Minnesota County Histories
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The History of Renville County

Volume 2

Chapter XXIX

  Pages 675-722  

Pioneer Financial Institutions - Past And Present Banks - Story of the Foundation Upon Which the Financial Stability of the County Is Established - History, Officers and Official Statements - Biography


The first effort of the pioneer was to secure his location and to there erect a habitation. The question of livelihood was one of immediate importance, and no sooner was the pioneer and his family provided with a place in which to live, however poor or temporary, than he began to break the ground for crops. But even in the most primitive community, money is a vital need. The money lenders followed fast in the footsteps of the pioneer. Before long it became apparent that there must be some sort of an institution of financial exchange. Private banks were usually established as an adjunct of some other business by lawyers, real estate agents, grain dealers and others. Some continued for a few years only, but others gradually assumed the importance of national or state institutions. This, to a large extent, is true of the early history of Renville county. Today the county is on a sound financial basis, and the prosperity of the community is shown by the financial statements of the various banks which handle the money of the people at large. The county now has eighteen banks -- three of these national banks, and fifteen state banks.

The national banks are: The First National Bank of Renville, The Peoples First National Bank of Olivia, and The First National Bank of Fairfax.

The State Banks are: State Bank of Buffalo Lake; Farmers State Bank of Buffalo Lake; State Bank of Bird Island; Renville County State Bank of Bird Island; Danube State Bank; State Bank of Fairfax; Citizens State Bank of Fairfax; State Bank of Franklin; Citizens State Bank of Franklin; State Bank of Hector; Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Hector; State Bank of Morton; New State Bank of Morton; Olivia State Bank; Farmers State Bank of Olivia; Renville State Bank; O'Connor Brothers State Bank of Renville; State Bank of Sacred Heart; Farmers State Bank of Sacred Heart.

The first bank in Renville county was a private bank, started at Beaver Falls, by Hans Gronnerud, and continued for many years. Donahue & Paine started a bank in Beaver Falls in 1878. They moved it to Bird Island, and in 1880 it was organized as the Renville County State Bank. This is still in existence and is the oldest bank in the county. The next banks in the county were the O'Connor Brothers, Bankers, of Renville (now known as the Renville State Bank), and the State Bank of Hector, both started in 1887. Edward O'Connor started a private bank at Sacred Heart in 1888. It is now the Farmers State Bank of Sacred Heart. In 1889, Peter W. Heins started the People's Bank at Olivia. This is now the Peoples First National Bank of Olivia. In 1889, a bank was started at Fairfax, with Dr. J. A. Beard, of Redwood Falls, as president, and F. A. Gray as cashier. It failed in 1892.

There have been but two bank failures in Renville county, the failure of Hans Gronnerud's private bank at Beaver Falls, and the failure of the bank of Beard & Gray at Fairfax.

BANKS [and Bankers]

The Renville County State Bank 676   The Security Bank of Fairfax 699
Herman W. Mielke 676-677   The Farmers & Merchants State Bank, of Hector 699-700
The Renville State Bank of Renville 677-678   Albert E. Schroeder 700-701
Ole A. Stensvad 678   Swante W. Anderson (photo) 701
Siver M. Serkland 678-679   The State Bank of Franklin 701-702
Lubbert Ahrenholz (photo) 679-680   Andrew J. Olin (photo) 702-703
The State Bank of Hector 680-681   The State Bank of Bird Island 703-704
George S. Eichmiller (photo) 681-682   The Citizens' State Bank of Fairfax 704
Henry L. Torbenson 682   Charles W. Heimann 704-705
The Farmers' State Bank of Sacred Heart 682-684   The Danube State Bank 705-706
Edward O'Connor (photo) 684-685   Ferdinand A. Schroeder (photos) 706-707
The Peoples First National Bank of Olivia 685-686   The Citizens' State Bank of Sacred Heart 707
Peter W. Heins (photos) 686-687   First National Bank of Fairfax 707-708
Charles A. Heins (photo) 687   Emil F. Sell (photos) 708-710
The State Bank of Fairfax 687-688   William A. Fiss 710
Julius W. Schramm 688-689   Albert G. Briese 710-711
Albert E. Carver 689   The Citizens State Bank of Franklin 711
The Security Bank of Renville 689-690   Otto Erickson 711-712
The First National Bank of Renville 690   The State Bank of Sacred Heart 712
H. J. Dale (photo) 690-691   The O'Connor Bros. State Bank of Renville 712-713
J. H. Dale (photo) 691   William O'Connor (photo) 713
A. A. Bennett (photo) 691   Timothy O'Connor (photo) 713-715
The Bank of Miles 691   The New State Bank of Morton 715-716
The State Bank of Buffalo Lake (photo) 691-693   Fairfield E. Sylvester 716
Frantz G. Nellermoe (photo) 693-696   William Wichman (photos) 716-717
The Olivia State Bank 696-697   The Farmers State Bank of Buffalo Lake 717
M. J. Dowling (photo) 697   Herman C. Stark 717-719
The State Bank of Morton 697-698   The Security State Bank of Buffalo Lake 719
Henry Beckman 698   The Farmers State Bank of Olivia 719
Fred W. Orth 698-699   The O'Connor Brothers' Interests 719-722

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