In June 1915, a small group of Stroh area citizens met to organize a bank for a very new settlement in the southeast part of LaGrange County.
This fledgling financial institution called itself Farmers State Bank. When it opened its doors in November 1915, it boasted 40 stockholders and at the end of the first day’s business, resources of over $35,000. At the end of 90 days, those resources had more than doubled, totaling just over $72,000.
Over the next 13 years, the bank’s resources grew steadily, totaling over a quarter of a million dollars by 1928.
In October of 1929, the “roaring” stock market that had lent its name to the 1920s abruptly collapsed, posting paper losses of $14 billion on the first day alone.
The economic depression that ensued was a difficult and tragic time for nearly everyone, especially the nation’s bankers and their hard-working depositors. Bank failures were common throughout the nation, and by March 1933, the crises had become so acute that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first official act as President was to close every bank in the nation for evaluation and classification. This was referred to as the “National Bank Holiday” or “Bank Moratorium."