Nine banks in region will note centennials in 2018

In 1918, James Kewley, Wilbur Kerns and Henry Knoche organized the Onarga State Bank, Onarga, Ill. In 1983, the bank changed its name to Federated Bank of Onarga, and in 2018 the bank will be one of nine in the Upper Midwest to commemorate a centennial anniversary.

Federated is one of seven banks that will note its centennial in January. Federated and four other banks were founded on New Year’s Day: Iowa State Bank, Clarksville; Ixonia Bank, Ixonia, Wis.; Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Springield, Minn., and Meramec Valley Bank, Valley Park, Mo.

Adams State Bank in Adams, Neb., commemorates a centennial on Jan. 18, while the Pine River State Bank in Pine River, Minn., was founded on Jan. 22, 1918.

Pinnacle Bank – Wyoming, Torrington, turns 100 on April 6, and Vermillion State Bank, Vermillion, Minn., marks its centennial on Aug. 10.

Following are a few facts about some of the banks gleaned from their respective websites:

  • The Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Springfield, Minn., is owned by the Pieschel family. Paul Pieschel is the bank’s president and CEO, like his father, G.M. “Mike” before him, and like his grandfather, Frank, before him.
  • The Ixonia State Bank opened the first drive-up window in the county in 1956; in 1976, the bank remodeled and added air conditioning.
  • Pine River State Bank was born as State Bank of Guthrie, but moved to Pine River and changed its name accordingly in 1934 after two banks in Pine River closed.
  • The current main office of the Meramec Valley Bank opened in 1996, was modeled after Whitehaven, a majestic southern-style mansion in Kentucky.
  • Adams State Bank is the only surviving bank in Adams, Neb., which once had three banks. Vice President Chris Gramann is a fifth-generation banker.