Thumb National Bank & Trust Company
Banking Excellence since 1895
From its humble beginnings in 1895 through today and into the future, Thumb National has helped direct the growth and fiscal health of generations of mid-Michigan businesses, families, farmers and other leaders by doing what is needed to help its customers succeed. The origins of Thumb National Bank & Trust Company date back to 1895 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 work 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 work 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.
In 1978, under Paul's leadership, Thumb National opened its first branch office in Cass City. In 1989, a second branch office was opened in Caseville. The most recent advance is the June 2003 opening of a branch in Bay City. This was followed with a second office in Bay City in early 2007. These branches offer community-style banking in the growing tri-cities market.
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."
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.
Also in 2009, the Board of Directors named David McCormick as Chairman of the Board. David has been a board member since 1987 and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to that position.
Since 1895, Thumb National has led growth and development in the Thumb and mid-Michigan through a dedicated work force and a full range of services to its customers. With its 65 employees and over $200 million in assets, Thumb National looks forward to the next 100 plus years.