STABILITY AND INNOVATION
In an industry characterized by mega-mergers and ever-changing names, The First National Bank of Fairbury is proud to have a history and a name that dates back over 120 years. The First National Bank of Fairbury opened for business on August 1, 1883 and has provided continuous financial service to this community on the same corner of Fifth and E streets for over 120 years.
First National’s rise to prominence as a leading financial institution in Jefferson County and the surrounding area continues to be driven by its well-established culture of providing personalized customer service and innovative, quality products.
THE HISTORY OF YOUR LOCALLY OWNED BANK
The original shareholders and directors of The First National Bank of Fairbury were local Fairbury citizens with a vision of the future. The first president was Daniel B. Cropsey who served in that capacity for 25 years. The original shareholders retained ownership until 1912, when the owners of The Bonham National Bank of Fairbury, Isaac Bonham and Luther Bonham purchased controlling interest of the bank. In 1929, the Northwest Bancorporation of Minneapolis purchased The First National Bank of Fairbury and the two institutions merged and continued under The First National Bank of Fairbury, retaining the same management of officers and directors. In 1940, Luther Bonham, C.J. Bachoritch and a group of local investors purchased the stock of the bank from the Northwest Bancorporation, and The First National Bank of Fairbury was again an entirely locally owned banking institution. Ivan C. Riley was elected President and Luther Bonham was elected Chairman of the Board. Luther Bonham was affiliated with the bank for a period of 57 years, serving in the capacities of owner, president and chairman. He had the most distinguished career of any one individual associated with The First National Bank of Fairbury. Since 1969 the bank has been owned or managed by descendents of Luther Bonham. R. E. Burkley served as Chairman between 1969 and 2003 and also had a prominent career in banking of more than 50 years. In 1984, Jerry J. Knispel was elected as the 8th president in the history of the bank and continues to serve in that capacity today. Shareholder and Director, Vernon R. Pfaff, was elected as Chairman of the Board in March, 2003. The bank today remains locally owned and managed and intends to remain the same well into the future.
Endeavoring to be a leader in our community, The First National Bank of Fairbury has instituted many innovative developments on a yearly basis. Our institution now has three banking facilities to serve our customers, four ATM locations and the most up-to-date computerized operations utilizing the most current computer software technology. During the years ahead, we will continue our Bank’s growth and development, to accommodate the community’s needs. We are ever cognizant of our duty to maintain a progressive banking institution for our community, and we pledge our best efforts towards this goal.