Growing With the Community
By: Wm. W. Smith
Durand State Bank opened for business in their new building at 1005 Cameron Drive (in the Otter Creek subdivision) on February 2, 1998. Forty-one years of loyalty by the community make this progressive step possible.
A "Bank Souvenir Edition" of the Durand Gazette dated January 31, 1957 carried the headline "Bank to Open Friday, Feb. 1." It is stated in the publication that Bill (Wm. W. Smith, Cashier and Chief Executive Officer) gave this statement to the Gazette: "It is very gratifying to experience the great degree of enthusiasm and cooperation that has been exhibited in the community. The directors have spent unlimited time, effort and sometimes their own money to organize and make the dream of a bank in Durand a reality. All who have worked on the building have shown a great interest in doing a fine job and getting it done in record time." Durand State Bank was a project of the Durand Businessmen's Association during their plans to celebrate the Village's Centennial during 1956. An application for permission to organize a bank was submitted to The Auditor of Public Accounts, State of Illinois on March 15, 1956 and was signed by the following:
A.O. Meyers, Carpenter
Raymond E. and Gladys Bliss, Grocery
Lee L. Kinyon, Insurance
Arthur Baker, Garage
W.S. Nelson, Railway Express
James Slocum, Service Station
Frank Haggerty, Automobiles
C.R. Doty, Garage
L.L. Spelman, Garage and Implements
Robert Highland, Grocery
Floy B. Chapin, Furniture Store and Funeral Home
Dwight W. Slamp, Plumber
Raymond F. Meissen, Fertilizer Dealer
Louis Thomas, Service Station
A.L. Basse, Standard Oil Agent
Delbert Larson, Dry Cleaner
Allen McCartney, Farm Implement Dealer
A temporary committee was appointed to further pursue the possibility of starting a bank, that committee consisting of Floy Chapin, Gladys Bliss, C.R. Doty, Frank Haggerty, and Ray Meissen. On April 9, 1956 the committee sent a letter to "Dear Friends" explaining that a public meeting was needed to determine if there was sufficient interest in the community to go ahead with the promised perseverance that would be needed to convince the State Auditor and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that Durand would utilize the services of the proposed new bank. The letter contained an invitation to a meeting on April 17, 1956 at 8 p.m. at the school gym and a survey form. It also stated that a speaker from Freeport would be there. (Speaker was Everett Wright, president, State Bank of Freeport.). Reportedly, the meeting was an enthusiastic one with ample encouragement for the committee to proceed. Many meetings followed, lots of correspondence flowed from the typewriter of Gladys Bliss, trips to other banks to determine a floor plan, etc. were made and hours and hours of planning were unselfishly contributed. Obtaining subscriptions for the required capital funds was no small task. A temporary board of directors was elected by the stock subscribers consisting of: Frank Haggerty, Floy Chapin, Algot Larson, Ellis Greene, Robert Dobler, Donald Flynn, Robert Shirk, George Smith, C.R. Doty, and Gladys Bliss. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. permit for the bank was received November 1, 1956; the state permit on November 9, 1956; and the state charter on January 8, 1957. Directors and officers were elected November 29, 1956, those being: Frank Haggerty, president; Mrs. Floy B. Chapin, vice-president; Wm. W. Smith, cashier; and additional directors Robert Dobler, Donald Flynn, Ellis Greene and Algot Larson. The corporate structure of the bank included $70,000 in capital, $21,000 in surplus and $14,000 in undivided profits (reserve for operating expenses) for a total of $105,000. Capital stock consisted of 7,000 shares selling for $15 each.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. specified in their agreement to afford deposit insurance coverage to the depositors of the proposed new bank in 1957 that the cost of the building and equipment should not exceed $30,000. The 1,500 square foot brick veneer building equipped with new desks and chairs and used vault door, safe deposit boxes, drive-up window, bookkeeping machines, etc., were made available for a total cost of $29, 540. The stockholders and the depositors, in essence, were fortunate in the FDIC's requirement because that set the stage for a profitable venture for the stockholder and excellent service with minimal charges for the depositors. The bank grew at a good pace necessitating additions to the original building in the years of 1966, 1976-77, and further remodeling in 1991. The bank purchased its own computer in 1978, after years of relying on a correspondent bank for such services. The building adjacent to the original bank building, remembered by some as "the dress shop" was purchased in 1983 and was remodeled for the computer and a new drive-up facility and was occupied for those purposes in 1984.
The Best Road facility, across from Lake Summerset, was built and opened for business in 1987. Basically, the Best Road Bank is a full-service, well-equipped building with an Automatic Teller Machine, drive-up lanes and convenient parking. The decision to create this facility was a good one and is appreciated by many as evidenced by the transaction accounts that are recorded.