Banking began in Sublette at the turn of the century with the opening of the Sublette Exchange Bank by the Malach family. The bank operated for twenty years as a private bank and served well the needs of the community.
In 1920 a group of foresighted farmers made application for permission to organize the Farmers State Bank of Sublette with capital stock of $50,000 to operate for a duration of ninety-nine years. Then on August 26, 1920 a permit to organize was received from the Auditor of Public Accounts of the State of Illinois. By November 30th the stock of the bank was fully subscribed.
On December 7th, a meeting of the subscribers was held in the Town Hall to determine the number of directors and their election to serve for one year. Seven directors were elected: O W Malach, William H Brucker, G F Malach, George Erbes, Fred P Dinges, S J Hoffman and L C Geiger. Then on December 31, 1920 the bank opened for business.
The depression years created economic hardships throughout the country, Sublette included. This was, no doubt the darkest era in the history of the bank. In March, 1933, the bank moratorium was declared by President Roosevelt. The bank was closed until June of that year.
After the moratorium, in order to reopen the bank, any stockholder who wished could contribute fifty percent of his stock for reopening the bank. A sum of $21,000 in stock was realized through these contributions. Since this was still $4,000 short of the required amount for reopening, the directors of the bank collectively borrowed the necessary amount and the bank was reopened. It was one of the few banks in the area to reopen following the bank closings.
During the 1940's, a concentrated effort was centered on winning World War II. During this time the bank was very active in defense bond drives. Following the war, local servicemen were returning and the Sublette community prospered - new homes were built, new businesses were established and old businesses were reopened. In step with the community's growth, the Farmers State Bank had its first major expansion program in 1947. A new conference room and new offices were added and the entire bank was redecorated.
The decades of the 1950's and 1960's were continued years of prosperity for the community. By 1965 the need was seen for further expansion of the bank. The bank purchased the tavern and home of William Rabel to the west of the bank. Both buildings were razed to make room for a new addition. In March 1966 excavation was begun on the new addition. This project was completed by 1967, and included new drive-up facilities, a new bookkeeping department, four new teller windows, a new community room and remodeled and redecorated offices. The following year a new vault was added to the west of the bank.
In the 1970's and 1980's camping became a major industry in the community, with Woodhaven Lakes, the world's largest camping resort being established, just outside the village. To better serve the needs of the camping community a branch bank was established at Woodhaven in 1983.
The bank continued to serve the needs of the area, but by the mid 1980's the bank had again outgrown its facilities, so plans were begun for a new bank building along Route 52 at the southeast edge of the Village. The bank was moved to this new building in the fall of 1986.
The Woodhaven Banking Center moved to the new commercial building built in Woodhaven Lakes in March 2004. The new bank is housed in the building along with the general store, restaurant, laundromat and bait shop.
The Farmers State Bank anticipates continued growth in its service to the community. As in the past, the bank will be a leader in community activities. It will always be one of the chief sources of security for the community. Being a community bank, funds deposited in the bank are reinvested in the local community.
DISCLAIMER: This business is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics when viewing links attached to this website.