ORIGINAL THAYER COUNTY BANK - 345 Lincoln Ave.
1874 – BANKING HOUSE
W.J. Thompson came to Hebron from Illinois in 1871, and by 1874, the Banking House of W.J. Thompson was organized. The bank was located in the Bryan building on the north side of Lincoln Avenue. During that time there were no controls on banking procedures.
1883 – EXCHANGE BANKING COMPANY OF HEBRON
In 1883, the Banking House of W.J. Thompson was reorganized into the Exchange Banking Company of Hebron because of laws that required all banks to be chartered by the state. F.M. Wetherald was the president and W.D. Galbraith was the cashier. At the time, banks paid from 5% to 7% interest on deposits, while charging anywhere from 10% to 2% interest per month on loans. Cashiers were actually authorized to set the rate of interest on loans with no restrictions on the amount, according to how secure they thought the loan was. Many negotiations occurred when loans were made.
1886 – THAYER COUNTY BANK OF HEBRON
In May 1886 the Exchange Bank of Hebron became the Thayer County Bank at the same location. The Bank’s capital was $25,000 and the ownership remained the same with 500 shares of stock involved at $100 a share, 50% paid up. With a steady increase of business, by 1903 the bank had outgrown its facilities.
1902 – NEW THAYER COUNTY BANK
On December 4, 1890, the lot for the new bank was purchased for $2,500. In 1902, the Thayer County Courthouse was being constructed so the bank used the same contractor for the new Thayer County Bank building. The lot, building, and fixtures came to $12,500. By 1903, the building was completed, ready to occupy, and totally paid for. The bank is an example of Romanesque Revival architecture.
1928 – 1933 A HECTIC TIME FOR BANKING
During the early 1900’s the banking business thrived and in June of 1928, the bank reached a high in deposits of $470,000. Due to the stock market crash and ensuing depression, by June, 1933, deposits had fallen to $168,000. 1931 – 1933 was a hectic period, businesses were folding and the entire country was in deep financial trouble. The Thayer County Bank’s stock holders put up $35,000 in preferred red stock so that the bank could become a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). On March 30, 1933, the Thayer County Bank was the only bank in Hebron open for business and it was unrestricted in the payment of deposits. In 1933, Bank officers were: Dorothy W. Kenner, President; J.R. Kenner, Vice President; J.B. Kenner, Cashier, and Elmer Harmon, Director.
940’s – BANKING RECOVERY
In January, 1940, stockholders had redeemed all the preferred stock they had put up in 1933. Officers at this time were: J.R. Kenner, President; Dorothy W. Kenner, Vice President, and H.R. Killinger, Cashier.
In 1941, 16-year-old James Kenner Jr. started working in the bank. He was the janitor, loaded coal, and removed clinkers in the morning and evening. After serving in the military, Jim returned to the bank.
During the years that followed, the bank showed steady growth, and it became apparent that the facilities were no longer adequate.
1962 – CONSTRUCTION OF NEW BANK AT 402 LINCOLN AVENUE
The new bank was completed in 1963. The original bank built in 1903 has been occupied by various businesses throughout the years.
The new facility was designed to handle a much-increased volume of business with more efficiency and included drive in banking. Bank officers were: J.R. Kenner, President, and J.R. Kenner Jr. (Jim), Vice President.
1973 – JAMES KENNER BECOMES PRESIDENT
On November 15, 1979, the bank’s president, James R. Kenner Sr., died. James R. Kenner Jr. (Jim) became bank president at the meeting of the Board of Directors on January 1, 1980.
1992 – Patrick Kenner Became Bank President
Following James R. Kenner Jr.’s retirement in 1992, Patrick W. Kenner became bank President.
2023 – CURRENT INFORMATION
Since its inception in 1886, the Thayer County Bank has remained in the family and is the oldest State Chartered Bank in the state of Nebraska. Currently, the president of the bank is Patrick W. Kenner, great grandson of F.M. Wetherald.
F.M. Wetherald – Founder of the Bank
Dorothy Kenner – Daughter
J.R. Kenner – Son-in-law
J.R. Kenner Jr. (Jim) – Grandson
Patrick W Kenner – Great Grandson