Winona Savings Bank
1874: Seven founders signed the Articles of Association for Winona Savings Bank on April 15, 1874. It was one of the first savings banks in Minnesota when it opened July 1, 1874, at 8 East Second Street, now known as 72 West Second Street. The Bank’s first president was William Mitchell, a judge of the Supreme Court of Minnesota and namesake of the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.
1903: Thanks to steady growth, Winona Savings Bank moved to a larger building in February 1903 at 174 Center Street, now the WA Group building. The Bank’s president was J.R. Watkins, founder of the J.R. Watkins Medical Company and one of the best-known entrepreneurs in southeastern Minnesota.
Historic Downtown Office
1913: Ernest L. and Grace Watkins King (daughter of J.R. Watkins) commissioned Chicago architect George Washington Maher to design a grand bank building for Winona Savings Bank at 204 Main Street in Downtown Winona. Maher had also designed buildings for the J.R. Watkins Medical Company.
1916: After two years of construction, the grand opening of the new Bank building occurred July 1, 1916. With its Egyptian Revival architectural style and Prairie School influences, the building features monumental columns in the front entrance, Italian marble, a massive steel vault, Tiffany stained glass windows, and a gun collection and African safari trophies of E.L. and Grace King.
Winona National & Savings Bank
1916: Along with the opening of the new building, the Bank’s Board of Directors established Winona National Bank, a commercial affiliate to Winona Savings Bank. The new building housed both banks.
1928: Winona National Bank and Winona Savings Bank consolidated to form Winona National & Savings Bank under a national charter on May 9, 1928.
Changes In Banking
1950’s and 1960’s: As the world of banking began to change, so did the needs of Bank customers. The grand Bank building underwent extensive remodeling over two decades. In 1956, a parking garage was added. Two walk-up teller windows were added to the garage in 1960, and in 1964, a closed circuit television drive-up teller system was installed. A Trust Department was added in 1962.
1970’s: A three-lane Drive-Up banking facility was built in 1971, which later expanded to six lanes in 1979 due to the popularity of drive-up banking.
1977: The building was included on the National Register of Historic Places.
1995: Winona National & Savings Bank launched its first website.
Winona National Bank
2001: President & CEO of Winona National & Savings Bank, Jack Richter, along with the President of Town and Country State Bank, Dennis Cleveland, merged the two institutions under the name Winona National Bank. This merger gave the Bank three branch locations in Winona: 204 Main Street (Downtown Office), 1491 West Broadway (West Office), and 840 Mankato Avenue (East Office).
2014: A new three-lane Drive-Up banking facility was built Downtown, modeled after the historic Downtown building with grand columns. Each lane was equipped with video technology to allow customers to see the teller handling their transaction.
2016: The historic Downtown Office celebrated its centennial anniversary with the installation of a commemorative stained glass window designed and built by a local stained glass company, Willet Hauser Architectural Glass. It mimics the building’s Tiffany stained glass windows with a lotus pattern and opalescent glass along the perimeter.
2017: To expand lending services into the Chippewa Valley, a Loan Production Office was opened in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
WNB Financial – More Than A Bank
2018: To encompass its full range of financial services, Winona National Bank changed its name to WNB Financial. The initials “WNB” were kept to honor the past, and “Financial” was chosen to showcase how the institution is “More Than A Bank” with checking, savings, personal and home loans, as well as experts in business banking, trust, retirement planning, wealth management, insurance, and financial advising. A second Loan Production Office was also opened in Holmen, Wisconsin.
2019: In its vision to be the premier regional financial partner, WNB Financial merged with the First State Bank of Wabasha, adding WNB offices in Wabasha and Kellogg, Minnesota. According to the Chairman/President & CEO of First State Bank, John Doffing, the community commitment and customer focus of both banks made for a seamless consolidation. Additionally, success from the Loan Production Office in Eau Claire led to the construction of a full-service office in Altoona, Wisconsin, offering a full range of banking and advising services.
2021: In addition to his role as President, David Vaselaar assumed the overall leadership of WNB Financial after being named Chief Executive Officer by the Bank's Board of Directors. Also, construction began on a new, full-service office in Holmen. The new office allows WNB Financial to build new and deepen current relationships throughout the Coulee Region. Doors opened in May 2022.
Today: WNB Financial has seven offices in the cities of Winona, Wabasha, Kellogg, Altoona, and Holmen. With electronic options, a community focus, and excellent client service, we customize our financial products and services to fit your needs. We work with you to find the best solutions for you, with the goal of being your Trusted Financial Advisor.