“Louis C. Kinne and his brother-in-law, Selmar Pabst, were partners in C. Kinne & Co. and saw the need for a bank in Highland, when the F. Ryhiner & Co. Bank failed in 1885.
“In 1891, a charter had been obtained from the state of Illinois for the ‘Highland Bank,’ which took over the assets of Kinne & Pabst and moved the bank to a new building, which was just east of the C. Kinne & Co.’s three buildings (which today have been restored by Frey Properties.)
“Highland Bank opened July 3, 1891 with 18 local investors, subscribing the $25,000 capitol and $108,160.18 in deposits. The first board of directors were businessmen from around the Square. Louis E, Kinne, Joseph Ammann, a partner in Ammann Brothers; George Roth, hardware; Caspar Kamm, the butcher; and Louis Grantzow, clothing merchant, were the directors.
“The Highland Bank, after a dozen years, was granted a national charter and on March 5, 1903, and became known as the First National Bank of Highland. Deposits had grown to almost $500,000.
“Louis C. Kinne continued as president, and the board remained the same, except that Selmar Pabst had replaced Kamm in 1897.”
The Sesquicentennial Book further states: By 1987, the First National Bank had been in operation for 94 years, and it listed some milestones:
▪ 1914, the First National became a member of the Federal Reserve System;
▪ 1918, the bank was doing Liberty Bond sales;
▪ 1923, the Trust Department was added with Louis Blattner as trust officer;
▪ 1924, the bank was victim to a daylight hold-up gang;
▪ 1933, after the “Bank Holiday,” First National was among the first bank in a small town to reopen;
▪ 1943, the bank burned and was later rebuilt.
By 1967, the old building was too small, and a new facility was built at the corner ofBroadway and Washington. In 1969, the deposits were up to over $22 million, with 23 employees.
By 1987, deposits were over $100 million and the bank had 63 employees (included me, as I was in charge of their “Farm Plan” dealer financing.)
The First National Bank was purchase in 1990 by Central Bank and is now the U.S. Bank at 1000 Broadway. (For more information about the First National Bank reread my column of Dec. 11, 2014.)
“On Feb. 7, 1906 the Highland Dramatic Club was formerly organized under the direction of Charles Schiettinger.” (This quote is from the Bicentennial calendar for 1976.)
Another banking business was starting at the east end of Highland in 1908; it was the East End Bank. It opened for business at the northwest corner of Main and Cypress, in the former Edward Feutz Store. The East End Bank had Edward Feutz as president, John Leu as senior vice president, John Leu Jr. as cashier, and Emma Appel, assistant cashier. The Board of Directors was Ed Feutz, John Leu Sr., John Leu Jr., Louis Mannhardt, Albert Kleiner, Dr. William Michael and Louis Miller.
By 1920, the bank had outgrown its building, with total assets of $167,000. The bank reorganized, sold additional stock, changed its name to the Farmers & Merchants Bank and built a new building, at Broadway & Cypress. (Today, it’s Meridith Funeral Home.)
Martin Huber, president of the Highland Milling Co., was made president, with two new members added to the board of directors: Julius J. Spindler, the president of the Highland Embroidery Works, and William Mewes of Pierron Mercantile in Pierron. Louis J. Miller was elected president, and John Leu Jr., cashier.
“In 1922 the new bank was completed, and deposits continued to grow in the new, modern bank.
“In 1923, they were granted trust powers. By 1928, total deposits were $1,921,500, and Julius J. Spindler was elected president and William Mewes, trust officer.
“In May 1933, all banks were closed, when they could reopen, none of their customers lost any money.
“In 1952, Julius J. Spindler resigned as president, moved to California and began teaching Dale Carnegie courses, later becoming the director for Carnegie for all of California.
“Two long-time employees were elected: Elvin Foehner, president, and Cyril Spengel, cashier.
“In September 1955, the assets and liabilities of the Highland National Bank were purchased. The bank moved into the building at Broadway & Washington, until it could complete the expansion and addition of a drive-through window at its original location.
“In 1972, Elvin Foehner was the chairman of the board, and Cyril Spengel elected president and trust officer, with Paul Earnhart, cashier. By 1973, the bank had added parking lots, remodeled, enlarged the bank and had added two additional drive- lane. Assets were $39,842,000.
By 1976, R.J. Hagist was pesident, Cyril Spengel, vice president and trust officer, with board members Dr. Edward Hediger, Clifford Michael, Gerry Beaird, Floyd Basler, Ralph Korte, William Robertson, directors. Advisory members were Otto Jakel, Carl Baumann and Merle Wernle.
“The Farmers & Merchant Bank in 1983 was sold to Eagle Bancorporation, and it became the Eagle Bank. (After many changes in banking names, the bank became Regions Bank and is now located at 12515 State Route 143.)
(Quotes from the Sesquicentennial book, Robert Spengel and my files.)