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First National Bank
First National Bank
First National Bank

Our History

We opened our doors on June 2, 1903.....

old picture

Clearwater county was in its infancy in 1903 when Albert Kaiser, Sr., an already established businessman and banker, came to Bagley and helped organize First National Bank on Main Street.

On June 2, 1903, with their application for Charter approved, First National Bank opened its doors for business; those doors have remained opened since that day, making it the oldest established bank in Clearwater County. More noteworthy, one family has owned First National Bank continuously and they now have a further distinction as being the owners of the oldest privately owned national bank in the State of Minnesota.

Albert Kaiser, Sr.

Albert Kaiser, Sr. served as President until he died in 1940. At that time his son and namesake, Albert Kaiser, Jr., succeeded his father as President and continued in that position until his death in 1988. Upon his death, his wife Eleanor assumed the presidency and served until her death on May 30, 1997. While serving as President, the Board of Directors approved the purchase and acquisition of the Farmers State Agency, the bank where her own father-in-law had once worked. Following Eleanor's death, the Kaiser daughters, Pamela Rosacker and Penelope Kaiser Lee assumed the ownership. The Board of Directors now has the fourth generation of the Kaiser family serving and taking us through the new millennium. Serving on the current Board of Directors are: Penelope Kaiser Lee, William Rosacker Sr. (husband of the late Pamela Rosacker); fourth generation leaders are Stephanie (Rosacker) Forbes, William Rosacker II, Tammy (Lee) Morell, Kyle Lee and Whitney Lee. Lester Liljedahl serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The banking tradition has deep roots in the Kaiser family and the desire to be a leader in the banking industry appears to be continuing on all branches of the family tree.

I remember when....

  • You could get a loan on the street, with a handshake.
  • Do you have a drive-up? What's that?
  • We counted and rolled silver by hand.
  • If your drawer was off, you stayed until you found it!
  • Loan payments were hand calculated and written on the note.
  • We stayed at the bank until the books were closed on New Years Eve.
  • "Direct Deposit" meant standing in one of five lines to deposit or cash your check, especially on the 1st or 3rd of the month.
  • There were no such things as "ATM's" where you could get cash 24 hours per day with a plastic card.
  • There were no personal identification numbers (PINs) to remember.
  • There were no money wires.
  • There were no computers to "gaze into' all day long.
  • When "cut and paste" meant just exactly that.
  • When you paid your bills with a check or cash mailed or delivered - no "debit cards"
  • You had to get dressed and leave the house to transfer funds or get account balances - no Internet for home access
  • "Spread Sheets" probably referred to linens or sheets of newspaper.
  • "Word Processing" was shorthand or typing.
  • "E-mails" and "electronic facsimiles" would have been like a foreign language and certainly not legitimate.
  • When coins were hand counted and wrapped - despite the size of containers brought in.
  • When loan documents were a third of a page in size and often a single document.
  • When "branches" were still parts of trees.
 
 
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