Last Updated: Jun 15, 2024

Our History - A Century Strong

130 years after its founding in Wayland, United Bank's strong history continues to inspire success.

Still closely held, United Bank now has assets over $600 million and is a leading small business lender. United Bank also remains deeply committed to the thousands of households and many communities we serve-including the one where we started out.

We have come a long way from our beginnings as a small-town bank, but remembering where we've been helps us to take you where you want to go.


  • The Wayland Exchange Bank, the first bank in Wayland, was opened in 1887 by Ensign W. Pickett. It was a private bank, located in the Pickett Brothers' General Store, and was a success from the very beginning.
  • In 1903, Pickett thought it was best to incorporate under state law. The bank's stock was quickly subscribed, and on January 1, 1904, it opened for business as The Wayland State Bank, with capital of just $20,000.
  • Wayland State Bank weathered the storms of the stock market crash and the bank crises of the 1930s. By 1940, assets had grown to $500,000. It was then that young Arthur H. Johnson came to Wayland as a cashier at the bank. An experienced banker, Johnson brought with him a new level of management expertise and a desire to expand.
  • By 1972, Johnson was joined in the business by his son, Arthur C. Johnson, and daughter, Bonnie K. Miller. In 1977, assets had reached $34 million. Although we still were serving agricultural communities, there was a definite need to provide banking services to the communities around Grand Rapids.
  • The 1980s brought rapid growth and a succession of changes. In January 1980, a branch was opened in Gun Lake, our name was changed to United Community Bank, and United Community Financial, a one bank holding company, was formed.
  • In 1983, our first Grand Rapids office opened, and our name officially changed to United Bank of Michigan.
  • By 1997, United Bank went live with its first website.
  • In 2007, technology was booming and United Bank was among the first community banks in Michigan to offer mobile banking.
  • 2016 marked the opening of our Jenison branch and a complete remodel of our Corporate office.
  • In 2017 we introduced a new look. It features a distinctive new logo, vibrant new colors, and our continued commitment to provide real solutions every day.
  • Today, Arthur C. Johnson is Chairman of the bank, and Michael J. Manica is President and CEO.
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