The mission of Peabody State Bank is to provide quality banking services to Peabody, Benton, and surrounding residential and rural communities by offering a wide range of services including deposits, investments, and loans for consumer, housing, business, and agri-business purposes.
The Peabody State Bank was established in 1899 and was one of several Peabody banks that existed at that time. Original directors included well-known local names such as Gray, Heath, Morgan, Brooks, Lathrop and Janzen. Under the leadership of Orlando Jolliffe the bank provided funding for cattle ranches of the early 20th century, the oil boom of the 1920's and for the growth of the community.
The Peabody State Bank and the First National Bank were the only two community banks to survive the stock market crash of 1929. In 1932, amid the Great Depression, the owners of the First National Bank elected to sell to the Peabody State Bank, leaving it the only bank in the community. Between 1929 and 1935 the bank’s deposits remained constant but the capital accounts of the bank were reduced by half. Growth resumed in the mid-30’s and continued through World War II.
The death of Orlando Jolliffe in 1946 resulted in wide distribution of Peabody State Bank stock to his nieces, nephews and cousins and created the current situation in which no one individual holds controlling interest in the bank.
Throughout the 30 years following World War II the Peabody State Bank showed steady growth with CEO Robert Kurtze concentrating on agricultural lending. As a result, by 1975 about 80% of bank loans were for agricultural purposes. With the retirement of Robert Kurtze in 1976, the direction of the bank shifted to making more home mortgage and commercial loans while still providing funding for agriculture. Deterioration in farm income in the 1980’s caused numerous farm failures and resulted in both the bank’s failing to show a profit for a few years and in changes in agricultural lending methods. The Peabody State Bank showed modest but steady growth through the 90’s and, in 1998, acquired the old Benton State Bank from what was then NationsBank. Growing steadily, the Peabody State Bank continues to provide loans for housing, agriculture, business and consumer purposes.
The Benton State Bank was founded in 1904 and was located in a small block building in the South 100 block of Main Street in downtown Benton. The bank grew slowly and survived two world wars and the great depression. In 1965 the bank was moved into a new building at 234 N Main, which is its current location. In 1987 the Benton State Bank embarked on twelve years of mergers and would become a branch of First National Bank and Trust Co. of El Dorado, Bank IV Wichita, Boatmen’s Bank and finally NationsBank. In 1998 NationsBank placed the branch for sale and it was purchased by Peabody State Bank. Today the facility continues to operate as a branch of the Peabody State Bank and specializes in residential real estate and consumer loans.
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