Everson selected for Hall of Honor induction

BANK expansions in area and in services have been evident during the career of James W. Everson, one of four persons selected for induction this year into the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor.

Everson, who was honored for community service by the Belmont County Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award in 1989 and was named “Citizen of the Year” in 1981 by the Martins Ferry Area Chamber of Commerce, has received service awards from other organizations.

Also to be inducted April 7 into the HofH are C. Willis “Bill” Troy, first involved in the Martins Ferry Fire Department and later worked in public safety on the state level.; Anthony Spear, whose space achievements include being project manager for the Mars Pathfinder.; and Dr. Simon West, the city’s first physician. The Citizens Bank is the sponsor for the HofH. The April 7 ceremony, which is open free to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. in Martins Ferry High School.

Everson, who became chairman, president and chief executive officer of United Bancorp Inc., Martins Ferry, served as the company’s CEO since its founding in 1983.

The honoree, who began his career at The Citizens Savings Bank, Martins Ferry, as a student intern in 1959, retired as president and chief executive officer of the bank upon the appointment of Scott A. Everson as president and CEO in 2004. In addition to his positions with the United Bancorp Inc., he continues as the bank’s chairman of the board.

A lifelong Martins Ferry resident, Everson is the son of the late Wendell E. and Katherine Jones Everson. The Martins Ferry HIgh School graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in commercial banking, from The Ohio State University. He completed active service with the Ohio Air National Guard in 1961 and then returned to the bank.

Everson, a life member of the First Presbyterian Church, Martins Ferry, has served as an elder for several terms as well as on its Session and Board of Deacons.

He received a 30-year service award as director of the Belmont County Auto Club, and included in his other community service are being a 45-year member of Salvation Army Board, 48-year member of Ohio City Masonic Lodge, past president of the former Martins Ferry Kiwanis Club and a 20-year member of the Ohio University Eastern Advisory Board.

Everson was recognized in 2012 by the Bridgeport Rotary Club with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

Founding chair of the Eastern Ohio Regional Transit Authority, he also was a member of the Martins Ferry Model Cities Board and Neighborhood Development Corp.

He was an instructor with the American Institute of Banking and a member of the State of Ohio Banking Commission and the Small Bank Council of The Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank. Everson also was president of The Ohio Bankers Association, Columbus.

Everson, and Marlene, his wife of 49 years, reside in Naples, Fla., and St. Clairsville. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Expansions in services and in area aren’t the only changes regarding the bank. The location of The Citizens Saving Bank moved from the corner of Walnut and Fourth streets to a new building a block away.

After college graduation and service in the Ohio Air National Guard, Everson was a management trainee with Harold H. Riethmiller, bank president, as mentor. Beginning as a bank teller, he advanced through the bank’s departments and was appointed the bank’s fourth president and CEO in 1973.

The bank began an expanded growth program under his leadership with the 1974 opening of its first full service branch office in Colerain, followed by its Bridgeport office in 1978; the Phase I Limited Service Office with four station auto tellers in 1980 on the former Zane Central School property in Martins Ferry followed by the Phase II 21,500 square foot present Headquarters’ Office which opened in 1984.

In 1983, United Bancorp Inc. was founded as a one bank holding company for The Citizens Savings Bank, and it became one of Ohio’s then 21 multi-bank holding companies in 1986 by acquiring the Citizens-State Bank of Strasburg. Prior to being merged into The Citizens Savings Bank in 1999, the Strasburg bank had opened a new office in Dover in 1990, purchased offices in New Philadelphia and Sherrodsville in 1992 and Dellroy in 1994.

The Citizens Savings Bank opened an in-store supermarket bank in St. Clairsville in 1997 and later purchased the Jewett office. Property across from the new main office in Martins Ferry was acquired in 1993, and it became a modern operations center, including the offices for United Bancorp, Inc.’s accounting group.

With the introduction of the 24 hour /7 day Automated Call Center and Internet Banking in 2001, the accounting and operations center was further enlarged with the purchase of more property.

United Bancorp purchased the Community Bank of Glouster in 1998. The Community Bank headquartered in Lancaster with three locations plus its two offices in Glouster and offices in Amesville and Nelsonville was merged into The Citizens Savings Bank in 2007.

In 2008, the bank expanded its “banking” footprint in St. Clairsville, Tiltonsville and Dillonvale through the acquisition of three offices and deposits of a FIDC failed institution. In 2011, a new full service banking office was opened in Tiltonsville. United Bancorp, Inc. is headquartered in Martins Ferry. Today, with its single bank charter, 20 banking offices and operations center, The Citizens Savings Bank through its Community Bank Division serves Athens, Fairfield and Hocking counties and through its Citizens Bank Division serves Belmont, Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties.