About Us

The History of the First National Bank in Mahnomen

Old Vault DoorsThe First National Bank in Mahnomen received their charter from the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, D.C. on June 8, 1926.

The Citizens State Bank of Mahnomen was in the original building now occupied by the First National Bank. The original brick building was built in 1917. Officers appointed by the board were: O.S. Hanson, President; Leonard Hanson, Vice-President; Merwyn H. Hanson, Cashier; and John Gregierm Asst. Cashier. In 1928, the bank had capital and surplus of $27,500.00. Deposits were $113,300.00, and loans and discounts of $29,700.00.

In 1937, O.S. Hanson passed away and his son, Merwyn H, Hanson, became president. Other officers were O.J. Sorlie, Vice President; A.L. Hanson, Cashier and J.I. Lerom, Assistant cashier. The capital in 1937 was $33,369.00. Deposits were $318,892.00, and loans & discounts at $149,643.00.

1950's Bank on the CornerIn 1961, Merwyn H. Hanson passed away and his son, Leslie M. Hanson, became president. Leslie Hanson began working at the bank in 1947 after returning from World War II. Other officers were Robert F. Hanson, Vice President; J.I. Lerom, Cashier; James H. Hanson, Asst. Cashier; and Jean Munson, Asst. Cashier. The capital had increased to $237,000.00; deposits were $1,159,000.00 and loans & discounts at $771,550.00. The bank, in 1967 purchased the building next door, which had housed the Coast to Coast Store. The buildings were combined to increase the size to the present structure.

On January 21, 1991 Howard L. Hanson, became the fourth generation Hanson to become president of the bank. Other officers were Robert F. Hanson, Vice president; James H. Hanson, Vice President & Cashier; and Janice F. Cox, Asst. Cashier.

The current officers are: Pete Haddeland, President; Ex. Vice President, Harley Hanson.

Bank Clock

bank clock 1977

The headlines in the Mahnomen Pioneer read “BANK CLOCK DESTROYED BY HURRICANE”. That made me take a note also; but the headlines were correct. The first bank clock was installed around 1917. It stood on a pole on the corner. When it gave out 38 years later in1955, it was sent to New Haven, Connecticut for repair. This was just in time for one of our east coast hurricanes. The resulting flood wiped out the clock factory and along with it, the Mahnomen Bank Clock. A new electric clock was installed in 1956. This clock is well remembered attached to the bank with it’s large hands ticking off the minutes. The first digital clock replaced it in 1977. You may have noticed lately, the very newest bank clock was installed in April, 2005.

Bank Buildings

The First National Bank has gone through many changes. The first bank was a two story white structure built in 1905. This building was moved across the street and west and became P & L Farm Supply. While on Main Street, it housed several other businesses as well as the Citizen’s Bank. In 1911, H.C. Dierling opened a cigar factory in rooms over the bank. The brick building was built in 1917 and was the first completely brick building in town.

Citizen Bank opened across the street in the early land rush days. Later Security State Bank was in the brick building on the sight. Built in 1920, it was also the post office building. The bank offered a small metal bank to new customers, so Cy Flicek opened an account with one dollar and took his small bank home to start saving, he was 4 or 5 years old. It closed sometime during the depression or late 1920’s. According to Cy Flicek, many lost their money, including him but he still has the bank.

In the 1960’s the bank purchased the building north of the bank, which was the Johnson Sister’s building and later the Coast to Coast Hardware Store. Another addition to the bank was done in the early 1990’s when the Bank purchased Strandemo and Tonneson Clothing Store building which was north of the Hardware Store. These buildings are what make up the present bank building today.