The Great Depression of the 1930s saw the failure of 10,000 of the nation’s 25,000 banks, including two of Michigan City’s five financial institutions.
President Franklin Roosevelt’s “bank holidays” closed U.S. banks for 10 days in 1933 and allowed federal inspectors to review the solvency of remaining banks. When banks reopened, customer fears in Michigan City were calmed and Horizon regained the trust of its customers as it continued to expand its range of financial services.
In 1962, First National Bank and Merchants National Bank merged, serving customers under the new name of First Merchants National Bank.
A banking innovator and community leader, Horizon instituted many “firsts” in the industry during the mid-1900s, including:
• Indiana’s first automobile drive-up and customer walk-up service windows established in 1955
• A 24-hour “weather line” phone number to serve the community established in 1959
• The first Automated Teller Machine in Indiana established in 1974