Kearney Banks Through Thick & Thin -
Much information has been collected about the Boom period businesses in
What about a more recent time the Depression of the 1930s?
Compared banks in Kearney
1926 Prosperous times
1939-1940 End of depression
1947 Back to prosperous times; air
base still open
1926 - Five Banks in Kearney
1. City National Bank 2033 Central
Organized in Dec 1888; did
business in a small wood building on corner of 21st & Central
Summer 1889 built a 3 story building
on that site
Closed May 14, 1927 after 39 years in
2. Farmers State Bank 2119 Central
Organized in 1890 at corner of
Central & Railroad [in the Lowe building, John G Lowe was pres.]
1898 moved to the Opera House for
1900 moved to 2119 Central to a new
(1931 Sponsored broadcast of
livestock market on KGFW)
June 19, 1933 after 2 weeks trying to
reorganize, the bank was taken over by the State Banking Department
after 43 years in business
Safe deposit boxes were transferred to the Fort Kearney State Bank
[Difficult to track because so many
small towns had a bank with the same name]
3. Central National Bank 2032 Central [across the street from the
City National Bank]
Dec 5, 1902 Plans in the works for
opening in Jan
Feb. 4, 1903
- Opened in Downing-Bartlett Bldg at 21 & Central.
May 1927 Closed & taken over by a
receiver after 25 years in business
Bank building and furnishing were for sale.
By Sept 20, 1932 they had moved out.
[Took over 5 years to completely close out this bank.]
4. Guaranty Trust Co. 5 E 21st
Organized before 1909;
Closed after 1940 but before 1947
[Not included in news about banks]
5. American State Bank
Opened in May 1917 in Porterfield
Building at 23rd & Central
Dec 1918 purchased the Henline
Building on corner of 22nd & Central 2122 Central
Henline Drug store moved to another location.
Remodeling completed, they moved in
Sat. May 10, 1919.
Men received cigars, women got carnations.
2nd floor was used by doctors
3rd renovated into rooms; used by girls attending the Normal School due to a
shortage of dormitory space.
July 27, 1929 Bank closed after
only 11 years
Bank officials announced it would
reorganize and reopen in 2 weeks.
All the banks that closed in Kearney
attempted to reorganize
Dec 8, 1929 Bank did reopen
Immediately changed its name to Fort Kearney State Bank
(Interior had been redecorated)
Building continued to be called the
American Bank Building for a while.
Kearney Banks Take Action
From 1927 to 1933 there were just 2
banks, 4 had closed but only 1 had been able to reopen
Banks across the state and nation
The economy was worsening;
Jobs were disappearing
Some men resorted to robbery bank robbery
Sept 1930 Kearney Banks Take Action Against Bandits
Five Hundred Dollars for Dead Bandit
Farmers State Bank and Fort Kearney
State Bank have agreed to pay a cash reward of $500.00 for any bank bandit
killed in the act of robbing either bank or killed in the immediate pursuit
after such robbery.
This step was taken because of the prevalence of bank holdups in Nebraska of
late, and as a preventative measure to keep bandits away from Kearney.
Three Kearney policemen equipped with sawed off shotguns were assigned to
patrol the two block area where the banks were located.
1939-1940 End of Depression,
beginning of WWI
Kearney had two Banks
1. Guaranty Trust Co 7 E 21st
Was 5 E 21, may have been
renumbered for some reason over the years.
Disappeared sometime before 1947
2. Fort Kearney State Bank Reorganized from the American State Bank
in December 1929
Continued to do business in the same
building for 2 years, until November 1931
Moved to 2033 Central, home of the
City National Bank
Prospered during the war period
Kearney still had two banks
1. Fort Kearney State Bank 2033 Central
Evolved as Fort Kearney National
Bank and then 1st National of Kearney sometime before 1960
2. Platte Valley State Bank
Opened in January 1944 in the Federal Annex Bldg, 2223 Central
Continues in operation today
Aug 26, 1919 Auto Smashed
Gomer Patrick was suing
Robert Sample for damages. About midnight July 24 Gomer Patrick was driving
up Central and ran into a large cottage marooned in the middle of the
street. He said that no danger signal of any nature was affixed to the
misplaced building and his car was badly damaged. Robert Sample was a house
mover and had not placed roper danger lights on the building.