Marshfield, September 1922: Bank on it
Two new banks are granted charters
By Kris Leonhardt
The Roaring ‘20s were years of great economic growth in the country and in Marshfield. As America’s wealth doubled, the nation became one of consumers and somewhat frivolous means.
The influence of the automobile slowly made itself manifest as gas stations and service stations began to line Marshfield’s main thoroughfares.
The aftershock of World War I created low prices in construction, and residents were eager to own homes. The Marshfield Building and Loan Association made it possible for many area residents to build or purchase homes.
The presence of several commercial banks also reflected the progression of Marshfield in the 1920s.
Marshfield’s first bank began as a branch of a Neillsville bank but was later incorporated as the First National Bank of Marshfield. The German American Bank came to Marshfield in 1892 and was later chartered as the American National Bank.
As Marshfield continued its growth, a third bank, Marshfield State Bank, was introduced in 1908.
The Marshfield State Bank, however, was not destined for longevity. When a fire completely gutted the bank in 1921, its operations were moved to the First National Bank. There, the Marshfield State Bank was consolidated into the institution that had provided a temporary home.
Reduced to two commercial banks once more, area businessmen saw a need to bring in a third bank to address the growing desires of the liberal 1920s populace.
Two groups of entrepreneurs began working on plans for a new bank.
In one corner was the assemblage of John Marsh, John and Paul Blum, C.E Blodgett, Hamilton Roddis, William Upham, and D.L. Miller.
In the other corner were Henry Kalsched, Robert Connor, John Cundy, Louis Hartl, E.M. Deming, and, once again, Blodgett.
Both teams approached the state to obtain a charter as residents questioned whether two requests for the same exact means would be permitted in a community of Marshfield’s size with existing financial institutions.
In September 1922 both banks were granted charters. The Marsh and Blum group set up its facilities in the remaining Marshfield State Bank building, and the Kalsched and Connor group worked on a new structure, which they named the Cloverland State Bank.
The Cloverland State Bank opened in November 1922 but closed seven years later at the beginning of the Great Depression.