The legacy of Providence Bank spans over 120 years. The bank was defined by the challenges that Elsberry endured and was built on trust and integrity earned through hard work and dedication.
Providence Bank’s story began in July 1888, when the Bank of Lincoln County was founded as a private bank in Elsberry. Two years later in, December of 1890, they merged with another bank of the same name. A prominent member of the community, F.F. Harvey assumed the role of President, Joe Block was Secretary and Cashier and J.T. Rice was Assistant Cashier. The early decades were challenging, but the bank grew and took its place as a vital part of the area’s development.
By the 1920’s it seemed that prospects were improving but the good times were short-lived. The great Depression of the 1930’s hit hard, however, the bank’s losses were modest compared to other financial institutions because of their conservative lending practices. During this time the Honorable Clarence Cannon served as President of the Board of Directors. Known as a fiscal conservative and a staunch supporter of agricultural interests, Congressman Cannon served the bank until his death in 1964. The Bank of Lincoln County successfully weathered the banking crisis of the 1930’s and remained a trusted member of the community.
The bank’s roots were evident in its ownership, represented by local residents with a strong family heritage in Lincoln County. In June of 1972 Emil E. Hoechst purchased the controlling interest and assumed his roles as President and Chairman of the Board. For the next 34 years the Hoechst family guided the bank through a period of prosperity.
Over the years the bank has seen many changes in leadership, facilities, products and services, but the primary purpose has remained constant – to meet the financial needs of the communities it serves.
In 2006, the Bank began a phase of growth and expansion, opening its second location in Winfield, located at the corner of Old Troy Road and Highway 47. In January 2007 the Laurie Family from Columbia, purchased the Bank of Lincoln County. Brett Burri was hired to start the bank in Columbia and now serves as President and CEO.
“We entered the fast growing Columbia market with our first location in June 2007,” said Providence Bank Manager Candice Steen. “In recognition of its expanding market, the board of Directors voted to change the name of the bank to ‘Providence Bank.’”
In December 2008, a fourth location was opened on Fifth Street in downtown Columbia. The main corporate office in Columbia moved into its new building on Forum Boulevard near the intersection of Forum and Nifong in July 2010.
“In October 2010 Providence Bank completed our first acquisition when we expanded to Jefferson City, Osage Beach, St. Louis and Grapevine, TX,” said Steen. “We are committed to our vision of being an independent financial leader within all the communities we serve and we are excited about the many opportunities that growth brings.”
Providence Bank has 13 locations and more than 170 employees in Missouri and Texas and is positioned for expansion.
“Providence Bank is still a vital part of day-to-day financial needs of the community,” said Steen. “We continue to look for new and exciting ways to expand and strengthen our products and services while retaining the integrity and commitment that can be found at a community bank.”
Steen went on to say that Providence Bank believes in supporting the community, which has supported them by providing affordable home financing and safe investment options as well as supporting numerous local charities, organizations and events.
“Since our start in banking in 1888, to the technology driven world of today, Providence Bank’s commitment to friendly, knowledgeable customer service, high quality products and services, financial strength and commitment to the community has always remained the same,” said Steen. “The staff and management of Providence Bank look forward to serving you and continuing our banking tradition.”
In honor of their 125-years, Providence Bank held a special event on Friday, July 12, where they dressed the building and themselves in old attire to represent the early day’s of the bank. They also held a drawing where one special winner, Linda Hammack, received an iPad Mini.
“A shining symbol of our strength and stability, our 38,000-pound antique vault door from the 1920’s, is a stoic reminder of the principles the bank was founded on and remains proudly displayed in our original location in Elsberry,” said Steen. “The vault door stands as a tribute to our heritage. Such history and magnificence represents our commitment to continue our strong banking practices.”
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