Big Loss for Small Towns in the Valley

By Kyle Inskeep

Published 07/03 2014 05:33PM

Updated 07/03 2014 06:33PM

Danny Bedwell spent Thursday morning cutting his neighbor's grass.

Just days after learning his neighborhood bank in Shelburn is cutting service to the town.
"The bank was right there and now it's clear to Sullivan," Bedwell said.

He calls it another blow to small town America.
"I remember banking and borrowing money out of that bank when I was a kid from the gal that ran it and borrowed it on a handshake," Bedwell said.

In a letter sent to BMO Harris Bank customers last week, the company says First Farmers Bank and Trust will take over most accounts at the West Mill Street location.

And that once the deal is complete the branch will close, at some point this year.

"Small towns are seeing that decline every day businesses leave and go to larger places," Jim Ward, President of the Shelburn Town Council said. 

Ward says closing the bank will put extra stress on a local government already stretched-thin.

"Anytime you have a banking procedure you have to go to the bank to get it done you're going to have to go to Sullivan to do it, somebody's going to have to leave their job," Ward said. 
The BMO Harris Bank located in the heart of Carlisle will also close by the end of the year.

Leaving another small town right here in the Wabash Valley without a bank to call their own. 

"It takes business away from other business," Robert Hammond, a longtime Carlisle resident said.

Hammond is worried that without a bank in the town businesses like Medley's Carlisle Hardware Store will suffer.

"If they're real close to the hardware store, then they'll come to the hardware store. But if they're a little bit away and it's kind of out of the way and they don't have any bank here to deal with their banking like they used to, why should they come here," Hammond said.

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