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As the bank continues to grow and look to the future, it is important that we reflect on our past.
The bank opened it's doors in Bancroft in 1912 through the efforts of Albert W. Manley, its first President; Buchanan Johnson, Vice President; and Harold Ostrum, Cashier. In 1917, Jesse L. Judd, Harold Ostrum's brother-in-law, became cashier. Harold Ostrum moved to Blanchardville, Wisconsin and established a bank there. The bank was established with $10,000.00 capital stock. Harry Manley, a son of Albert Manley, started working in the bank as Assistant Cashier in 1925. In 1930, Llewellyn Walker became President after 6 years as Vice President. In 1937, Jesse L. Judd became President and remained so until his death in 1971. This ended his career in banking of over 50 years.
Throughout the history of the bank, its molders had an undying faith in the bank. Even through the shakiest period, around 1932 when many banks were closing their doors and depositors were seeing their deposits dwindle, the bank was the only local area bank that remained open and solvent.
Others that contributed to the growth of the bank through their dedication were Dorthy Kitowski, who was cashier from 1942 to 1949, and Alice Kollock (now Alice Polley) who was cashier from 1949 to 1991. Jenny Musland (now Jenny Hansen), Betty Daberkow, Loleta Hofschild, and Michael Olson served many years helping to grow the bank. In 1959, John Judd, son of Jesse L. Judd, started at the bank and served as President from 1971 to 2005. The bank prospered under his direction and he was very involved in the community helping many farmers and business. In 1991, Jill Kollock, daughter of John Judd, started at the bank as Cashier. Jill Kollock was named President in 2005 and became the third generation to manage the bank. Linda Russell became Cashier in 2003.
Jesse Judd was a strong intelligent gentleman, as a lone robber once found out in 1949. The robber shot one shot into the floor in an attempt to scare the cashiers. Jesse heard the shot from his office and grabbed his rifle. He pointed the gun at the robber and asked him what he thought he was doing. The robber fled immediately with no money! The gun wasn't even loaded!
These same strong principals apply today. Our bank is dedicated to improving and investing in your community. Our decisions are based on your individuality. Being independent makes us all stronger!
In 1972, the Kellner branch opened its doors on 80th Street in Wisconsin Rapids. Deborah Spaude is our branch manager here.
In 1992, the Saratoga branch opened its doors on Highway 13 South in Wisconsin Rapids. Mathew Lemke is our branch manager here. Debra Miller is our operations branch manager.
In 2000, the Hancock branch opened its doors in Hancock. Deborah Monroe is our branch manager here. In 2002, the Plainfield branch opened its doors on Highway 73 in Plainfield. Lisa Rader is our branch manager here.
In 2002, the Hometown Insurance Agency opened its doors in Bancroft and Plainfield to offer insurance services. Michael Olson is our manager here.
We are proud of our knowledgeable employees and supportive customers. Each one has contributed to the success of the bank and community through volunteering and their concern for making things better.
BANCROFT area history
Bancroft is located in the middle of the state split down the middle by Wisconsin Interstate 39. It is 30 miles south of Stevens Point, WI. It is sometimes referred to be in the middle of the central sands area because of its sandy soil that helps support the vegetable farms in the area.
Bancroft was named after the Rev. Warren Gamaliel Bancroft, a pioneer Methodist minister after the Civil War, and after whom Warren Gamaliel Harding, later President of the United States, was named. (1) Mr. Bancroft, being very much interested in the welfare of this little village, did so much to help it become more progressive that the people named the village in his honor.
The first families to come to Bancroft were the Ingrahams, Roseberrys and Manleys. They came in the year 1855 traveling from the state of Ohio. They built their own homes from logs cut on their farms. (2)
At that time Bancroft was only a settlement in a dense forest, consisting of only a very few dwellings, a potato warehouse, which was conducted by L. Starke, the two stores and post office and the (Wisconsin Central Railroad) Soo Line depot. (2) The Northwestern depot was built one mile south of Bancroft about 1903. A hotel was then built that had a horse-drawn carriage meet all the trains. (4)
C.H. Rich, a grandson of Mr. Edwin L. Rich, recalled that Albert Manley ran the first bank (Bancroft State Bank).
Near the turn of the century, Bancroft supported a 19 person concert band and a baseball team that was described as practically unbeatable! The community supported a large warehousing center from 1890-1930. The town formed a volunteer fire department on January 1, 1989. The Soo depot was moved to the Portage County Historical village in Plover, WI on June 13, 1990. The structure was beautifully restored over a ten-year period. (3)
Branches and additional offices:
(715) 325-30009031 State Highway 13 S Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494-9425
(715) 249-3300235 W North Lake St Hancock, WI 54943-9451
(715) 421-16603821 80th St S Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494-9665