Lincoln Community Bank celebrated 120 years last Wednesday with a cake cutting and inviting the public to join them for a free lunch. Some artifacts of the bank’s 120-year history were also on display, including the deposit ledger from 1897 documenting the very first deposits made into the bank.
In 1897, when William McKinley was president of the United States, Merrill was primarily a logging community. In August of that year, Lincoln County Bank was formed by August H. Stange, L.N. Anson and R.J. Collie. It was originally operated as a private bank with A.H. Stange as its first president. Lincoln County Bank became a state chartered bank in 1903 with stock holders.
In 1913 the bank remodeled and expanded to meet the increased needs of the community.
In the 1930s, many banks were forced to close during the Great Depression. Lincoln County Bank, however, weathered that financial storm. William Tesch was named bank president in 1935.
The interior of the bank saw another major remodel in 1962. Charles Eckerle took over as bank president in 1966. In 1968, as computers come on the banking scene, Lincoln County Bank undergoes another expansion.
Lincoln County Bank merged with the Gleason State Bank in 1970. That location on Hwy. 17 continues to operate as Lincoln Community Bank’s Gleason branch.
Drive-up banking service was added to the bank’s West Main Street location in 1976 with construction of a drive-through facility across the street from the main bank on the 300 block of West Main.
With Ronald Hornischer now as bank president, Lincoln County Bank celebrated 100 years in 1997. John Zulliger took over as bank president in 1999, succeed by Craig Lau in 2006.
With construction of a brand new facility on East Main Street comes a new name, Lincoln Community Bank. The new bank opened in 2007.
Bob Roe was named bank president in 2011. Upon Roe’s retirement in 2014, current bank president Clyde Nelson took the helm.