First National Bank 1920 – 1926
Farmers State Bank 1929 - 1931
It may be hard to believe but Granada was home to three different banks. The first bank was the Granada State Bank. David Secor of Winnebago purchased two lots in February 1896 so he could build a structure that would house a bank and general merchandise store with apartments and dance hall above. The stone arrived for the building in October 1896 but the bank had already opened for business on June 15, 1896. It is not known where they were first located. The first board of directors were David Secor, A.A. Williams, O.J. Clark, Fred Sly and F.L. Park.
This bank started strong and remained a very hardy fixture in Granada for many years. It even became know as the “old and reliable” bank. That came to an end when it was discovered that A.C. Gray forged a note and was arrested for fraud. The bank had been doing business right up until the minute they closed the doors on November 10, 1927 according to some locals that remembered this event. Officially, the bank did not open its doors on November 10th.
Interestingly, the Village of Granada held J.E. Branch and Alice Parks responsible for the funds the village had on deposit there. This was before FDIC insurance. Every one of the customers lost money and only partially regained some of it back. When the bank was sold, Mr. Nelson of the Huntley bank purchased the building. The story goes that he then removed the safe door so another bank would not move in.
The next bank was the First National Bank of Granada. This new substantial bank building was built in 1920 opposite the State Bank. Its first day of business was March 17, 1920 with a capitalization of $25,000 and a surplus of $5,000. The first directors were: C.A. Porter, President; W.W. Doty, Vice President; Arthur A Hill Cashier; Ernest Dalton, G.V. Cotherman, G.H. Chipman and Frank Sutton. It had been noticed since January 1926 there was a steady withdrawal of monies. It was decided by the bank to close on May 28, 1926. The feeling in the community they closed due to not making enough of a profit.
A.W. Thompson, Clyde Hiatt, T.N. Tomlinson and W. Hodgman were granted the authority to establish the third bank in 1928. It was to be called the Farmers State Bank of Granada. By the time this bank opened Granada had been without a bank for 2 years. This bank started off under very favorable conditions and community support. But as luck would have it, the bank opened just 15 days before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Its first day of business was October 14, 1929 and the deposits were more than expected. Considering the Great Depression had just started, it did very well. By 1931, deposits were over $50,000 but on March 20, 1931 the bank decided to close. The bank was solvent but it saw no use in continuing without making a profit.
Comments, additions, or corrections are most welcome; please send to the Granada Historical Museum, PO Box 115, Granada, MN 56039.