Welcome bank marking 100 years

WELCOME – Since its inception in 1913, Welcome State Bank has been in three locations, but has always remained the hometown bank.

“We remain independent and locally owned,” said Jon Saxen, president of the bank. “We also have one single location, which is also becoming a rarity.”

To celebrate the century landmark, the bank will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24.

Welcome State Bank was originally at the corner of North Dugan and Second streets, near where Kidman Repair is today.

The bank moved in 1930, when it took over Welcome National Bank. It was located where Welcome City Hall is today. Remnants of the bank – like the vault – can still be seen in City Hall.

The bank began operating at its current location in 1999, at the intersection of Second Street and Highway 263.

“We’ve stayed around to serve the local community to the best of our ability,” Saxen said. “There are always new businesses popping up, and we’re here to serve small businesses, farmers and consumers.”

The staff in the bank is as much a tradition as the bank itself. Saxen, who has been with the bank for 29 years, followed in the footsteps of his father, Donald.

“He’s been a part of the bank for 66 years,” Saxen said of his father. “He retired as president of the bank in 1994, but he still serves on the board.”

Saxen, who began working at the bank in 1984, was elected president when his father retired. Saxen’s mother, Janet, was a board member for the bank in the 1970s and 1980s.

“The shortest tenure we have at the bank right now is 13 years,” Saxen said. “I think it shows our commitment to the community and the commitment from the community to us to support us and have us in business this long.”

Other staffers at Welcome State Bank include vice-president Mark Stoffel, and tellers/bookkeepers Sandy McKean, Marla Anderson and Cindy Runge.

Bank board members include Donald Saxen, Jon Saxen, Jon Helvig, John Edman and John Eisenmenger.