The Bank of Brewster had its origin in the PATTERSON and STEWART Lumber yard, with Mr. STEWART, banker.
The Brewster State Bank, C.R. WEST, cashier, replaced the Bank of Brewster. Mr. STRAND worked at the Bank since it’s opening in 1902. Roscoe SMITH worked in 1907 for Mr. STRAND, who was ill. In 1909 C.R. WEST died and Frank MITCHELL became cashier. In 1910, Bernard STRONKS was ass’t cashier. The present Post Office Building was built new for banking purposes. In 1910 Mr. MITCHELL went to South Dakota where he and his brother conducted a bank. T.H. BLOXHAM took his place. In 1911 Mr. BLOXHAM resigned to take up insurance business in Worthington and in 1912 C.O. GRIMSTAD was made ass’t cashier. In 1915 employees were F.D. MITCHELL, STRONKS and GRIMSTAD. In 1916 the Brewster State Bank received a shipment of new dimes. In 1918 Rudolph ROSSOW and Alfred ROSSOW were employed at the State Bank.
During the war years, Miss Flossie BIISSER (sic) worked at the Brewster State Bank. By 1919 C.O. GRIMSTAD was back at his post, also working there was John FRUETEL of Lester Prairie. In 1920 Matt HUSS of Alton, Iowa and Fred LUDTKE were bank employees. In 1923 Vic MOELLER, our present music teacher, worked in the bank. At that time he was leader of the Slayton Band. Henry WEAVER worked there in 1923. In 1935 the Brewster State Bank celebrated its 23rd anniversary.
In 1927 the Brewster State Bank, without warning, closed its doors. Many had their lifes savings in it. It was a branch of a large Bank of Sheldon, all of which branches were closed.
By 1932 depositors had received their final dividends of 14.37 per cent of the claim, making the total payment 44.37 per cent.
The Farmers State Bank of Brewster had its first headquarters in the Fred NELSON cream station, in KRUKEMEYER’S store. H.C. RICHARDSON was cashier in 1915. A contract was let to Sam SWANSON of Worthington for a new building. Ray CLARK was awarded the contract for basement excavation. In 1915, the Bank opened for business, that year employees included Emil MAROTZKE of Rushmore and D.H. CONNORS of Hinckley. In 1916 Ben STIME of Minneapolis became the new bookkeeper and stenographer. The Bank also became equipped with a new Burroughs adding machine with an electric motor. At this time G.R. CARLSON, Civil Engineer, had offices in the bank, he made estimates, surveys and drawings. In the same year he removed his office to the old P.O. Building owned by J.C. MCCONKEY. Miss Effie WELLS was his stenographer. In 1916 MAROTZKE returned to Rushmore and Ted WEST replaced him. In 1917 the Farmers State Bank became the First National Bank of Brewster, owned by 25 share holders, 92 per cent of which lived in Nobles County and owned 76 percent of the entire capital stock. 64 percent lived in Brewster and vicinity.
The first Board of Directors and officers were: Adam BAUCHLE, Pres.; W.C. THOM, vice pres.; D.H. CONNERS, cashier; and directors, Adam BAUCHLE, Conrad HUSSONG, Sam TOW, A.W. FAGERSTOM, H.C. RICHARDSON and D.M. CONNORS. In 1917, Ben STIME went to Jasper and Eddie MANUEL was made bookkeeper. Otis WICKLUND assisted this same year. The bank in accordance with war registration closed every Monday to conserve fuel. In 1918 Otis WICKLUND went to the Worthington National and Mr. R.J. KUEHL of Elma, Iowa came to Brewster on June l. In 1919 E.W. KANE of Worthington came. In 1920 Ted WEST resigned. In 1921 V.R. BODELSON of Welch, Minn. Assumed bookkeeping duties.
In 1922 A.J. KANE of Windom came to work at the bank. This is what the ‘Tribune’ stated: “ An honest and intelligent young gentleman, named KANE, arrived in the city to assume a position in the 1st National Bank. There were none of the usual symptoms, common to married men, noticeable in his appearance, so we look forward to a general rough-housing among the fair sex for his favor!”
In 1924 Mr. KANE broke his arm cranking his car, so said the ‘Tribune’! Others mentioned in connection with the bank were: Herman KNUTH, Ernest STERLING, Theo. HAWKINS, Martin LEISTICO, Julia SEVERSON, Margaret SEVERSON and Mr. G.H. MURPHY. Of course, mention was made that Fred KOSTER accepted a position in the bank in 1925 and W.G. QUARNSTROM in 1928.
In improvements, a burglar alarm was installed in 1924. In 1932 the bank purchased a large electric chime clock to be installed on the front of the building.
In 1933 the First National Bank closed, along with all others, and re-opened when the Secretary of the Treasury gave his word that action was being taken to relieve the tense banking situation prevalent in so many places.
Eula ROOT was employed as steno at the bank.
In 1935 the bank was remodeled, an addition of 34 feet, to the rear was added.
To the left of the lobby and facing the street is the directors room. Next to it and separated from the main lobby by a low railing is an office quarters. Beyond these is the working spaces with three tellers’ windows. At the extreme end of the lobby one passes through a grille gate into a safety deposit department. The vault is composed of 2 parts, one for safety deposit and one for bank funds. A posting room extends from the work space, with the vault for books and supplies.
Sam FREY, George FREY and Lester LEACH did the excavating. The bank moved into the KAUFMAN Building during remodeling. I’m not certain if this is when John GARMER used to “sit guard” with a shotgun on his knees, or if it was when the banks were closing. Leastwise, I pity anyone who might have made a wrong move!
1700 people attended the “Grand Opening” afternoon and evening. Frank BESSER, local farmer, was the first depositor at the opening. In 1938 an air conditioning system was added to the bank’s comforts.
Others employed here have been Esther GARMER, stenographer in 1935; Hannah LEACH in 1942; Jack KANE, Mathilda SIEBRING, Lauralie SCHNEIDER, Vernie LESTICO, Magdalen WEINANDT, Mary LUTHER, Dorothy BISCH, Alice SEVERSON and Marilyn BERREAU.
Ray NELSON, Emma STUDE, Helen FREY, Lorena BAUCHLE and Myrtle WEY have served to keep the bank shining in their capacity as cleaning personnel.
In 1947 a Recordak, which films all checks for a permanent record, was added, and somewheres along the line I’ve missed the coin counting machine. In 1947 Art moved to the directors’ room and Mr. QUARNSTROM to Art’s quarters.
Mr. BAUCHLE was president from 1917 until he passed away in 1945, a total of 28 years. Mr. KANE is now president. W.G. QUARNSTROM, Assistant Cashier since 1928 is now Director and Cashier; Fred KOSTER is Ass’t Cashier since 1928.
Allen C. SEVERSON is a director in the place of A.C. SEVERSON, who held the position from 1918 to 1940. Those who are presently employed are: A.J. KANE, W.G. QUARNSTROM, Fred KOSTER, Francis WILLIAMS, Mrs. Norma BAUMGARD, Jeanine WILDANGER and Barbara KNITTEL.