Posted 4 years ago
I pull some more banking memorabilia to share with you, This "Mont Vernon Banking Co" advertising steel bank was part of my collection for more then ten years, i battle with a US buyer on ebay util the last second, the price reach, i love better not talk about, let say i could buy a very nice Bohemian vase today, but i do not regret it, i never see another one like this, some steel bank, show up again in the market many time.
Thanks for Viewing.
-----------------------Mont Vernon banking Co, History--------------------------
Mount Vernon Bank and Trust was founded Jan. 21, 1884, through a partnership of William Smith and Dr. James Carson.The first major bank building was constructed in 1891 on Mount Vernon's main street; the building is now home to Mount Vernon Insurance.In 1897, 13 years after the bank was founded, W.C. Stuckslager, then the president of the bank in Lisbon, purchased Carson's interest in Mount Vernon Bank. In 1922, Stuckslager purchased 100 percent of the bank stock.While many banks closed during the Great Depression, Mount Vernon Bank and Trust company continued to serve the community. And it began to see many changes over the years, including the addition of adding machines and calculators in 1940 to replace the old handwritten bookkeeping.
Ryan and Smith say a significant year in the bank's 125-year history was 1955. That's when Jay A. Fordyce, who became an assistant cashier in 1937, led a group of local investors in the purchase of the bank from the Stuckslager family (Stuckslager himself died in 1931).Thus began, Ryan said, what's unusual today among banks of Mount Vernon's size - that not one family has a majority ownership. Today, there are about 50 total shareholders in the bank.Ed Fordyce, a son of Jay, said he remembers the time following the 1955 purchase of the bank by his father and other investors as a busy one for his father. It was a goal, he said, for his father and others to keep the bank locally owned. "That broad, local ownership was important," he said.Seven years after that ownership shift, construction began on the current bank. A major remodel came in 1990-91.Another big year in the bank's history came in 1973. That's when Ed Fordyce and Mike Ryan (the father of current bank president Dave Ryan) joined forces. Fordyce became vice president in '73; Ryan, at the time, was an assistant cashier. In 1986, Fordyce became president and CEO and Ryan was named vice president.Fordyce recalls that after serving in the Navy and attending school at the University of Iowa, he wasn't sure if banking was for him. But a summer spent working at Mount Vernon Bank and Trust Company solidified his plans."I really enjoyed working with people I knew," he said. "And the size of the bank allowed you to learn the whole operation."Craig and Ryan point to statement of condition reports to illustrate the impact of the leadership of Fordyce and Ryan. In 1973, the bank's total assets were just over $7.9 million. When Fordyce and Ryan retired in 2005, total assets were just over $62 million.Such growth has continued under the new leadership of Ryan and Craig, who were named to their current positions in 2005. From that year to the one that just ended, total assets went from just over $62 million to just over $79 million.The basics Hildebrandt, of the Iowa Bankers Association, says a bank like Mount Vernon Bank and Trust Company sees such growth and longevity because of their basic approach."These folks really know their customers," he said.Ryan, today's bank president, says the importance of forming relationships with customers has been passed down through the years, and is something the bank's current 24 full-time employees understand well.He said employees see their customers at church, ball games and while shopping locally. Additionally, he points out, management and employees see shareholders and bank board members in the same atmospheres.Fordyce attributes much of the bank's success to employees, their talents and their commitments to the community. He adds that the bank has been fortunate to have talented board members with a strong understanding of bank culture and the community.All that local knowledge, Smith and Ryan say, has allowed the bank to make local decisions without using such cut-and-dried tools like credit scores.Ryan said the board of directors "have empowered management to make darn near every decision." In turn, he said, management has empowered other employees, like loan officers, "to make the call."The main focus of the bank, said Ryan, is "being a community depository and investing that back into the community."Home lending, Smith said, is "the bulk of our loan portfolio." Right behind that is financing for local businesses.Additionally, the bank has a rich history of working with Cornell College."You cannot say a sentence in our history without mentioning Cornell," Ryan said. Nearly since the beginning, a Cornell representative has served on the bank's board. The bank has worked with Cornell on numerous projects, and also counts college employees and students as customers.Smith said the college, Mount Vernon and Lisbon schools, and the proximity to institutions in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, makes Mount Vernon Bank and Trust "an education bank - many of our customers are tied to education."Also, because of that proximity to two of the larger cities in Eastern Iowa, and what that means for the types of residents here, Mount Vernon Bank and Trust Company hasn't had an enormous ag focus. That's been changing, Ryan said, as the ag lending landscape changes and the bank has staff members like Justin Dix, a vice president and himself a farmer.Local focus Hildebrandt points out that many banks in Iowa have consolidated over the years. Fifteen or so years ago, there were 600 charters in Iowa. That's down to 400 today.In Mount Vernon Bank and Trust Company's 125 years, it's never had more than one location.Smith and Ryan said that's not because it has never been discussed. Smith said it's largely because the bank wants to serve its community and customers well, and any change "has got to be the right fit."There have been some changes in that area. Just under 20 years ago, Investment Centers of America opened in the local bank, providing financial planning services for locals."If an opportunity presents itself, we'll take a look at it," Ryan said of other changes.As the bank enters its 126th year, it does so at a time that finds the country under financial stress. Ryan said regulatory changes related to the situation could impact banks like his, but the local focus will remain."Community banking is looking good nationwide," he said. "Nothing's changed about the way we've always done business - sticking to the basics and being the best we can for the community.""I'm proud of our management team and our employees," Fordyce said. "They are talented people with local roots. They know the culture and are carrying it forward consistently."