Roots are in Andover
Since 1916, Andover State Bank has stood as a pillar of the community. In January, the bank celebrated the 100th anniversary of the official opening of its doors and now, in 2016, the bank continues to celebrate its history.
"The bank was formed in late 1915 and its doors opened in January of 1916," said Chairman Kirk McConachie. "It was founded by J. Earl Tanner, a banker in El Dorado and my grandfather, Fred D. Wilson. They owned the bank together until 1924 when my grandfather bought Tanner out. We've always been in Andover and we have roots here. Tanner and my grandfater were just two local farmers who felt like they needed to have a bank in the community."
"During the Great Depression, there were more than 300 banks that closed in the area because they failed," said President Brian Chamberlin. "Andover State Bank survived. That's a testament to the bank itself. When the nation went through the banking crisis of 2008, we survived again and we came out stronger on the back side."
During its 100-year span, the bank has also endured other trials including a robbery in the fall of 1928 in which the bank was robbed and a teller, Charles Bryant, was held at gunpoint. The instance even caused a wild west shootout between the robber and the grocer next door, who attempted to aid Bryant.
"The bank is truly a staple of the community," Chamberlin continued. "While we've outlived a lot of our customers, there are a lot of customers that go way back. We have a very strong core base of customers, many of which still remember the original founder. I think that in itself creates an icon in the community."
As the years have progressed for the bank, it has continued to grow and adapt to the current banking market.
"In 1999, shortly after the Andover tornado, the bank, having outgrown its location at 13th Street and Andover Road, constructed our current site (at 511 N. Andover Road)," Chamberlin said. "The building that housed the original building was torn down in 2010. Quite a few of the employees went to watch them tear down the old building. It still had the original bank vault. Many did take a souvenir brick as a keepsake of the bank's roots."
Those involved with the bank believe it has withstood so many obstacles because of its firm values.
"It really goes to show the tradition that this family has in banking has developed a culture of making sure the bank is going strong," Chamberlin said. "We have roots here and this is where we started. We will continue to be a strong advocate of the Andover community."
The bank prides itself on providing the best customer service possible to meet the needs of its customers.
"We're a full service bank," Chamberlin said. "We offer some products that most banks do from mortgage financing to commercial financing. Through everything, we've still been able to secure loans even during a downturn in the economy. We've come a long way from where we started–when customers were able to secure a loan with just a handshake. Even through we can't quite do that now, those principals of service is what this institution was built on. Andover State Bank is a legacy and our motto ‘Real. Personal. Service.’ is not just something we say– we practice it every day. It is a testament to the entire staff here."
"The community has a bank that they know and trust and they have confidence in," added McConachie. "They know that we'll be able to give them the advice and service that they need."
Chamberlin also spoke of expansion and the future of the bank.
"In 2006, we added an east Wichita branch on the Waterfront to expand our reach a little bit. That was a major financial commitment from the ownership of the bank. That second branch was a major milestone because it allowed our customers on in Wichita to use a closer branch. In the future, I hope we continue to grow," Chamberlin said. "We don't want to sit here on our laurels now. We want to expand our service and reach either through organic growth or through acquisition. I'm pretty sure that everybody that lives in Wichita and Butler County hasn't had the opportunity to bank with us yet, so there's plenty of room to grow."
Throughout the year, the bank will celebrate the milestone with a wide variety of events, which will be announced at a later date. To learn more about the bank and its history, visit their Web site at www.100yearsofasb.com or www.goasb.com.