared values, a rich heritage of community focus and banking experience. Customers of both banks now benefit by the convenience of the expanded branch locations.
Scott Yandell, an experienced banker from Wyoming was hired as President and CEO in June 2011, replacing Charles B. Mannon. Scott’s efforts continued to shape the direction of Savings Bank as a stable employer, community supporter and a vital part of the economic well-being of Mendocino and Lake Counties. His leadership led the Bank into a new era of change and innovation.
In October 2016 customers began making “Deposits in a Snap” using the new mobile check deposit feature of the SBMC Mobile Banking App. This is a convenient way for customers to deposit checks using their mobile device anytime, anywhere. They simply snap a photo of the front and back of a check, select deposit details, and approve the deposit.
In 2017 and 2018 Savings Bank was the first in its service area to update its drive-up systems in Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg with the latest technology, Interactive Teller Machines, known at Savings Bank as Personal Teller & ATMs. This innovative technology provides customers two options to complete their transactions; either with their card as an ATM 7 days a week/24 hours a day or during drive-up banking hours without a card by simply touching the screen for assistance from a Savings Bank employee on the machine’s video screen.
Savings Bank expanded its electronic banking services in November 2017 with the MobiMoney App. Customers can now control their Savings Bank debit card from their mobile phone. Using the MobiMoney App customers can turn their card on or off, receive instant alerts on their mobile device, set merchant preferences and threshold amounts, limit usage based on location, and more. These features help reduce fraudulent transactions.
Today, Savings Bank continues to be a strong, independent financial institution which provides Mendocino and Lake Counties the dependability of a local community bank. Assets have reached more than $1 Billion. When depositors entrust their funds to us, they can be assured that they are supporting the local economy and benefiting the communities that they live in and care about. $500 Million in loans are creating local jobs, producing local goods and services, constructing local buildings and residences. We provide more than 200 professional jobs. Our headquarters, our decision making, our physical facilities, our Board, management and employees are all right here, in your community. In December 2018 we celebrate 115 years of service. This milestone would not have been possible without our directors, shareholders, employees and customers. – We thank you for choosing your local community bank to meet all your financial needs!
Stacy Starkey was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer on July 2, 2021, replacing Scott Yandell at the time of his retirement. Stacy began her career with Savings Bank in 1994. She is the first female and only the eighth executive to lead the Bank in this position. Stacy is dedicated to ensuring that Savings Bank continues to meet all of the financial needs of its communities the way only a local bank can.