A History of the State National Bank in West

In 1909 the State National Bank in West was organized as the First State Bank at the present location of West Sales & Service on Pine Street in West. At that time there were already four local banks.

As the years progressed so did the bank. In 1916 the bank moved to the present Old Corner Drug Store building on the corner of Oak and Main Street. This time it’s official name was The State National Bank of West. On December 27, 1926, with a capital stock of $50,000.00 the bank’s name was changed to it’s present name of The State National Bank in West. Officers elected were C.W. Holloway, President, W.R. Denton, Vice-President and E.C. Adams, Cashier. At this time, the bank only employed five people. Average pay for a standard clerk ranged from $50 to $75 per month. Posting at this time was done by hand and books had to be in balance every day in the ledger books. Posting continued to be done by hand until the late 1920’s when posting machines were purchased.

Just as the name and location of the bank changed so did its general outlook over the years. Customers increased and the bank’s assets increased accordingly. Savings accounts began earning two percent interest and bonds were introduced in the early 1930’s because the bank had enough money to invest in them. In 1933 The State National Bank became a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation following the bank holiday declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a result of the failure of many banks in the United States. As a member of the FDIC all deposits were insured up to $40,000 for each depositor.

During the 1930’s the Bank had an unusual day of business when the notorious bank robber, Raymond Hamilton made an appearance.

Faces changed at The State National Bank over the years and the bank continued to prosper during the 1940’s and 1950’s and by December, 1960, the bank took a giant step. Its location was changed to North Main Street where the Bank parking lot is now. Through the 1960’s, new directors were added and on January 14, 1964, Jerome Lednicky, Sr. was elected president. 

By the 1960’s a savings passbook earned five percent. Posting was done on newer and more modern equipment and the the bank employees numbered nineteen, more than at any time in it’s history.

Flourishing from a tiny building on Pine Street to a larger building on Oak and Main, to a much larger building on Main Street, The State National Bank embarked on constructing a new building located next door to the present bank. The opening date was scheduled for October, 1977. The actual move in occurred in January, 1978. 

Bank president, Jerome Lednicky, Jr. explained the bank’s philosophy in the following statement: “Our outlook is that we are in business to do work for our customers. As long as we do the work in our place of business instead of shipping it somewhere else to be done, we can do a better job for our customers. We are in business to do as much as we can for our customers and not for what our customers can do for us.”

At 12:25 a.m. on the morning of January 17, 1979, two boys from Itasca were passing by the bank and noticed a fire at the Bank and reported it to the West Police. An electrical fire started in one of the offices of the bank and caused extensive physical damage along with excessive smoke and water damage all over the building. Firemen worked until around 3:00 a.m. clearing some of the debris from the building. Business, however, carried on that day. With no electricity all of the staff showed up and started the cleanup process while trying to rummage through the damaged property. The bank building was repaired and the grand opening was held on August 2, 1979. 

Even though an updated computer system is now used, machines will never replace the good public relations and friendliness of the staff. The State National Bank intends to keep its reputation of being “A Good Bank in the Friendly City of Progress”.