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Bank History

The History of First National Bank
 

When an area was settled, a town established, and the proof that business and farming would prosper, a banking establishment was soon operating. Such was the case in June of 1886, when the Sherman County Bank opened for business in Eustis. Sure of its place as the County Seat of Sherman County, Eustis, located in the present 1200 block on East 8th Street, had a court house in the planning stages and the town was progressing. Within a year, a two story, ornate building housed the Sherman County Bank, the first brick edifice in Sherman County.

However, Goodland residents settling less than a mile west, were convinced that their location was the most viable and the burgeoning city would certainly be voted in as the County Seat. Apparently other persons of authority within the radius of Eustis, Goodland, and other settlements vying for the title, realized the tide was turning in favor of Goodland.

The election in November of 1887 proved the Goodland site the choice of the people, but it was January 13, 1888 before the records were removed at gun point from the city hall in Eustis and filed in the brand new court house in the City of Goodland. The "County Seat Fight" was an exciting event in the history of Sherman County.

The Sherman County Bank officers quickly made arrangements, and when the weather favored action in May of 1888, the building in Eustis was dismantled, loaded onto wagons, hauled to Goodland, and re-built brick by brick on the southwest corner of Boulevard (Main) and 11th Streets. Photos show a stylish, ornate, compact two-story building with huge plate glass windows, featuring a diagonal entrance, an architectural feature prominent on Main street for the following fifty years.

Without notice, the business failed to open its doors on March 9, 1896, leaving the county without a bank. Failure was blamed on bad loans due to hard times, and fear of financial collapse swept the business community. However, a solution was soon in evidence.

Another early town site called Sherman Center had established a banking institution operated by the Russell Brothers. In October of 1887 the frame building housing the bank was moved to the southeast corner of 10th and Main Streets in Goodland. Renamed the Commercial Bank in November, 1890, the bank ceased to operate in January of 1893.

In April of 1896, a month after the failure of the Sherman County Bank, the Goodland City Bank began operating in the building at the original location of the Commercial Bank. Organized by B.F. Brown, a former Sherman County Treasurer, a state charter was secured and on April 14, 1896 the new Goodland City Bank opened with a capital of $5,000.

In 1897, the Goodland City Bank purchased the brick building formerly housing the Sherman County Bank and moved to their new and modern brick quarters at 11th and Main in November of that year. Operating carefully at first, only collection and exchange business would be done. No chattel loans would be made, and collections would be a specialty.

The enterprise thrived, and in 1898 an addition, almost as large as the original was added to the west side of the bank building. Photos show a permanent pillared awning also attached to shade the east and north windows. By 1900 the Capital Stock was raised to $10,000. Additional capital was subscribed, and on November 4, 1901, the institution was converted into a national bank association with a Capital Stock of $25,000. On December 2, 1901, the Goodland City Bank was charted by the Comptroller of Currency as the First National Bank of Goodland.

The First National Bank of Goodland was sold in February of 1904 to three gentlemen from Norton; E. E. Ames, Charles Sawyer, and C. J. Shimeall. Other investors from surrounding cities were involved in the transaction. In a reorganization in 1908, the Bank and Stock was purchased to be owned and controlled by local stockholders. C. M. Millisack, a local businessman and entrepreneur was elected President, and C. J. Shimeall who had made his home in Goodland, was Cashier.

The Farmers National Bank, located in the middle of the west side of the 1000 Block on Main merged with the First National Bank in 1927. The Farmers building was purchased by the new Goodland Building and Loan Association who remained in that location until the 1980's.

The stock market crash of 1929 and the depression that followed resulted in a national financial crisis and a "Bank Holiday" was declared on March 4, 1933. Only those banks that proved sound were allowed to reopen. The First National Bank Of Goodland was declared solvent and reopened to do business on March 15, 1933.

Two other county banking institutions were also allowed to re-open, one being the First National Bank of Kanorado. Established in December of 1888, the Farmers and Merchants Bank opened with the president also doubling as a Cashier for another bank in Goodland, 14 miles east. The bank closed voluntarily after only a few years, the officers beginning a new enterprise as a Grain elevator in Goodland. In 1906, Mr. Brown, instrumental in the First National Bank of Goodland history, opened the Kanorado State Bank as President with a capital of $10,000. In 1920 the bank was converted to a national bank, under the name of the First National Bank of Kanorado, with C. J. Shimeall as president. Mr. Shimeall was also President of the First National Bank in Goodland. In 1922 H. R.(Herb) Shimeall, C. J.'s son, moved his family to Kanorado and began his career in banking.

On June 2, 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression and financial crisis, the First National Bank of Kanorado closed and merged with the First National Bank of Goodland. The Shimeall sons, Bob and Herb were officers, Vice Presidents, in the Goodland bank. In 1954, H. R. (Herb) Shimeall became President of the First National Bank of Goodland.

Willis Stout purchased control and was elected President of the First National Bank in December of 1956. H. R. Shimeall remained as Sr. Vice President until his death in 1959.

The First National Bank continued to operate in the original location at 11th and Main, undergoing various structural changes and remodels through the years. The awning was removed, the diagonal entrance was squared, and the large plate glass windows were filled in with glass block. A parking lot was made available across the alley to the west. Late in the 1950's plans were discussed for a new building to conduct the increasing business of the post WWII era.

On November 1, 1960, the affiliation with The Peoples State Bank of Sharon Springs became solidified when Charles S. "Chuck" Stout, brother of Willis, assumed the Presidency. Formerly the Weskan State Bank, established in October of 1916, the stockholders voted to move the business to Sharon Springs in July of 1932, and to change the name to Peoples State Bank. In 1940, the Peoples State Bank and the Wallace County Bank of Wallace merged, reducing the number of banks to one in Wallace County. The assets continued to grow and the physical property of the bank also underwent ambitious changes and expansion during the next twenty years.

Because the First National Bank of Goodland had remained at the Main street location for so many years, the principals were reluctant to consider a new location. However, reality soon dictated that at least half a city block would be required to meet the demands of a building and parking area for customers and the extended staff. No sizable area on Main Street was available within the area the principals preferred, but a suitable and convenient location across the street east from the U.S. Post Office at 11th and Broadway was negotiated.

The west half of the city block between 10th and 11th Streets on Broadway was cleared and prepared for a new and ultra modern building, featuring equipment the new era of banking would require. A large parking area was developed to the north of the main building, and in the summer of 1965, a Grand Opening was celebrated by Officers, Directors and employees, and attended by the major portion of Goodland and Sherman County and surrounding areas.

In March of 1991, the First National Bank of Goodland merged with The Peoples State Bank of Sharon Springs in the first phase of an impressive expansion.

Banking began as a business in Cheyenne County Kansas in 1887 when the Citizens State Bank was chartered in the ultimately defunct town of Wano. The bank soon moved to St. Francis where it remained in operation until the doors closed in 1986.

The Cheyenne County State Bank in St. Francis, Kansas was chartered in January of 1907. Moving to its current location in downtown St. Francis in 1921, the building was remodeled and expanded twice reaching its present dimensions in 1979. The Cheyenne County State Bank was one of the area banks allowed to re-open after the Bank Holiday in 1933 and has continued to prosper. In April of 1994, The First National Bank of Goodland merged with the Cheyenne County State Bank of St. Francis to further the alliance with surrounding communities.

On May 30, 1995, The First National Bank of Goodland opened a branch operation in the city of Colby, Kansas. Colby, 36 miles east on I-70, is a city comparable in size to Goodland, with a healthy and viable business and farming community. The association between Colby and Goodland continues in the spirit of free enterprise.

The First National Bank of Quinter became the fourth associate in December of 1998. The First National Bank of Quinter was chartered in April, 1917. Banking operations were conducted in a store front location until 1920 when the first bank building was constructed. In 1934 the Quinter State Bank merged its assets with the First National Bank of Quinter. The bank celebrated 80 years in business in 1997.

After the merger with Quinter, the business operations of the combined partnership in Colby, Goodland, Quinter, St. Francis and Sharon Springs had $260 million in assets, making First National Bank the largest agricultural bank in Kansas and the 98th largest agricultural bank in the United States of America.

April 2, 2000 the First National Bank merged with The Kirk State Bank of Kirk, CO. The Kirk State Bank was chartered on January 9, 1917. The original bank was on the south end of town. The bank remained at its original location until 1968 when a new modern bank was built northeast of its original location. The new structure had approximately 1,800 square feet of floor space, which was almost twice the size of the original bank. Ownership of the bank again changed hands in 1969, when it was purchased by Leland E. House from Donald Shuck. The merger increased the assets of the bank to $285 million and established a charter in Colorado.

In June of 2001 First National Bank purchased the Colby and Oberlin branches of Commerical Federal. First National Bank acquired the Oberlin building and moved the Colby accounts to our existing Colby location. This merger expanded the bank to 7 different locations and added 29.5 million in deposits, increasing First National Bank's assets to over 300 million.

The latest merger was with the Security State Bank located in Bird City, Kansas. The Security State Bank was proudly established on November 1, 1929. The bank officially opened with E.L. Bacon, serving as President and Cashier. The first employees included his wife, Oma Bacon and his cousin, Edgar Robertson. The bank’s first Board of Directors included: R.O. Atkinson, Harvey Dorsch, C.C. McMillen, George Alberty, H.W. Hickert, Fred LeBow, LeRoy Howk, E. R. Beiderwell and E.L. Bacon. Security State started business with $20,000 in capital and $2,000 in surplus. The bank celebrated 72 years of banking in 2001. It survived one robbery on June 29, 1931 and the excitement of tear gas explosion in the late 30’s.

First National purchased The Security State Bank on March 22, 2002 with $16 million in assets. The merger increased First National Bank’s assets to $346 million.

On April 1, 2005, First National Bank ventured out to the front range of Colorado and opened a new branch in Bennett, CO under the name of Colorado First National Bank.

Board Of Directors of The First National Bank

Dwane Timm, Chairman of the Board, Goodland
Larry Evans, Quinter
Peggy Hanke, Goodland
Larry Ihrig, Goodland
Ralph A. Jensen, WaKeeney
Perry Keller, St. Francis
Tim Livengood, Goodland
Victor Nemechek, Quinter
Lyle Saddler, Colby


August 2009

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