The Peoples Bash, concert series finale set for Saturday



Since 1919, a bank has been at the corner of Main and Walnut streets in the heart of the county seat.

It operated as Brownstown Loan and Trust Co. until 1965 when it merged with First National Bank and became known as The Peoples Bank.

Those currently working at the bank felt 100 years is worth celebrating, so they came together to organize The Peoples Bash.

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The free event for all ages is set for 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday on East Walnut Street near the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown. There will be giveaways, snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, a basketball shoot, a dunk tank, a watermelon seed spitting contest, prizes and more on the street and a bouncy house on the grass at Heritage Park. The bank’s new mascot, Penny Banks, also will be at the event.

"All of our employees are going to get involved, and we’re hoping the town comes out. We’ve got a lot of stuff to give away," said Mark Norman, president of The Peoples Bank.

People are then invited to a free concert by Allie Colleen at 6:30 p.m. on the Heritage Park stage. That will be the final show of the Brownstown Street Summer Concert Series, organized by Brownstown/Ewing Main Street. The Peoples Bank is the sponsor of the concert.

Norman’s father, Don, was president of Brownstown Loan and Trust and Ralph Spurgeon was president of First National Bank when the two banks merged. Then Don became president of The Peoples Bank, and Spurgeon was executive vice president.

The Peoples Bank opened a branch in Crothersville in 1967 after a bank had been downtown since 1936. The Seymour branches opened April 21, 1977, at Airport Road and Tipton Street and Dec. 17, 1987, at Burkart Boulevard and Tipton Street.

A data center was built next to The Peoples Bank in Brownstown in 2015. That houses account services, electronic banking, check processing, the mainframe computer and a community room.

Mark said there are nearly 50 full-time employees between all of the locations. He has worked there for 40 years.

"Dad had been here pretty much my whole life," Mark said. "I’m 60 years old, and you might as well say I’ve been here 60 years of that 100 because back then, when the banks were closed on Wednesdays, I would come to the bank with Dad."

He’s happy to carry on the family tradition.

"It means a lot because I don’t know any different. This has been my whole life for 60 years," Mark said. "It means a lot to me that we’re still here, we’re still independent, we’re still a community-focused bank."

Adilee Phegley, who handles advertising and marketing for The Peoples Bank, also is carrying on a family tradition. Spurgeon was her grandfather.

"My Grandma Spurgeon, she always babysat me after preschool, and (Ralph) always came home on his lunch and he always had his little Peoples Bank pens and his Peoples Bank pads of paper that we still give away," she said, smiling. "He always made me write my name on this little piece of paper."

Phegley is in her 12th year with The Peoples Bank. She started as a part-time teller in a school-to-work program and worked in customer service and the loan department until switching to advertising and marketing.

"I wouldn’t trade my job for anything," she said.

Earlier this year, Norman and Phegley led the rollout of a new logo for The Peoples Bank after working with Jerry Brown with Celery Signs. That was done to honor the 100 years of a bank on the same corner in Brownstown.

Norman’s father and other family members had created the original Peoples Bank logo.

"We wanted to rebrand with our new logo," Mark said. "It was time to refresh. It was time to redo it."

Also to celebrate 100 years, Phegley put together a timeline with pictures and information and had that on display in the bank’s booth at the Jackson County Fair. That timeline will be available to view during Saturday’s event.

"We’ve been here for the last 100 years, and we’re going to try to be here for another 100 years," Norman said, noting the focus will continue to be on why the bank is still in business: "Our friends and neighbors."

"That slogan is forever. I came up with that one a long time ago," he said. "We’re here to serve our community. We’re here to make a good place for people to work. We’re here to support the community. That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here, and we want to stay here, and we like to be a part of all of the communities: Brownstown, Crothersville and Seymour."

In terms of landing Allie Colleen to perform Saturday, Brownstown/Ewing Main Street discovered her through James Dupré, who has become "a friend of Jackson County" through performing here several times in recent years.

He has worked closely with Allie over the years and became good friends with her, and he recommended her to the organization, said board secretary Fayeann Hurley.

"We are really excited to have her come to Heritage Park, as she does have a very busy tour schedule," Hurley said. "She is an up-and-coming artist that has her own kind of style and flair that is very unique. We hope that the residents of Brownstown will enjoy her performance, and we are proud to offer this concert series free of charge."

Allie is the daughter of country music superstar Garth Brooks. She developed a passion for singing and songwriting at a young age. Her debut single, "Work in Progress," was released in July.

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What: The Peoples Bash and Brownstown Summer Concert Series season finale

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday; Allie Colleen concert starts at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Along East Walnut Street and Heritage Park in Brownstown

Who: Open to all ages

Cost: Free

Details: Giveaways, snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, a basketball shoot, a dunk tank, a watermelon seed spitting contest, prizes and more on the street and a bouncy house on the grass at Heritage Park; the bank’s new mascot, Penny Banks, also will be there


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