G.W. Jones Exchange Bank was established in 1877 by George Washington Jones. George Washington Jones was one of the earliest settlers of the area and one of the founders of the town of Marcellus. In 1868, he bought 211 acres of land for $13,000.00 and began platting it. Three years after the purchase, trains started traveling into Marcellus which contributed to the town’s growth. As a result of the growth, G. W. Jones determined the town needed a bank. He decided to open the bank even though he was not familiar with the banking industry. G.W. Jones’ son, Carroll S. Jones, ran the bank for his father starting at the age of nineteen. While his son worked, George Washington Jones would often be found sitting in a large cherry wood chair in the lobby of the bank visiting with bank customers.
Carroll S. Jones worked at the bank until June 1921. He was known for his savvy advertising abilities. He is the individual who invented the banks motto, “The Bank of Good Service.” He also came up with catchy phrases such as: “Put your money in a good bank, in a good safe, in a good town,” and “Better sleep on 3%, than lay awake on higher rates.”
In 1921, Donna V. Schurtz, daughter of Carroll S. Jones, along with her brother, Carroll B. Jones, took over the operations of the bank and managed it through The Great Depression. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all banks be shut down for a mandatory two week bank holiday, Mrs. Schurtz defied those orders and kept the bank running. To assure bank customers the bank was doing well, Donna V. stacked the currency from the vault along the marble countertops for all to see. Donna V. Schurtz worked at the bank until 1983, when she was 90 years old.
Carroll B. Jones, in addition to helping his sister manage the bank, also practiced law. In 1926 he founded the Jones Law Office.
In 1983, Cordell R. Jones, son of Carroll B. Jones, became vice-president and chairman of the board of directors. He became president in 2002. Cordell represents the fourth generation of family to manage the bank. In addition to working at the bank, Cordell also works at the Jones Law Office with his wife Kay. Kay is in charge of public relations for the bank.
In 2002, the fifth generation of family became involved with management of the bank. The children of Cordell and Kay Jones, Christina and Jennifer, became Vice-Presidents of the bank. Christina's husband Garrett also became Vice-President in 2002. Christina Jones holds the titles of Security Officer and Chief Loan Officer. Jennifer Jones-McClain works at the bank as the Human Resources Manager and Cashier. Garrett McNally is an attorney at the Jones Law Office and is the Chief Operations Officer for the bank.
In 1877, the dream of one man was realized when the G.W. Jones Exchange Bank was started with $40,000. It now has over $63 million in assets. George Washington Jones’ dream carries on as the bank continues to grow. G.W. Jones Exchange Bank is the only locally owned and operated bank in Cass County, and has branches in Cassopolis, Marcellus and Edwardsburg.