History of First Federal Savings Bank of Mascoutah First Federal Savings Bank of Mascoutah
History

Introduction

In 1907, the United States admitted a record number of 1,285,349 immigrants. These people came for many reasons -- seeking opportunities for new jobs or new wealth, wishing to escape from religious or political persecution, opposition to the government freedom or happier surrounds in which to live.

Immigration caused problems for the immigrant, for the country to which he moves, and the community in which he settles. An immigrant must usually learn to adjust to his new home and sometimes learn their language, as well as ideals, traditions and values.

Newcomers usually seek homes where their countrymen have already settled and where they will face the fewest personal adjustments.

In the Midwest many immigrants from Germany, Poland and Hungary settled in Chicago and St. Louis. Some immigrants had jobs and homes with relatives waiting for them in their new cities. Other immigrants had to seek jobs and a place to live. Even though available, there was great competition for jobs with persons who had lived in these cities for a long time.

From these larger cities, the immigrants spread out to smaller towns looking for jobs. Some of these people found their way to Mascoutah, where they could get work in the mines and mills. The immigrants' new community found it now had many workers and not enough housing. Some persons resented immigrants, even though their own families had been immigrants only one or two generations before. They did not understand or tolerate the customs, ideals and traditions of the newcomers. As a result, the immigrants sometimes had difficulty finding a good home and winning social acceptance. They often did not have the same economic opportunities as persons who had lived in Mascoutah a longer time.

Some local citizens welcomed the immigrants. They did their best to help them find jobs and suitable living quarters. Some of the town's businessmen would often sit on the benches under the Postel Mill Porch and discuss the growing city's problems. The were virtually no rental homes available and these new immigrants with their low paying jobs did not qualify for home loans from the banks.

1913 to 1923

Several of these men determined to invest their money to found the Mascoutah Building and Loan Association in August 1913.

The original board of directors included:

George Draser

President

Lumberyard Owner

J.D. Mollman

Vice President

Harness Maker & Vehicle Dealer

J.R. Jones

Secretary

Bookkeeper at Mill

Oscar Hagist

Treasurer

General Store Owner

Carl Montag

Newspaper Editor

John J. Flotho

Postmaster

Robert Schubert

Contractor

A.C. Hagist

General Store Owner

E.C. Kamann

General Store Owner

Investors were invited to participate by purchasing stock. Each share cost 50 cents per month with a charge of 25 cents per share for membership added to the first payment of all stock.

Borrowers were told about the ease with which to pay their mortgages, paying small monthly payments like rent. Money was loaned on first mortgages at not over 50% of the appraised valuation.

A printed statement from the Mascoutah Building and Loan Explains:

"...Few prospective home builders have sufficient funds to pay cash for their homes and they must in large part be paid for with borrowed money. Banks cannot finance this movement, since the making of mortgage loans is only a small side line of their regular business. A bank can not safely tie up any considerable portion of its assets in long time loans, and in every state the law limits the hand, the average working man, depending on his savings from his wages for funds with which to pay for his home, he cannot safely borrow on a short time mortgage which he knows he will not be able to liquidate during the term of the loan, and as it may fall due in time of tight money and depressed business conditions, he fears he may not be able to renew it at maturity.

What is needed to finance a home building program in any community, is a financial institution, especially organized and operated to make long time loans repayable in small periodical payments, about the same as rent. There is just one type of financial institution which is adapted to fill this need, and that is what is known as Building and Loan Association..."

Payments by investors and borrowers were made the first day of the month in the front office of the Postel Milling Company--other days of the month, payments could be made at J.R. Jones residence, ii East South Street. His daughter, Margie Jones took care of the books.

Two of the original founders were replaced. In 1919, H.F. Lill, attorney replaced John J. Flotho, and in 1920, T.E. Hagist, general store owner, replaced A.C. Hagist as directors.

The first printed annual statement in 1918 showed assets of $27,709.74. Assets reached over $100,000 in 1923, 10 years after the founding of the association.

1923 to 1929

During these years were no changes in directors and this was a period of steady growth for Mascoutah Building and Loan as assets amounted to over $250,000 by the end of the 16th year, July 31, 1929.

1929 to 1944

This was a hard time in the economic life of our country and it was hard time in the life of the Mascoutah Building and Loan. The general level of economic activity was low. Assets plunged to $161,000 in these 15 years.

During this time, five more of the charter directors had to be replaced by the association. In 1932, E.R. Schubkegel, contractor, replaced Robert Schubert. In 1934, Philip Kugelmann, barber, E.A. Karstens, miller, and Sigmund Stock, general store employee, replaced Oscar Hagist, Carl Montag and T.E. Hagist. At the same time, E.C. Kamann became Vice President and J.D. Mollman, was elected Treasurer. In 1936, upon the death of George Draser, Dr. O.F. Reinhardt, general practitioner, was elected as a director. E.C. Kamann, President and E.R. Schubkegel Vice President.

1945 to 1957

We see in these years a resurgent Mascoutah Building and Loan Association.

Elmer O. Riess, insurance and real estate agent, replaced J.R. Jones as secretary and designated as manager of the association. The office was now open to investors and borrowers 5 ˝ days per week and employed a clerical staff. The office located at South First and West State Streets offered services of insurance, real estate, savings and loan, income tax preparation, state vehicle and driver's license applications and secretary school board all in one facility. The increase in client traffic and demands necessitated additional office space to be constructed at the location in 1955.

In 1945, James Batton, implement dealer and Walter Nenninger, mine worker, replaced E.C. Kamann and Dr. O.F. Reinhardt. E.R. Schubkegel was elected President, E.A. Karstens, Vice President and Elmer O. Riess, Secretary--Manager.

Elections in 1946 showed E.A. Karstens as 1st Vice President and Philip Kugelman as 2nd Vice President, In 1951, E.A. Karstens also assumed the duties of J.D. Mollman as Treasurer. In 1951 Roland Riess, insurance and real estate agent, was elected to fill the vacancy left by J.D. Mollman. In 1952, A.S. Lee, mill employee, was elected to fill the vacancy left by James Batton.

In 1956 the association's name was changed to Mascoutah Savings and Loan. Glenn Liebig, business owner, was elected to replace E.R. Schubkegel. New officers that year were Philip Kugelman, President, Walter Nenninger, 1st Vice President, A.S. Lee, 2nd Vice President, and E.A. Karstens, Treasurer. The following year Meryl T. Schroeder, attorney filled the vacancy left by H.F. Lill and Herbert T. Yaeger, building replaced Sigmund Stock.

A printed advertisement in 1956 states:

For Safe and Profitable investment, buy Paid Up Shares bringing 3% interest.

Additional records show that rent, including heat, electric, water, furnishing and office equipment amounted to $60.00 per year; telephone, telegraph, express and postage amounted to $65.00 per year; advertising amounted to $40.80.

Assets increased 2 ˝ times in these 12 years from $161,000 to $405,000.

1958 to 1968

1958, the 45th year, marked the beginning of many improvements:

Accounts were insured up to $10,000 by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation.

Membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago gave it access to additional funds whenever quickly needed.

Elmer Riess was employed as full-time manager and Janet Twenhofel employed as full-time bookkeeper.

Modernized with larger and better equipped offices, as the office now housed only the Savings and Loan Association.

Assets increased 20% during the past year, now totaling over a half million dollars.

In 1959, in addition to advertising the monthly savings plan and paid up shares, clients were urged to start "Our optional savings plan, add any amount any time, withdraw any amount any time." As always, the association printed statements offering their services to the borrower of the Mascoutah area in acquiring homes. "We solicit borrowers who are in need of financial assistance on their homes."

In 1961, the Mascoutah Savings and Loan Association celebrated reaching over $1,000,000 in assets.

In 1962, the borrowers were told "When you need money for buying, building or remodeling your home, let us tell you about our modern, easy to repay, OPEN END mortgage loan."

Board of Directors and Officers were changed in 1963 when Roland E. Riess was elected as Treasurer. The following year Walter E. Grauel, postmaster was elected to the vacancy left by E.A. Karstens.

1965 saw the Mascoutah Savings and Loan Association reach its $2,000,000 asset milestone.

Accounts were insured up to $15,000,000 in 1967. New officers that year were Walter Nenninger, President, A.S. Lee, 1st Vice President, and Glenn Liebig 2nd Vice President. Dr. Paul Svarcas, veterinarian, was elected to replace Herbert Yaeger.

In the Summer of 1967, the Mabus property, located at the corner of First and Main Streets, was purchased to build a new facility to house the rapidly growing association. The dwelling on the property was dismantled and the Yaeger Construction Company was hired to build the new building.

As Elmer Riess anticipated retirement as Secretary and Manager, Ivan DeHart was hired in October 1967. The new building was completed and ready for occupancy two months later. Ivan DeHart was now Secretary and Manager and Betty Schanz, bookkeeper. Elmer Riess remained on the board as a director. At the end of the 55th year, assets had risen to $2,850,000.

1969 to 1985

In 1969, Ivan DeHart was given the title Executive Secretary and Thomas Norrenberns of the IGA Supermarket was elected as director. Elmer Riess was honored with the title Director Emeritus.

Assets in 1970 now reached $4,000,000 and savings were insured up to $20,000. Passbook rates, paid quarterly, were 4 3/4% and Savings Certificates were 5 1/2% to 6%.

The name of the Association was changed to First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Mascoutah, Illinois in 1971.

By 1974 assets had risen to almost $10,000,000. Savings were now insured to $40,000 by FSLIC. The "new" building was already too small and an addition to this building was built on the north side.

January 1, 1976 First Federal Savings and Loan opened their first branch office in the building they leased at 109 East Hanover in New Baden, Illinois.

Advertising in 1978 lists 5 1/4% passbook rate, paid quarterly, compounded daily. Savings Certificates were 5 3/4% to 8%, paid quarterly, and Money Market Certificates were offered. There was again need for expansion at the Mascoutah Office. The Floyd property on the west side was purchased and a drive-up window facility was added on the west side of the building in July 1979.

In 1980 assets amounted to $23,000,000. Accounts were now insured to $100,000 by the FSLIC. The association offered 5 1/2% passbook rate paid quarterly, compounded daily. 5 3/4% to 8 % Savings Certificates, paid quarterly, Six Month Money Market Certificates, 30 Month Money Market Certificates and Interest Bearing Checking Accounts. Looking forward to expanding to Lebanon, Illinois, the association bought the building in December 1980 at 108 West St. Louis Street and started remodeling procedures. Joann Renth was appointed Branch Manager at New Baden, Betty Schanz was appointed Assistant Managing Officer of the Association, Linda Boyce the NOW Account Coordinator, and Gina Klein, Savings Counselor.

The newly remodeled facility housing the Lebanon branch office was opened in March 1981.

The 1982 annual statement offered for borrowers: real estate loans, home and commercial, home improvement loans, installment loans, auto, mobile home, equipment loans share loans, loans made against your savings. The Investors were offered passbook savings at 5 ˝%, paid quarterly compounded daily. Certificates of Deposit 7 to 31 Day, 91 Day, 6 Months.

Interest bearing Checking Accounts (NOW) 5 1/4% compounded daily, paid monthly. JUMBO NOW, minimum $5,000.00 and Money Market Deposit Accounts, Minimum $2,500.00. When A.S. Lee died and Glenn Liebig retired form the board of directors in 1983, they were not replaced.

Construction of a new facility at 1200 East Hanover, New Baden was begun in 1983. On October 14, the new branch office was open for business. An Open House honoring the opening of the office was held in December 1983. New officers named in 1983 were Roland Riess, 1st Vice President, Walter Grauel, 2nd Vice President, Dr. Paul Svarcas, Treasurer, Ivan DeHart, Executive Vice President and Secretary, Margaret Brann was named Branch Manager of the Lebanon office.

1985 to 1999

As the 75th year of service to the Mascoutah area thrift customers and homeowners approached, the directions of the association decided that a change in name would reflect the character of the mutual association at this stage of its existence. Accordingly permission was sought from its Federal regulators to change its name to "First Federal Savings Bank of Mascoutah, Illinois." The name change was readily granted.

By 1990 the Bank’s total assets had increased to in excess of 38 million dollars, its net worth was a healthy $2,807,000.00, which was 7.2% of liabilities. It was soon approaching the need to further expand its office and banking flow. Adjoining property had wisely been acquired some years prior for this purpose. Plans for the expansion were finalized in April of 1993 and the new building was completed and occupied in 1994.

In the year 1996, after 29 years of service guiding the bank from a small institution with assets slightly more than 2.5 million dollars, to one with assets of more that 57 million dollars. Ivan DeHart retired as Executive Vice President and Secretary. He was succeeded by Terry Giles, who came to the bank with more than twenty years of banking experience. Mr. DeHart continues to serve as Director of the Bank.

During the years 1993 to 1999 the bank experienced a rapid growth from 52 million in total assets to its present size in excess of 75 million dollars. During this time the bank’s net worth (capital) grew proportionately to $6,410,553.00 and its asset ratio increased to 8.93% to its liabilities, after considering loan loss reserves. It is operated under the Federal Office of Thrift Supervision.

It has continued to carry out its mission to loan money primarily to single family, owner occupied borrowers, and to pay fair and reasonable rates of interest to its depositors. All deposits are granted up to the limit of $100,000.00 under the terms and condition of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Never has a depositor lost a single dollar at this Bank.

The current officers and directors are:

Theodore Ahner

Chairman of the Board

Terry Giles

President

Brent Bergheger

First Vice President

Joseph Cioni

Treasurer

Ivan DeHart

Secretary

Robert Welch

Director

John Harris

Director

Rodney LaCaze

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