Skip Navigation Kingsley State Bank

History of Kingsley State Bank

In 1889, George H. Phelps bought into the bank and today fourth and fifth generations of the Phelps family are officers in the family-owned bank.

Kingsley State Bank lobby circa 1925

The bank was named Kingsley Bank when it opened in a basic frame building in 1883. Within a year, the institution built the first brick building in Kingsley on the site of its present building. D.A. Oltmann was one of the four founders when George H. Phelps bought an interest in the bank in 1889. Phelps remained active in the bank for 32 years until he retired in 1921.

Upon the death of Oltmann in 1925, the bank’s name was changed to Oltmann and Phelps Bank and was one of the few banks to withstand the "Bank Holiday" of the Great Depression and the 1930s.

Robert B. Phelps circa 1958

Chairman Robert B. Phelps recalls a family story of that tumultuous time. "There were three banks in town before the depression. John Phelps stood on the steps outside his bank with a baseball bat in hand and assured worried depositors that we were okay. We were going to survive. Kingsley State Bank is the only bank of the three that did survive."

The Oltmann and Phelps Bank name was retained until 1965 when it reorganized under a state charter, became a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and was renamed Kingsley State Bank. In 1970, a spacious modern building replaced the 1884 brick building. The original bank had been home to a barbershop in its basement and the town’s post office, public library, and telephone office on its first and second floors.

Growth beyond Kingsley, Iowa also took place in surrounding communities. In 2002, Kingsley State Bank began it’s expansion in Le Mars, Iowa. This is where it started as a finance company, formed with the intent to merge into the bank.

In 2003, the office of Kingsley State Bank in Le Mars was opened at 850 12th St. S.W. in a modular building. This location was opened for the convenience of its area customers and for the desire to serve and invest in the community. It is here that the bank outgrew its facilities, so in 2008 construction on a new 4,500-square foot building began. By that summer, the Le Mars branch was operating out of their beautiful, new facility.

Floyd H. Phelps circa 1921

Kingsley State Bank planned to continue its future growth in the same manner it had grown in the past. This was by treating people with honesty and integrity, and by offering fair but competitively priced banking products. Therefore, the bank did not stop their expansion in Le Mars. In 2005, a branch was opened in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, in the Pioneer Valley Mall.

Similar to the Le Mars, Iowa location, the Sergeant Bluff branch also outgrew its office space in the Pioneer Mall. In 2009, the former Le Mars modular bank building was transported to Sergeant Bluff and later that year, the branch opened its new location at 705 1st St in Sergeant Bluff. Kingsley State Bank continued it's expansion by breaking ground on a permanent location in the fall of 2013. Construction was completed on the current branch location in August of 2014.

The Bank also maintains a strong capital position and is one of the few banks to be awarded the highest possible rating (5-Star) by Bauer Financial for service, community involvement, compliance, and safety and soundness. The capital position of the bank is approximately twice as strong as what the federal guidelines require. The strong capital structure not only grants the depositors confidence in the stability of the bank, but allows Kingsley State Bank the ability to price loans and deposit products at very competitive rates.

Another essential component of the banks business model is the employer-employee relationships. The bank has experienced an extremely low turnover rate with employees by fostering a very friendly and positive work environment. It takes pride in having one teller-bookkeeper who had worked for the bank for over 54 years. Low employee turnover allows customers to have the benefit of personally knowing their bank representative in a way that many competing banks simply cannot offer.

Kingsley Bank building built in 1884

The Kingsley Bank building, pictured here, was the first brick building in Kingsley and was built in 1884. It underwent a complete remodel in 1907 and was torn down in 1970 after the opening of the current Kingsley State Bank building.

Kingsley State Bank building built in 1970

Pictured here is the current Kingsley State Bank building that was built in 1970 and underwent a remodel in 2009.