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Our History

Founded on Customer Service.

Focused on the Future.

For more than 120 years, serving customers has been the centerpiece of our business. Through growth, economic turmoil, new branches, and new names, BANK’s attention has never shifted from our customers. At BANK, we know our customers names. We serve their business and personal banking needs. We nurture banking relationships our customers can rely on—and we will for generations to come.

We Believe in Relationships

“Just like our founders, we uphold the long-valued aspect of relationship banking. Knowing our customers on a first-name basis is just as important to us as providing unique and innovative products and services. By knowing our customers, we are better equipped to meet their needs. A lot has changed since our founding in 1900, but one thing will never change. Our customers know we are their bankers and their bank.” —Chris Grimm, President

1900

Brothers W.A. Thompson (right in photo) and Carl Thompson (left) founded State Bank of Morning Sun, Iowa. W.A., known as Will, was the first bank president and both worked as officers. The bank was housed in a small room near the front of the Holiday Department Store. Customers browsed furniture and china while waiting to do their banking. The original 1800s-style vault was made of plaster and bricks with a ¾-inch layered steel door. Used until 1969, it had a daily adjusted time lock and burglar alarm that was prone to misfiring—sounding loud bells outside.

Pictured: Carl Thompson (left) and W.A. Thompson (right)

1917

Young M.H. McDonald, grandson of W.A., was hired as a janitor/assistant to replace Rose Thompson, the third member of the three-employee family team. Through hard work, he climbed the ladder to earn the bank president title his grandfather once held. M.H. McDonald retired 60 years to the day after his first bank cleaning shift. He started in the original building (pictured).

Pictured: The original bank building

1931

Shaken by the Great Depression, the bank ultimately emerged from the national financial wreckage with very few scars. State Bank of Morning Sun was then reorganized and chartered as Iowa State Bank.

1940

Iowa State Bank was ready to expand—a concept that lay dormant during the previous years’ economic struggles. Iowa State Bank merged with the local Mount Union State Bank (pictured), which had endured hard times during the Depression years.

Pictured: Mount Union Branch 1940

1942

Bank business was commonly carried out in the old store showrooms after the Holiday Department Store closed in the 1930s. Business needs called for a renovation. Employees worked through the dust, construction racket, mess, and all kinds of inconveniences as the entire building was remodeled.

1969

Iowa State Bank was busting at the seams. With the purchase of the neighboring building, an even larger remodeling and expansion project took place. During construction of the new offices, bank business carried on. Every day, workers wheeled cash, ledgers, files, and everything they needed for business across the street. As part of the leasing agreement, Frank White, owner of the building, carried the money across the street on the last day. In the new headquarters, the fashionable new teller windows (pictured) was one of the improvements.


Pictured: Fashionable front of the teller line
Pictured: New Board Room

1982

After 82 years of growth, the Morning Sun branch moved into its current building (pictured) along Highway 78. The newly built location finally gave the growing bank enough room for its business needs. Today, the branch is responsible for all data processing and back room operations.

Pictured: Morning Sun BranchPictured: Morning Sun Branch

1987

Broadening its territory, a new branch opened in the river city of Wapello, the county seat for Louisa County. Later, this branch (pictured) doubled in size to accommodate a growing customer base.

Pictured: Wapello Branch

1991

A new Mount Union branch (pictured) was built adjacent to its old building, retaining its Railroad Street address.                                                                                                                                       

Pictured: Mount Union BranchPictured: Mount Union Branch

2001

Following a long line of hardworking and savvy bankers, Chris Grimm (pictured) was named president of the bank. One of the founders and general managers of Grimm Brothers Plastics, Chris brought a fresh perspective to the banking business. Chris continues to guide BANK using his ever-growing experience.

Pictured: Chris Grimm, PresidentPictured: Chris Grimm, President

2007

A top-of-the-line branch (pictured) was built in Burlington, once again expanding the bank’s reach. Class and craftsmanship—and the bank’s commitment to its customers—are showcased in its features. You can enjoy a cappuccino from the espresso bar while you set up a new account or read in the lounge in front of the fireplace.

Pictured: The Burlington BranchPictured: The Burlington Branch

2015

Following years of success in southeast Iowa, Iowa State Bank opened a branch (pictured) in the Des Moines market. As part of the expansion, the West Des Moines branch became BANK. The four southeast Iowa branches remain Iowa State Bank with the addition of “An Office of BANK.” 

A Mediapolis branch opened as a Loan Production Office.

Pictured: West Des Moines BranchPictured: Mediapolis BranchPictured: Mediapolis BranchPictured: West Des Moines Branch

2017

All branches are rebranded with the single name: BANK. Although the official name has changed, the dedicated employees and high-quality hometown services remain.