Thumb National Bank and Trust Company

History

Thumb National Bank & Trust Company
Banking Excellence since 1895  

From its humble beginnings in 1895, Thumb National continues to help direct the growth and fiscal health of our mid-Michigan businesses, families, farmers and community leaders by doing what is needed to help our customers succeed. The origins of Thumb National Bank & Trust Company date back over 100 years ago on the dusty downtown streets of Pigeon. Four partners founded the Farmer’s Bank of Frank W. Hubbard as a private bank. 

On August 21, 1906 a second bank was charted as Pigeon State Bank and was located on the corner of Main Street and Michigan Avenue. Local customers now had two banking choices, and each bank tried its best to attract more customers through friendly service and honest dealings. A mere, two years later, Pigeon State Bank was bought by the Farmer’s Bank and all was renamed Pigeon State Bank. 

Ernest Clabuesch’s foresight helped his community immeasurably, when during the national bank holiday in 1932, he sought out and received enough local capital to reorganize the bank early in the U.S. depression. All banks were closed, but not for long. On June 14, 1934, Ernest Clabuesch led the reopening of the bank and emerged as President and Chairman of the Board, positions he would hold for 25 and 41 years, respectively. 

Clabuesch’s son E.J. started working at the bank in June of 1939. He also had a major impact on the success of Thumb National. In June of 1942, E.J. took a leave from the bank to support the U.S. defense effort as World War II began. He returned in 1947 and shortly after was named Director of the bank. He was named Cashier in 1948, Executive Vice President in 1957, and President of the bank in 1959. When his father retired from the board in 1974, E.J. also assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. E.J. Clabuesch led the way when Pigeon State Bank received its national charter in 1970 to become Thumb National Bank & Trust Company. It became the first and only bank in the entire region to assume full trust powers at the time. 

E.J. Clabuesch’s oldest son Paul began his career at Thumb National in 1973. Although he had earned an economics degree in education from Michigan State University in 1970, he realized the bank operated by his family would be forever in his blood. He has helped guide the bank through economic highs and lows in the past 30 years, and earned the title of CEO in 1984, following the death of his father.

As the strength and stability of the Bank continued to grow, it was apparent that the families, businesses, and farmers in the surrounding communities were in need of a community bank that would help them with all their financial needs. With that, Thumb National Bank began our expansion into new markets and readily improved the quality of life in these communities.

In 1978, we opened our Cass City office where we operated out of a mobile trailer unit until the office was actually completed in the summer of 1979. In 1989, we opened our Caseville office. In 2003, we moved into the Bay City area with a branch office on Wilder Road - a major thoroughfare in the area - and in 2007, we opened our Bay City Center Avenue office in the area's vibrant business district.

In 2009, Paul retired as Chairman and CEO. During Paul's banking career, he served as the Chairman of the Michigan Banker's Association and was named Michigan's "Banker of the Year" by the association.

Upon Paul's retirement, the Board of Directors named long-time Thumb National Bank employee Jay C. Dubey as the bank's new CEO and President. Jay began his banking career at Thumb National Bank in 1978 as a teller and loan clerk. Prior to being named CEO, Jay held the position of Senior Lender. In 2010, Jay was elected Chairman of the Community Bankers of Michigan.

With the appointment of Jay to President and CEO in 2009, the Board of Directors also named David McCormick Chairman of the Board. David has been a Board member since 1987 and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this position.

Since 1895, Thumb National has been a leader in the growth and development of the communities in the Thumb and mid-Michigan, all through a dedicated work force and a full range of services for its customers. Now under Jay's leadership - with our team of 65 committed employees and over $200 million in assets, we continue to look for opportunities to grow and expand our market share - ever mindful of our roots to offer community-style banking where relationships are built on trust.

Thumb National is prepared to lead the way for families, businesses, farmers, and community leaders over the next 100 years.