By Linda Scherer
Flagship Bank Winsted will be celebrating 75 years in banking this Friday, Dec. 7 with an open house from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The well-established banking business, which began in 1932, has prospered as the community has grown.
Flagship Bank Winsted President Roger Boyce is proud of how the bank provides up-to-date banking services for its customers using today’s technology.
Boyce has seen many changes in banking over the years, and he sees Winsted bank keeping up with the times. The most recent change it has made was last year with the image processing of cancelled checks.
Boyce added that the bank likes to stay just a little behind the cutting edge technology, always willing to consider new ideas after they have been proven to be beneficial to the business. It wastes less time and money.
Using its banking experience, Boyce said, “We do the best job we can using common sense banking, while providing uncommon banking service.”
Flagship Bank Winsted has a long, colorful history. The bank was originally established in 1932 by Joe J. Sterner.
It is hard to understand why Sterner chose April Fool’s evening to move $145,000 worth of bank assets in a horse-drawn lumber wagon to Winsted from the Sterner’s State Bank of Lester Prairie. It was a six-mile trip on a dirt road that had been made almost impassable by hard rains for several days, but he made it.
He made the move because Winsted citizens had urged their former townsman to return and give them affordable banking services after two previous banks had failed during the Great Depression.
Sterner named the bank Citizens State Bank of Winsted. The bank opened April 2, 1932, in what was called the State Bank building, and remained in that building until December of 1939, when it was moved into the brand new, at the time, Winsted Theatre building.
In 1949, the Citizens State Bank needed a larger and more serviceable facility. It moved from the theatre building into its current location. The building was once a department store that was completely remodeled, both inside and out.
By 1950, the Citizens State Bank assets had reached the sum of $1,300,000. The bank president was Joe J. Sterner (the founder), and Arthur P. (Barney) Kappel was executive vice president and cashier.
According to Sterner, Kappel was one of the reasons for the bank’s success and continued growth.
For the bank’s 50th anniversary in 1982, it had, once again, completed extensive remodeling, including the front of the building. The entrance was moved to one side and larger windows were installed to allow for more light and a better view.
Ralph Rathmanner, president of Citizens State Bank in 1982, felt that the remodeling would improve customer service, with five new teller windows in the main lobby and a walk-up teller window next to the drive-up window outside.
The bank was purchased by Roy Terwilliger’s bank group in 1989, from local owners Ralph Rathmanner and Dick Sterner.
Terwilliger is currently the chairman of the Winsted bank’s board of directors and also chairman of its holding company.
The Winsted bank had its first name change in 1994 when it became Community Bank Winsted.
At that time, the bank was affiliated with seven other banks. Four of them in the Minnesota River Valley were sold to Hometown Bank of Redwood Falls so the banking group could concentrate on the metropolitan area banks.
After the sale, the offices remaining were Winsted, Wayzata, Eden Prairie, and Jordan.
Wayzata, Eden Prairie, and Jordan are one bank charter, and Winsted is a separate bank charter. In other words, the holding company owns two banks; one bank has three offices, and Winsted has one office.
In 2006, the new name, Flagship Bank Winsted came about because of the growing number of banking groups using “community” as part of their name.
It was decided that it would save a lot of confusion if the name would be changed to differentiate this banking group from others.
“There wasn’t an identity problem in the Winsted bank, but to be consistent with the organization, it was decided to change the name of the bank in Winsted with the bank that is located in the metropolitan area. We saw a problem situation and felt we needed to be proactive and make a change,” Boyce said.
As of Nov. 27, 2007, the bank’s assets are in excess of $39 million.
Flagship Bank Winsted’s board members include Roy Terwilliger, president/CEO, Flagship Financial Group, LLC; Roger D. Boyce, president of Flagship Bank Winsted; Steven L. Droen, president/CEO, Flagship Bank Minnesota; Larry Schmidt, retired, FDIC; David Sherman, president, Flagship Insurance; Thomas Ollig, regional manager, TDS Telecom; Donald Brauer, president Brauer Consultants.
Information for this article was obtained from Flagship Bank Winsted President Roger Boyce.