Last Monday morning, the First National Bank of Brookings opened up for business in its new and handsome quarters, and perhaps at this time it would not be out of place to give a brief history of the establishment, growth, and prosperity of that popular banking house.
The Brookings County Bank was established in March 1880, by A.B. Olds and Horace Fishback who were at that time also engaged in the mercantile business. The country was then new but the bank did a good business, though at that time it required only the service of one employee. In the year 1883, Mr. Olds sold his interest to Mr. Fishback, and a corporation was formed with T.L. Fishback, president; George A. Mathews, vice-president; and Horace Fishback, cashier. A small brick structure was built and occupied by the new corporation and the bank was merged into a national bank, in December, 1883. Not quite ten years had elapsed when the institution, which had long since outgrown its old clothes, took a change of location to its present commodious quarters.
The building is built of pressed brick, resting on a solid stone foundation. It is two stories high, with basement. The bank proper is heated with hot air furnace. The counter and all the bank furniture is of modern style and make and the plan has been to make everything convenient for the bank employees and pleasant for the patrons. The vault is one of the best made in the northwest and contains a burglar proof safe which would baffle the most expert of safe crackers. The interior of the bank proper is finished in the latest style, decorated steel ceiling, walls finely frescoed and the woodwork is of oak finished in oil.
The entire structure is fine in all appearance and substantial in construction. It is a building which, not only the proprietors but the whole city may well feel proud of, as this will encourage others to build and convince the outside world that there is something substantial in our business interests, and will also invite and encourage outside capital to be invested in more brick blocks.
The First National Bank now employs three clerks besides the popular cashier, Mr. Horace Fishback. The establishment has a capital of $50,000, with a surplus of $10,000 and is counted among the safest baking establishments in the state.