Books closed on 42-year career

   SOUTH WHITLEY — Forty-two and one-half years ago when the average cost of a home was $14,950 and the average income per year was $7,850, South Whitley resident Jeanette Eberhart was just beginning her career as a teller at the former Mayer Branch Bank in South Whitley. Five ownership changes later, Eberhart closed the book on her banking career Thursday, officially retiring. An open house at the bank was held in her honor Friday. “I will miss the people and the girls here, we are like a family,” Eberhart said with tears in her eyes. “I have been really close with the girls here at the bank. If we ever had problems we felt like we could share them and I don’t feel a lot of people have this.” Eberhart and her husband, Jim, have been married for 54 years. Jim will continue to operate Eberhart Soft Water on a part-time basis. As for Jeanette, her hobbies include flowers, gardening and making scrapbooks for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “I’m going to catch up working at home and hopefully go see our grandchildren who live out of state,” Eberhart said. “I will miss my contact with the people. I have actually worked here since my kids were small.” The bank has quite a history in changes, beginning as Mayer Branch and on to Farmers Loan and Trust, INB, NBD, First Federal and now Crossroads Bank. “The Mayer Branch Bank was owned by Mose Mayer and Dick Striggle was my boss when I first started working here in 1968,” Eberhart said. “Back then, we had no computers and we balanced at the end of the day by hand,” Eberhart said. “If you didn’t balance that evening, you didn’t go home until you balanced out.” In the mid 1970s, Eberhart recalls proof machines, which made the balancing process a lot more efficient and easier to find balancing errors. “It was easy to find an error on the proof machines and this eliminated having to stay around until you balanced out,” Eberhart said. “I also worked with Marv Goble for approximately 38 years who was the branch manager up until about four years ago when he retired.” Eberhart has seen a lot of branch managers since Goble‘s retirement, ranging from Jay Arnold, Brad Nelson and the current manager Joe Grant. When asked what her most memorable experience was over the years, she replied, “In September, 2005, we let off balloons in the air for the annual Fall Festival ... the balloons hit some wires and put the entire town out of electricity.”