Our History

The history of banking in St. Ansgar reflects the steady and continued growth of the town and surrounding agricultural area. In 1891 a group of citizens organized the town’s first bank (St. Ansgar Bank) with Avery Brush as President, Robert Lubiens as cashier and capital of $10,000.

A second private bank was organized in 1900 by C.H. Miller under the name of Citizens Bank with Julius F. Koch as president. C. H. Miller as cashier and capitalization of $11,000. In 1915, a third bank, First National Bank, was opened with A. N. Lund as president and capitialization of $25,000.

St. Ansgar Bank incorporated in 1922 and the name was changed to St. Ansgar State Bank. Avery Brush, president and co-founder, died in 1923 after serving the bank for 32 years.

In 1931 State Bank and Citizens Bank consolidated with a new name, St. Ansgar Citizens State Bank. President was Oscar H. Koch and Albert Halvorson was cashier. Members of the Board of Directors were O.H. Koch, Karl J. Johnson, L.L. Koch, F.W. Annis, Birchard Brush, and Albert Halvorson. This consolidated bank occupied a structure erected before 1902 for St. Ansgar Bank and still partially houses St. Ansgar State Bank today. The former Citizens Bank building is presently occupied by a hardware store. First National Bank was closed during the banking holiday and liquidated in March, 1933.

With the resignation of O.H. Koch and L.L. Koch in 1947, Albert Halvorson was elected President of St. Ansgar Citizens State Bank, Byron Golberg, Vice President. Oscar Mueller and Donal R. Halvorson, who had joined the bank in late 1946, also served as cashier and assistant cashier at that time.

Albert Halvorson died in July, 1953, after serving 46 years in the banking business in his hometown of Clear Lake and St. Ansgar. His son, Donal R. Halvorson, was then elected Executive Vice President and Monrad Houg, President (inactive) in August of 1953. During this month the bank also became a member of the Federal Reserve System.

New stockholders took control of the bank in January, 1954, when a group of local people and the Halvorson family purchased the bank stock from the former owners. The new directors at that time were Monrad A. Houg, Chariman, L.R. Falk, Lloyd Fox, Donal R. Halvorson, John A. Halvorson, Julius Kittleson, O.L. Mueller.

February 1, 1954, L.R. Michaels joined the bank as assistant cashier, later becoming Senior Vice President & Director until his death in January 2004. November 1, 1955, Harland C. Libersky joined the bank as a bookkeeper; Vice President at his time of retirement and director until his death in June, 2013. On July 2, 1963, Evelyn F. McNutt joined the bank as a teller, later cashier, Vice President and director until her death in April, 2011.

In 1966 fiduciary powers were granted by the Federal Reserve Bank.

In April, 1971, the name of the bank was officially changed to the original name- St. Ansgar State Bank. Donal R. Halvorson was elected to the Presidency. With the changes and growth, it was inevitable that additions and remodeling take place. The years of 1948, 1953, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1989, and 1994 were times of such activity. In 1971 an expansion project involved tearing down the First National Bank building and construction of an addition that retained and repeated the original exterior with its curved arches.

In June, 1974, Timothy D. Halvorson joined the staff of St. Ansgar State Bank where his father, Donal, was president.

The former West Bros. Clothing Store and L.R. Falk offices were razed in 1979 in the fourth remodeling project expanding the bank premises to the west and north to add new offices, a board room, and a two lane drive-up facility.

In June, 1976, Rodney L. Patterson joined the staff of St. Ansgar State Bank as a loan officer.

Action of a different nature took place with the formation of a holding company. The articles of incorporation of the St. Ansgar Bancorporation were filed January 11, 1983. St. Ansgar Bancorporation purchased 100% of the outstanding voting shares of the St. Ansgar State Bank as of May 16, 1983. Officers of the St. Ansgar Bancorporation were: Donal R. Halvorson, President; John A. Halvorson, Vice President; Timothy D. Halvorson, Vice President; Evelyn F. McNutt, Secretary; and L.R. Michaels, Treasurer.

On June 1, 1984, the St. Ansgar Bancorporation acquired the assets and assumed the liabilities of the Stacyville Savings Bank, Stacyville, Iowa, from Q.O. Heimerman, W.J. Heimerman, and numerous other stockholders. All employees were retained at the Stacyville office which operates as a branch office of the St. Ansgar State Bank.
As of August, 1988, the St. Ansgar State Bank employed 35 people. Directors were: John A. Halvorson, Chairman; David Falk; Donal R. Halvorson; Timothy D. Halvorson; Harland C. Libersky; L.R. Michaels; Evelyn F. McNutt; W.J. Schrandt; and Monrad A. Houg, Director Emeritus. Total assets: $60,059,885.78; Capital structure: $5,375,550.97.

As the bank continued to grow, the Board of Directors decided it was time to update the existing facility without changing the exterior integrity. Offices were rearranged, teller lines were renovated, bookkeeping was moved and an automated teller machine was installed.

As we began the new millennium, St. Ansgar State Bank continued to meet the demands of our industry and the demands of our customers. On August 1, 2000, St. Ansgar State Bank’s home page was activated (www.stansgarbank.com) giving our customers safe and private access to their accounts as well as an internet highway to the world. In January 2008, Vice President Rodney L. Patterson was elected to the Board of Directors of St. Ansgar State Bank.

On Jan 1, 2010, St. Ansgar State Bank had 22 employees. Greg Goplerud was elected to the Board of Directors.  On September 28, 2010, Donal R. Halvorson passed away.  Donal joined the St Ansgar Citizens Bank staff in 1946 and at that time, his father Albert, was president. Over the years, Donal was a teller, lender and bank president. He often referred to his job as first a janitor and second as president. Donal served his community and St. Ansgar State Bank for 64 years and he left his mark on the community he loved. He lived by his favorite slogans: “Do for St. Ansgar”, “Thanks for being a friend” and his favorite quote from Harry Truman; “C students run the world or at least should!” and we can’t forget he loved stuffed bears!

On December 31, 2010, St. Ansgar State Bank’s assets had grown to $100 million with capital of over $13 million. January 2011, Tom Edgington was elected to the Bank’s Board of Directors. April 2011, Evelyn F. McNutt passed away after serving St. Ansgar State Bank for 48 years. Having served as a Vice President and Director. In 2012 Megan Porisch joined the St Ansgar State Bank team becoming a fourth-generation banker, following her great grandfather Albert, grandfather Donal and dad Timothy.  January 2013, Mindi Vervaecke was elected to the Bank’s Board of Directors. In June 2013, Harland C. Libersky passed away after serving St. Ansgar State Bank for 58 years, having served as a lender, insurance agent and a director.  As of July 1, 2013, directors of St. Ansgar State Bank were Ward Halvorson, Timothy Halvorson, David Falk, Rodney Patterson, Greg Goplerud, Tom Edgington and Mindi Vervaecke.

On January 1, 2016, St. Ansgar State Bank celebrated its 125th anniversary – continuous service since 1891 – with the ongoing pledge to serve our community as best we can, always providing the services our customers need and deserve, and to maintain our tradition of being a locally owned and managed financial institution where employees and customers are treated like family.

As of December 31,2020, St. Ansgar State Bank’s Assets have grown to $149 million with Capital of over $15 million. Our 21 employees are fully committed to our communities and residents.  We continue to be proud to call St. Ansgar and Stacyville our home and pledge to continue to do what is best whenever we can.  We will always support our school, our local governments, and our non-profits. As always thank you for being a friend!