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Farmers Savings Bank

Bank History

Bonanza Valley State Bank Bank of Brooten 1895
Bonanza Valley State Bank Bonanza Valley State Bank 2021

Bonanza Valley State Bank

The new settlement of Brooten looked very inviting as a place to open a new bank in 1894. Trips were made by John Bohmer to various small communities looking for a suitable location. The people, the soil, and the lay of the land, were factors that determined that it was economically feasible to start a bank here. The choice was Brooten.

One very cold February morning in 1894 he started for Brooten with his horse and sleigh. After an overnight stop in a haystack, he made it to Brooten armed with cash and the necessary formalities. He opened the “Bank of Brooten” on February 23rd, 1894.

There was a financial recession at the time, one of many to plague the banking industry and the country over the years. Renegade banks opened, took the customer’s money and left. Many banks were in trouble, and going broke. When the Minnesota Banking Commission was established about 1910, it helped stabilize the banking industry and we became the “State Bank of Brooten”.

The drought of the 1930’s began after WWI, in 1920, and plagued the country for about 15 years. The 1929 economic depression forced many banks to close their doors. President Roosevelt’s “bank holiday” in 1933 closed all banks for 2 weeks for evaluation, forcing bad banks out and leaving good banks in business.

Customer’s money was in jeopardy. We were one of only three banks in this area to re-open our doors, assuring our customers that 100% of their money would be available, an enviable record. At that time, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company began guaranteeing depositor money, helping to stabilize all remaining banks.

WWII changed our poor economy to boom times and our bank grew and helped promote our community to new prosperity.

The government “Soil Bank” farm program of 1956 coaxed 3000 people in our community off their farms. The remaining farms were consolidated and were encouraged by our promotion of irrigation to bigger and better farming, but we lost many smaller customers. We are gradually overcoming the loss of all those people and are now furnishing non-farm job opportunities to the current population.

Our bank has been an active and successful promoter of business and industry for Brooten for many years. As a result, we have helped develop industry and business that now provides 500 jobs for our people.

Bonanza Valley State Bank and three generations of the Bohmer family stand tall and proud of our community.

President John Bohmer 1894-1954
President John Bohmer
1894 - 1954

President John O. Bohmer 1954-2000
President John O. Bohmer 1954 - 2000

President David W. Bohmer 2000 - Present
President David W. Bohmer 2000 - Present