When it comes to banking, today’s consumer has a lot of choices. That wasn’t the case in 1928 when Iowa State Bank opened at 25 E. State Street in Algona. The first news of the opening of the Iowa State Bank in the local newspaper indicated that three banks had previously failed in Algona and for a short time, Algona had only one bank.
Iowa State Bank opened for business on March 1, 1928. Many of the first officers and shareholders of the bank have names familiar to area residents. N.A. Smith, father of retired city administrator David Smith, was president of the bank; H.L. Gilmore, grandfather to retired police chief Jeff Gilmore, was Assistant Cashier. Directors of the first bank included John Frankl, M.P. Haggard, L.E. Linnan, J.C. Mawdsley, and J.F. Overmyer. On the bank’s opening day, the deposits totaled $119,500 and there were three active employees. At the end of the first year, deposits had mounted to over $751,000. Today’s Iowa State Bank boasts total assets of $289 million and has over 50 employees in five locations.
When the Great Depression struck, Iowa State Bank was the only bank in Algona to survive and was the only bank in Algona on March 6, 1933, when newly-elected President F.D. Roosevelt ordered all the banks in the nation to be closed indefinitely while the government set up new rules to combat the Depression. After the hardships of the Depression passed, the bank continued to grow and prosper.
In 1957, the bank decided to rebuild in the same location with at the corner of State & Dodge Streets and a new building was completed in 1958. At that time, the bank had a staff of 14. Twenty years later, the bank built its current location at 5 E. Call St. The colonial-style Iowa State Bank opened in 1978 and boasted a public meeting space known as the Colonial Room, additional leased space on the second floor, and the bank’s first proprietary ATM named Ima Teller.
Changes in the consumer habits created the need for the bank’s first drive-up office at the corner of State & Harlan Streets in 1973 (currently the ProAdvantage building.) Changes in financial organization occurred, too, as a one-bank holding company was created in 1981 with total assets of Iowa State Bank at $46 million.
The bank grew in asset size and in the number of location over the last 20 years. The bank acquired the former home office of Home Federal Savings & Loan in 1992. In 2000, the bank expanded its footprint beyond Algona with the acquisition of the former Ruthven State Bank and then in 2003 purchased the former Corwith State Bank with offices in Corwith and Wesley. The bank’s online presence began in 1997 and now includes online banking and mobile banking.
With over 50 employees and assets totaling $289 million, the Iowa State Bank continues to serve the financial needs of the communities it serves. Tom Larson serves as the seventh president of the bank in its 85 year history. With five locations in four communities, the bank contributes to the local charities that make our communities a better place to live. “We like to say that we take care of the community and the community takes care of us,” remarked President Tom Larson. In 2012, the bank supported over 165 organizations with donations totaling over $132,000.