The Cissna Park State Bank opened on October 20th 1941 with capital and surplus of $30,000 and assets of $450,000. The bank was formed as a merger of the assets of the Clarence State Bank and the Farmers State Bank of Goodwine.
The founder and the bank’s first president was David Arthur Frederick, who had previously been the President of the Clarence State Bank. Mr. D.A. Frederick grew up in the family’s grain and banking business. The Clarence State Bank was founded in 1908. During the moratorium in 1933, the Clarence State Bank and the Farmers State Bank of Goodwine were closed for only a few days and were reopened after regulators were satisfied that they were in a strong financial condition. The Board of Directors and management continue to maintain a strong financial condition of the Cissna Park State Bank. Descendants of the Frederick family continue to be active with the Cissna Park State Bank. They believe Community Banking continues to play an important role in an era when there is consolidation among both regional and mega banks.
In 1941 the bank’s primary purpose was to serve the agricultural community, provide banking services to the local businesses, meet the financial needs of the community, and serve the local taxing bodies. When the Bank opened in Cissna Park, the community had been without a Bank for over nine years. In response, many of the community residents together with the Cissna Park High School band were present when the Bank opened. While the Bank has continued to expand its services over the years, its primary mission of serving the financial needs of the community has not changed. In 1987, Agricultural Banking Corporation, a bank holding company, was formed and wholly owns the Cissna Park State Bank and First National Bank in Paxton. The name of the holding company was selected to represent the agricultural roots of the two banks. The holding company allowed Cissna Park State Bank to share resources and personnel with First National Bank of Paxton to meet the expanding needs of our community, and share technology. However, Cissna Park State Bank continues to maintain a Board of Directors with a majority representation on the Board from the community. Local Board members include David Schippert, Douglas Walder, Keith Allen, and John Conrad. Philip W.K. Sweet, Jr. is the Senior Chairman, and P.W. Kirkland Sweet III is Chairman. Ronald Dodd and Walter Hurliman serve as Honorary Directors.
In 1990, the Cissna Park State Bank purchased the building formerly owned by Champion Federal to provide the convenience of Drive-Up Banking. In 1997, the Cissna Park State Bank purchased its first ATM and located it at Luke’s One Stop. Today the Cissna Park State Bank has additional ATMs located in Rankin, Hoopeston, and Potomac.
In the year 2000, the Board of Directors established the D.A. Frederick Memorial Scholarship. Each year this Scholarship provides $4,000 to a graduating senior from Cissna Park High School. The Scholarship is based on community service as well as academic excellence. This scholarship not only commemorates the bank’s founder, but pays tribute to the excellent educational system in Cissna Park and promotes the advancement of its students.
The bank has continued to adapt to changing technology. In the early years ledgers were maintained by hand. As time progressed, there were posting machines, Burroughs Computers, and currently Unisys Computers using the latest in Banking Software. While many banks “out-source” this function, the Cissna Park State Bank continues to provide all of the bookkeeping function of the bank “in-house.” Recent changes include check imaging, telephone banking, and online banking with bill-pay and imaging capabilities.The bank has now grown to $43 million in assets with capital of about $4.5 million. While the Bank has sustained growth as the community has grown, the bank’s primary focus continues to be service to the community and its expanding needs.