(Past & Present of Hardin County, Iowa, 1911 ed.)




Banking at Iowa Falls:

The banking business at Iowa Falls, which has come to be one of great magnitude, both in general and savings bank business, had its origin in the little private banking house of L.F. Wisner, who began business in 1863. His interests later merged into the Commercial Bank, and that soon became the First National Bank of Iowa Falls.

The Bank of Iowa Falls was organized August 3, 1874, with a nominal capital of fifty thousand dollars, one-half paid up at opening of the bank's doors. J.T. Buttolph, president; William Wilde, vice-present; F.W. Thaxton, cashier. The bank later developed into the State National Bank.

The Commercial Bank of Iowa Falls was organized August 3, 1882, with an authorized capital of fifty thousand dollars. The original stockholders were L.F. Wisner, William Wilde, E.S. Ellsworh, W.F. Beck, J.L. Hoag, L.O. Bliss, J.H. Carlton, president; William Wilde, vice-president; W.H. Woods, cashier. Its doors first opened for business, August 30, 1882, and in October of that year its statement showed bills receivable $35,270; deposits, #20,418; due from other banks, $6,170; cash on hand, $3,886.

The First National Bank was organized in August 1884, and commenced real business operations October 1, 1884, with a paid-in capital of fifty thousand dollars. Its officers were J.H. Carlton, president; L.F. Wisner, vice-president; W.H. Woods, cashier. These officers continued until the death of L.F. Wisner, when E.S. Ellsworth was elected vice-president in January, 1890. January 14, 1896, Mr. Ellsworth became president; J.H. Carlton, vice-president, and W.H. Woods, cashier. Mr. Ellsworth died in February, 1907, and on March 1, 1907, Mr. W.H. Woods was elected to the position of president and C.H. Burlingame, cashier. The officers have remained the same to the present time: W.H. Woods, president; J.H. Carlton, vice-president, and C.H. Burlingame, cashier. The capital in 1910 was $50,000; surplus, $25,000; undivided profits, $29,000.

The history of the State National Bank of Iowa Falls is as follows: In 1863, L.F. Wisner started the first bank in Iowa Falls, Organizing as a private bank and locating his office in a small wooden building on the lot now occupied by the W.R.C. hall. Mr. Wisner was the first president and J.O. Jordan the first cashier. Mr. Jordan was succeeded by Frank Hart and later by D.P. Griffith. Mr. Wisner soon moved his office to the lot where the Herman clothing store is now located and his estate still owns the property. This building and its banking office was destroy in the big fire of July 18, 1874, at which time the whole business section of Iowa Falls was burned.

A few days after the fire a few Iowa Falls business men met in the law office of S.M. Weaver and organized the successor to the Wisner bank, naming it the Bank of Iowa Falls. The following old-time residents were its organizers: J.T. Buttolph, J.H. Carlton, L.F. Wisner, James S. Smith, William Wilde, Robert Wright, Mark Nutter, W.F. Beck and O.M. Cross. The capital stock was fifty thousand dollars and its first officers were J.T. Buttolph, present; William Wilde and James S. Smith, vice-presidents; F.W. Thaxter, cashier. On August 26, 1875, H.S. Miller succeeded Mr. Thaxter as cashier. On August 26, 1875, H.C. Miller succeeded Mr. Thaxter as cashier. On July 3, 1894, the bank was reorganized under the state laws, naming the institution the State Bank of Iowa Falls, with the following officers: H.C. Miller, president, T.W. Strother, vice-president; G.A. Courtney, cashier, who was succeeded in 1901 by F.D. Peet. The State National Bank was formed from its organization on November 22, 1894; with S.R. Cross, president; B.H. Thomas, vice-president; F.D. Peet, cashier, and these gentlemen now hold their respective positions.

The bank has always been an active factor in all public enterprises and has enjoyed a permanent and healthy growth.

The Security Savings Bank of Iowa Falls was established in 1906. Its officers are: W.H. Woods, president; William Welden, vice-president; C.H. Burlingame, cashier. Its capital is $25,000; surplus, $2,000; cash and exchange; $20,000; deposits, $75,000; loans, $82,000. It is in same banking building and operated in conjunction with the First National Bank.

The Home Savings Bank of Iowa Falls was organized in 1893 by E.S. Ellsworth and his associates, all citizens of Iowa Falls. Its first officers were: W.H. Woods, president; William Welden, vice-president, and F.E. Foster, cashier. The officers at this date (1910) are: W.S. Walker, president; H.L. Walker, vice-president; S.J. Osgood, cashier. The directors are: L.E. Jones, S.E. Huber, H.L. Walker, J.M. Rinehart, F.B. Hay, W.S. Walker and S.G. Osgood. The last statement issued shows the standing to be: Total of resources and liabilities, $152,872; of theses, there were loans and discounts, 128,443; cash and exchange: $20,139. The capital stock is $35,000; undivided profits, $1,604; deposits, $116,267.

Ackley Banking:

In 1868 W.W. Cameran, the station agent at Ackley for the Illinois Central Railroad Company, used to furnish currency to the grain buyers for their drafts on grain shipments and sell his checks on Chicago to the merchants and others. About 1870 this developed into a banking business, the house of Wersi (?) and Cameran. Soon after followed the John Rath Exchange Bank and the Bank of Ackley (Lusch, Carton (sp) & Co.), which later developed into the First National Bank and the Ackley Savings Bank.

John Rath came to Ackley in August, 1865 (before the railroads entered that point, the Illinois Central being built to that town in November of that year), and has lived there continuously since.

Mr. Rath was first engaged by M. Burns at Ackley, who conducted a grain and lumber business, and continued with his employer until 1868, when he bought him out. This business Mr. Rath conducted alone until 1887, when he sold a half interest in the business to his brother. Andrew Rath, and the grain and lumber business was then conducted under the firm name of John Rath & Brother, and this firm continued in business until 1896, when Mr. Rath sold the balance of his holdings in the firm to his brother, Andrew.

On the 29th day of April 1881, John Rath launched the private bank at Ackley, known as the John Rath Exchange Bank, which has continued as such to the present time. The capital of the bank, at the start was twenty-five thousand dollars, which was increased in January, 1884, to thirty-five thousand dollars, which was increased in January, 1910, to forty thousand dollars, and again increased to fifty thousand dollars in March, 1902, the present capital. In January, 1905, a surplus fund of ten thousand dollars was created, and the combined capital and surplus of the bank is now sixty thousand dollars. W.A. Young was the efficient cashier of the bank from the time it commenced business until April 1, 1908, when he resigned his position. Mr. Rath's son, W.T.S. Rath, who had been the assistant cashier of the bank for a number of years, then succeeded to the position to the position of cashier and is the present cashier of the bank. This bank has always been conducted along very conservative lines and enjoys the confidence of the public.

During all the years of its existence it has had a steady growth and has weathered all financial storms without any embarrassment either to itself or its patrons, and today ranks with strongest and foremost banks in this part of the state, its deposits now ranging between four hundred thousand and five hundred thousand dollars.

The first business of the bank was conducted in a frame building adjoining the present site of Hotel Ackley, and in 1882 the bank was moved into the Exchange Building (the quarters now occupied by the Ackley post office), which was erected that year and occupied by the bank up to 1905.

In 1904 Mr. Rath purchased the Higgins block, which was located on the best corner of the Main street of Ackley, and had the old brick building taken down, and then had a beautiful two-story modern bank building with office rooms erected in its place which was fitted up with handsome fixtures, a fire proof vault and an electrical burglar alarm system and modern conveniences at a total cost of nearly twenty thousand dollars. The building has been occupied by the bank since February, 1905, and is one of the best bank Properties in this part of the state.

The history of this bank shows that in 1991, John Rath was owner, with W.A. Young, cashier. The present officers are: John Rath, owner; W.T.S. Rath, cashier, and H.G. Kramer, assistant cashier. The bank is 1910 had a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, including fixtures.

Prior to the establishment of this bank, as the Rath banking house, Aaron Wolfe & Sons, of Parkersburg, Iowa, conduced a bank until May 1881, when they sold to Mr. Rath.

The Ackley Savings Bank was established in 1908, and its officers are J.C. Lusch, present; SS. Trainer, vice -president; S.Y. Eggert, cashier. The capital was ten thousand dollars.

The First National Bank of Ackley, above mentioned, was formed in 1870. It now has a capital of fifty thousand dollars, and its officers are: John C. Lusch, president,a nd S.Y. Eggert, cashier.