The STATE SAVINGS AND LOAN CO., the 9th largest savings and loan institution in the Cleveland area at one time, was established in 1909 as the Tatra Savings & Loan Co. John A. Sotak, Joseph Dovalosky, and Michael Phillips pooled $20,000 and opened the first office at Scovill Ave. and E. 23rd St., which served a largely SLOVAK clientele.

Named after the Tatra Mts. in Czechoslovakia, the savings and loan provided workingmen and women with a safe place for their savings and a liberal interest return. With $120,000 in assets by 1917, Tatra moved to larger quarters at Scovill and E. 25th St., then relocated to the Sotak family store at 2437 Scovill Ave. in the early 1920s. The firm increased its assets to over $1 million by 1925; erected a new headquarters building at Woodhill Rd. and Sophia Ave.; and survived the Depression with $435,000 in assets.

As the ethnic communities declined, the firm was renamed State Savings & Loan Co. in 1946, and 6 years later moved its office to 4065 Mayfield Rd. in SOUTH EUCLID. By 1983 it had 10 offices with 170 employees, almost $400 million in assets, and was a major subsidiary of Statewide Financial Corp., a holding company owned mainly by Joseph E. Sotak, Jr.

Statewide Federal encountered difficulty as a result of unwise loans to area construction companies and developers and was insolvent by 1986. The Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. arranged the sale of State Savings to First Nationwide Bank of San Francisco in June 1986. At that time State Savings had assets of $392 million and 9 branch offices.

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