The Branch Network of Manufacturers Bank

By Don Hooper


It was several years after Manufacturers Bank opened in 1933 before the development of a branch system was undertaken. This was primarily the effects of the Great Depression, and the costs involved in buying land and building a branch network to gather deposits, and provide convenience to customers. The expansion was further delayed because of World War II and the need to conserve materials needed for the war effort.

In addition to the gathering of deposits, the branch network provided our customers with access to the consumer lending programs, trust department services, international banking facilities, commercial lending opportunities, and in the later stages the corporate services and electronic bankings services we were to develop. Growth of a branch network was a commitment to increased staff, the development of management, and a search to establish each branch in a rapidly growing area of opportunity.

The first branch office opened in 1933 (Branch #1) was in Highland Park at the corner of Woodward and Manchester. This office was directly across the street from the Highland Park Assembly plant of the Ford Motor Company. An underground tunnel was built to connect the bank with the paymaster's office in the plant. This was done for security purposes, and to reduce the time it required to move money to and from the bank.

Additional offices opened in 1933. Branch #2 was at Michigan and Neckel in Dearborn. Shortly thereafter Branch #3 was opened at Michigan and Mason, also in Dearborn. At the time of the first annual report in 1933 Manufacturers Bank was ranked as 80th of the American Bankers annual list of the nation's largest banks. Ten years later Manufacturers was in the top 30 banks in the nation. The fourth branch office, at Warren and Calhoun in Dearborn, opened in the December 1948.

Branch #5 - Wyoming-Fenkell - 1950
Branch #6 - Gratiot Pinewood - 1951
Branch #7 - Telegraph-Sheridan -1952
Branch #8 - Mack - Lochmoor - 1952 (The original office was across Mack in what is now The Original Pancake House)



Branch #9 - M/O of United Savings Bank 1952 Branch 9 was consolidated with Br 17 in 1957
Branch #10 - Telegraph - Carlysle - 1952
Branch #11 - Michigan - American Road - 1953


The Branch 11 building was demolished in 2004 to make way for the construction of a new office.

Branch #12 - Plymouth - Evergreen - 1953
Branch #13 - Van Dyke - Continental - 1954
Branch #14 - Henry Ford Hospital Office -1953
Branch #15 - Five Mile - Kinloch - 1955
Branch #16 - Eight Mile - Chapel -1955

In 1955 Manufacturers Bank and Industrial National Bank effected a merger, and the branch network was doubled. The Offices of Industrial National Bank were renumbered to follow the Manufacturers Bank order as follows:

Branch #17 - Michigan - Griswold was the Main Office of Industrial National Bank

This picture shows Branch 17 after the alterations to the original building, which was nine stories high, were completed.

Branch #18 – Washington Boulevard-Grand River - 1954
Branch #19 – Jefferson - Coplin - 1927
Branch #20 – Uptown Office (Woodward- West Grand Boulevard) -1927
Branch #21 – Grand River - Dundee - 1927
Branch #22 – Gratiot - Pennsylvania - 1929
Branch #23 – Vernor - Springwells (later moved to Vernor-Inglis) - 1930
Branch #24 – Fenkell - Petosky (later moved to Lyndon-Livernois) - 1936
Branch #25 – East Warren - Bishop - 1941
Branch #26 – Fenkell - Lesure (later moved to Fenkell-Hubbell ) - 1946
Branch #27 – Melvindale Office - 1946
Branch #28 – Kelly - Whittier - 1946
Branch #29 – Joy Road - Stahlein - 1947
Branch #30 – Seven Mile - Mckay - 1953
Branch #31 – Eight Mile - Schaefer -1954
Branch #32 – Pleasant Ridge Office -1954
Branch #33 – Telegraph - Maple -1956
Branch #34 – Telegraph - Ten Mile Road -1956
Branch #35 – Northville Office -1907
Branch #36 – Plymouth - Virgil was the first office opened - in 1958 - following the merger with Industrial National Bank
Branch #37 – Cherryhill - Inkster - 1958
Branch #38 – Orchard Lake - Thirteen Mile - 1958
Branch #39 – Woodward - Hunter Blvd - 1959
Branch #40 – Romulus - 1913
Branch #41 – Wayne - Warren - 1960
Branch #42 – Twenty-Three Mile - Van Dyke - 1960
Branch #43 – Carleton - 1904 acquired by MNB in 1962
Branch #44 – Van Dyke - Fifteen Mile - 1962
Branch #45 – Dequindre - Fifteen Mile - 1962
Branch #46 – Gratiot - Hillsdale - 1962
Branch #47 – Auburn - Crooks - 1962
Branch #48 – Eight Mile - Farmington Rd - 1962
Branch #49 – Greenfield - Eight Mile Rd - 1963
Branch #50 – Telegraph - Lehigh - 1962
Branch #51 – Sherwood - Outer Drive - 1963
Branch #52 – Seven Mile - Gaylord - 1963
Branch #53 – Van Dyke - Utica - 1963
Branch #54 – Wayne - Canyon Drive - 1963
Branch #55 – Jefferson - Crocker - 1964
Branch #56 – Northwestern - Thirteen Mile - 1963
Branch #57 – Joy - Oxbow - 1964
Branch #58 – Telegraph - West Road - 1964 Consolidated with Branch 69 in 1967
Branch #59 – Sylvan Lake - 1964
Branch #60 – Fort - Fourteenth - 1965
Branch #61 – Jefferson - MFDougall - 1965 Consolidated with Main Office 1969
Branch #62 – Westland Center - 1967
Branch #63 – Grand River - Halstead - 1967
Branch #64 – Eighteen Mile - Dequindre - 1967
Branch #65 – West Chicago - Schaefer - 1968
Branches #66 thru #84 were opened at a pace of one or two per year until 1983, the Fifty-Year Anniversary of the bank.

The rapid expansion of the branch banking system following the Industrial Bank merger lasted through the early 1980's and created a new banking department called The Branch Department. The first head of the Branch Department was David Barry. When Dave Barry retired, Russ Pember was appointed, and upon his untimely death, Paul Hussey was named to the position. When Paul Hussey was promoted to Executive Vice President, Larry Hemmen became the Head of the Branch Department . Tom Fisher followed Larry Hemmen, and was in that position at the time of the merger with Comerica in 1992.

In 1970, the Branch Department created Six Regions with a Regional Vice President in charge of branches in his region. Don Dean, Farmington; Don Buchanan, Metro-North; Steve Riga, Dearborn; Tom Conway, Metro-West; Ted Winiarski, Metro-Central; and Bob Clark, Metro-East.

Because the Michigan banking laws limited branch banking beyond 25 miles from the Main Office, and was restrictive in other ways, it was necessary for Manufacturers Bank to form "de novo" (new) banks in market areas where we could not establish branch banks of Manufacturers Bank. Manufacturers Bank was alsorequired to form a holding company, Manufacturers National Corporation, which could operate banks on a statewide basis. This lead to the formation or purchase of several banks.

Manufacturers Bank of Southfield - Don Dean, President
Manufacturers Bank of Livonia - Charles Ball, President
Manufacturers Bank of Novi - Chuck Wood, President
Manufacturers Bank of Lansing - Joe Fraunheim, President
Manufacturers Bank of St. Clair Shores - Paul Ellis, President
Manufacturers Bank of Saline - Tom Collins, President
Manufacturers Bank of Ann Arbor -
Manufacturers Bank of Coopersville - Terry Carpenter
Manufacturers Bank of Grand Rapids -Don Dean

Manufacturers Bank also bought the Affiliated Bank in Illinois during this time period.

After changes to the National Banking Act, these subsidiary banks were merged into the branch banking network in the late 1980's.
At the time of the merger in 1992, Manufacturers Bank had over 100 branch offices to serve our customers

Here are some names of early Branch Managers. If you are able to fill in the blanks with additional names, please contact me (Don Hooper dhooper1@twmi.rr.com)

Frank Tschirhart -Main Office
Doug Giles - 1
Russ Smith - 2
Roy Ferguson - 3
Chester Martin - 4
Ralph Crawford - 5
Jim Davies - 6
Bill Leonard - 7
Norm Kopperschmidt - 8
Ken Smith - 10
Bill Pfeiffer - 11
Ed Fetters - 11
Jack Werner - 12
Gus Persson - 13
Ralph Tucker ­14 ? Vic Johnson - 14
Arnold Elmy - 15
Al Nash - 16
Otto Lill ­ 17 (named Cashier in 1950's)
Bill McEvoy - 17
Maury Wilson - 18
Tony DeTemple - 18
?? - 19
John Copeland - 20
Al Buchinger - 21
Charles Cook - 22
Tom Redmann ­ 23
Sid Courtney - 24
Bill Melcher - 25
Fred Neubert - 26
Dave Davies - 27
George Zedan - 28
Charles Green - 29
Ed Ptak - 30
Don McCracken - 31 (named Cashier in 1970's)
Henry Domber - 32
Frank Fisher - 33
Bob Laurion - 34
Jack Stubenvoll ­ 35
Price McAllister - 36
Ross Thibodeau - 37
Mel Biscomb - 38
?? 39 and 40 ??
Elmer Trosien - 41
?? 42 through 45 ??
Ralph Anderson - 46
?? 47 through 50 ??
Bill Haraga - 51
?? 52 through 84 ??

Other Branch Officers I am unable to associate with a specific branch are:

Bill Cole
Ed Foch
Stan Martin
Jim Donnan
Tom Nichols
Lou Kirchner
Ben Kelley
Neil Bragg


It is hoped that the role they played in building Manufacturers Bank will never be forgotten. I apologize for those who names I no longer remember.

I hear ethereal whispers persuasive, soft and still,
"Friends, if you don't remember us, who will?"