Woodsfield bank expands to Barnesville

BARNESVILLE — A new branch of the Woodsfield Savings Bank has opened in Barnesville, giving local residents another choice for their financial needs.

It is located at the corner of North Chestnut and East Church streets at the former site of John Piersol’s Sohio gas station. The branch held its grand opening Sept. 12 and according to Manager Helen Carpenter, business is good so far. The bank is the only branch of the Woodsfield Savings Bank, which was founded 130 years ago in Woodsfield. The branch has six employees, three full time and three part time.

“Our customers came and asked our CEO, Tracey Craig, to build a branch here because we had so many customers in this area,” Carpenter said. “He took it to the board, and the board decided to go ahead and build the branch. I will commend the board on this — I can honestly say when I come in that door in the morning I am proud because they used our own hometown talent, Barnesville people, to build this bank.”

Carpenter said the bank has plans to expand into other communities in the future and strives to “give back to the communities that give to them.”

“We are a very community-oriented bank. We strive to be convenient and to work easily with everybody,: she said. “We offer everything all the big banks offer, including online banking, debit cards, savings, checking and loans. Our 90-day notes probably set us apart from all the other institutions here in town because we are the only ones that offer them.”

Carpenter said 90-day notes are convenient for customers.

“Any business person, people that restore old cars or farmers who just need it to cover expenses use these type of loans. Many people take out a 90-day note for Christmas, and when they get their income tax refund, they pay it off,” Carpenter said.

The bank offers a “Christmas Club” savings program for 50 weeks a year beginning in November and ending Oct. 31. Customers can have money automatically deposited into a separate savings account, earning an annual percentage yield interest rate of 0.3 percent. The money may also be deposited in person, in any amount at any time. After Oct. 31, a check for the amount saved will be mailed or the money can be deposited into an existing checking account at the bank.

“We try to strive for working with the community, being part of Barnesville and Woodsfield. Business is good so far, we have opened several accounts and several loans,” Carpenter said. “We are really starting to pick up in our drive-thru. Our ATM is being used like crazy because we are conveniently located on the main street on the way to the interstate.”

All employees are Barnesville residents except for one, who floats between the Woodsfield and Barnesville branches as needed. Carpenter said she has been a Barnesville resident for 40-plus years and has 18 and a half years’ experience in banking.

“I was a manager for 11 years at another financial institution. All of our team here is well-seasoned,” Carpenter said. “I am proud of our part-timers because in a month’s time, they had to learn our system, plus a bank conversion. Having to do that in a month’s time is superb. There are very few people that could do that. God really blessed me when he gave me them. The board and the CEO did a wonderful job in picking the team.”

The drive-thru is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the lobby is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday hours are drive-thru only from 8 a.m. to noon.

“We will do new accounts and loans by appointments. And if our hours conflict with a customer, we are willing to go to a customer’s home to accommodate them,” Carpenter noted. “Our goal is to help the customer and to do what we can for the customer. That is our top priority. We have a couple that were on oxygen that couldn’t travel very easily and needed to pay for someone to bring them here, so we went to them. We will do anything we can to help the local residents and help the local economy to grow.”