It was the height of the Great Depression. Banks were failing nationwide, and fears of a Hampton community without a bank were very real. That’s when this community did what it does best: step up. A group of local investors joined to create a new bank on the site of the defunct Franklin State Bank. In 1934, Hampton State Bank was born. A grand opening celebration was held on February 3rd in the newly remodeled building.
That dedication to community became dedication to country during World War II, when Hampton State Bank stepped forward as a leader again. In 1942, bank employees volunteered many hours to work on Civil Defense Bond records and sales.
In the post-war era, convenience became more important, and Hampton State Bank would prove to be a leader in this arena again and again. Hampton State Bank became the first bank in Franklin County to offer drive-up banking. The building dedicated to this revolutionary service was dedicated on December 3, 1973. Other firsts for Hampton State Bank include:
- 1984: First bank in Franklin County to offer discount brokerage
- 1988: First bank in Franklin county to purchase an in-house computer system
- 1989: First bank in Franklin County to offer a full-service brokerage investment center, and first bank in the county to start a senior’s club and service guarantee
- 1993: First bank in Franklin County to offer an offsite ATM and debit card services
- 1997: First bank in Franklin County to launch a website.
- 1999: First bank in Franklin County to offer Spanish language telephone banking services
- 2001: First bank in Hampton to offer check imaging
- 2002: Launched internet banking and bill pay
- 2003: First bank in Franklin County to offer Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS)
- 2005: Launched a first-of-its-kind economic development initiative for Franklin County: Come Home to Franklin County®
- 2006: First bank in Hampton to offer Check 21
And that was all in Hampton State Bank’s first 75 years! Also during that time, a fire struck the bank building, destroying the interior. A new bank was built and dedicated in 1976. Since then, influential employees such as Michelle Schaefer (1977), Donnis Borcherding (1978), Ron Raney (1998), and Kathy Nolte (2006) joined the team, and the bank continued to see impressive growth. No step forward would be more significant, though, than the merger that would transform Hampton State Bank into First Security Bank & Trust.
This relationship began in 2015 and was meant to leverage each organization’s strengths: First Security’s 100+ year history and large footprint, and Hampton State Bank’s deep community roots and track record of innovation. Because of that track record, it may have come as no surprise to Hampton State Bank customers that they would receive a big upgrade in technological service amid the transition to First Security.
One giant leap forward included Video Banking through Interactive Teller Machines. No other banks in north-central Iowa have caught up, even to this day. Through Video Banking, customers have access to a virtual lobby right from their car, which allows them to bank from a safe social distance. Virtually everything that can be done in the bank’s lobby can be done through Video Banking, including a face-to-face conversation with a local teller.
Never one to rest, First Security has continued to innovate as others try to compete. First Security’s mobile app allows customers to send money to friends and family, apply for many loans, open accounts, deposit checks, and make purchases touch-free, debit card-free, and cash-free.
While tech advances are important, they can never replace the dedication of a strong community supporter. Like Hampton State Bank in days past, First Security Bank today helps a wide range of important local groups in many ways. For years, First Security has supported La Luz Centro Cultural through various sponsorships. First Security and the First Security Foundation combined to donate $50,000 to the Franklin County Fair in 2019. Sports and events at Hampton-Dumont High School are streamed online thanks in part to a sponsorship from First Security (see a video of that impressive project here), Tuesday on the Town has a reliable sponsor in First Security, and the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce can always count on First Security’s support of the business community. First Security employees also individually support their community by volunteering their time and efforts to local events and organizations.
From the Great Depression to the coronavirus crisis, Hampton State Bank and First Security have stood as strong defenders of the Hampton Community through generosity, innovation, and hard work. Their core values of customer, community, empathy, and integrity have been their guide all along, and will be well into the future.