Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 18, 2002

Banking in Winsted has rich roots

By Joe Kieser

The Great Depression of the 1930s resulted in the closing of the two banks in Winsted. The State Bank of Winsted and Farmers State Bank of Winsted ceased to exist.

Their assets on hand were not sufficient to pay out the cash demands by their patrons. Many families lost their complete life savings.

Winsted was without a bank for about one year. Joe J. Sterner loaded up a horse drawn lumber wagon with $145,000 of bank assets, and made the six-mile trip from Lester Prairie to Winsted.

This was the beginning of Citizen's State Bank of Winsted. The name was changed to what is now Community Bank Winsted in 1994.

The following article is from the local Western Immigrant newspaper from July 1914:

A most important factor in the growth of the town

That a bank is the most important institution a place can have, and that it has the influence to help or retard the progress of a community is a foregone conclusion.

The State Bank of Winsted has always been a most important factor in the welfare of Winsted, since it stands always ready to help. It was organized Dec. 19, 1903, during the upbuilding of the town.

Since the time of its organization, C. R. Vollmer has been cashier. Besides performing the duties of this position to the entire satisfaction of the many who have been customers of the institution, he has succeeded in building up the business of the institution from the original capital of $10,000 until it now has a capital and surplus of $34,000. A recent statement shows the loans and discounts to be $156,614.20, and the deposits $156,916.02.

These figures speak for themselves, and it can be plainly seen that it is being operated on a sound basis. This, for a bank having a $10,000 capital, has the second largest surplus of any bank in the state, part of which is a paid in addition, to enable the bank to make the larger loans and demands required.

The banking house and fixtures are valued at $6,514.41, and the people here can boast of one of the finest banking houses in this section.

The vaults are protected by an electric burglar alarm, and the money and securities are also insured against theft. The vault is built on a solid foundation and is absolutely safe from destruction from natural causes.

This bank does a general business under state supervision and is a strong and reliable institution and well-worthy of special mention in our publications.

Its resources are ample to meet the requirements of all customers, and at the same time, receive personal attention, which only banks of moderate size can give.

The bank pays four percent interest on time deposits and savings accounts, deals in foreign and domestic exchange, all kinds of insurance in the best and strongest companies, as well as other fiduciary investments.

The broad liberal policy pursued by the management of this institution, its readiness at all times to meet the legitimate requirements of its numerous clients and customers, its steady and progressive manner in encouraging its sphere of usefulness have combined to give it an important place among the state financial institutions, and it can be safely averred that no fiduciary institution is more popular with our leading business men and citizens that the State Bank of Winsted.

Henry L. Simmons, the president, ranks high in banking circles and has the most reliable outside connections. Mr. Simmons devotes his entire attention to the several banks with which he is connected, and the methods used by him in business dealings can be relied upon as perfectly safe.

The officers and directors of the bank are: H. L. Simmons, president; F. Vollmer, vice president; C. R. Vollmer, cashier; William Werner, B. Millerbernd, C. O. Borgersrode, and John Roufs.

M. P. Campbell holds two shares and is the only shareholder not a director.

All the officers and directors are men of the highest type, obliging and efficient in all their dealings with the public. They have won their way to the topmost step of the ladder by energy, perseverance, and integrity.

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