Serving Pierce County residents for generations and beyondGrover Cleveland was President of the United States, the Crow Indians waged an attack on Fort Snelling and a constitutional amendment was proposed to limit the U.S. House of Representatives to 250 members.
By: Jason Schulte, Pierce County Herald
Grover Cleveland was President of the United States, the Crow Indians waged an attack on Fort Snelling and a constitutional amendment was proposed to limit the U.S. House of Representatives to 250 members.
The year was 1888 when a group of Pierce County businessmen came together and started the Bank of Ellsworth. A capital of $25,000 divided by 100 shares of $25 each was agreed upon.
According to the Pierce County Historical Association, the bank’s first location was at 361 W. Main St., where Loberg Law Office is now. A 22-by-50 one story building with a plate glass front was constructed and housed the bank. Among the firsts were Sen. Hans B. Warner as president until he was replaced by John W. Hancock, safety deposit boxes in 1900, the glass front in 1902 and a new heating plant in 1907.
In 1914, the bank moved to 338 W. Main and used the front portion for its business while the back was Anderson and Son Hardware. Around that time, the bank also opened a branch in East Ellsworth.
Orin Lord, who started out as a cashier, became president in 1921. After his death, his brother Fred became president. The stock market crash in 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression hit banks hard all over the country and Ellsworth was no exception. Bank of Ellsworth and Citizens State Bank consolidated in 1930 as footings dropped to under a million for the better part of the decade.
In 1944, the Bank of Ellsworth bought the First National Bank of Prescott and renamed it the Prescott Station. In 1965, the bank moved to its current location at 388 W. Main. In 1979, it was renamed Pierce County Bank and Trust Company, reflecting its growth and resources as a new drive-in was established.
At its 100th celebration in 1988, then-bank President Ken Palmersheim attributed the bank’s success to three key factors: The town’s financial stability, its hard-working people and prudent bank management.
Ellsworth “was created by the standards and business acumen” of its residents, he said. Palmersheim said Ellsworth’s diversified economy, benefiting from the Twin Cities market, dairying and other services, contributed greatly. In regard to the hard-working people, he explained, “they don’t find working uncomfortable or inconvenient. They’re happy doing it, they care, and they’re active in the community.”
Palmersheim also had some fascinating comments about the banking industry back then.
“Bank staff members at almost all levels must develop a much higher level of skills and proficiency than at any other time in history,” he said. “…The whole operation of a bank is becoming a very sophisticated process. Regulations no longer play the key role they once did in determining the rate of interest banks may charge on loans or what rate they may pay on deposits as did for years. Free market determines this.”
For more please read the March 28 print version of the Herald.