Marion State Bank was granted a charter from the state on October 26, 1906, making it the 134th state chartered bank in Texas. Marion State Bank is the seventh-oldest bank in Texas that is still operating under its charter.
When the bank was founded, it was housed in the rear portion of the first floor of the H. D. Dreyer Building, also known as Waldorf Club, which was a saloon in 1907. In 1910 the bank purchased the building from H. D. Dreyer for $8,500. At this time the bank was moved into the front part of the building. In 1959 the building was completely remodeled. It remained at that site until 1987, when it relocated to new facilities a few blocks down San Antonio Street.
The bank was organized by H. D. Dreyer, Dr. Louis Hirschfeld, Henry Wimmer, L. Kuehler, W. J. Schneider, and Ailon B. Davis who all served as the first directors. The first officers elected in 1906 were H. D. Dreyer, President; Dr. Louis Hirchfeld, Vice-President; and Henry Wimmer, Cashier and Secretary. William Oppenheimer became the second president in 1908. Other bank presidents, starting with the third one, were Charles E. Tipps (1911-1930), C. A. Krueger (1930-1953), E. C. Schulz (1953-1966), Gilbert Staats (1966-1997), Douglas T. Mikus (1997-2013) and Cathy Z. Howell (currently).
The bank was one of many chartered in 1906 and remains the seventh oldest community-owned state bank in Texas. The Staats family has maintained ownership of the bank since its inception. In 1937 the bank had only two employees, and after the death of Gilbert Staats, Sr., his wife, Vandelia Leifeste Staats, was hired to take his place. She served the bank for 55 years and retired at the age of 90. Her son, Gilbert Staats, served the bank from 1956 until his death in 2009. Now, his son, Todd Staats, serves as a Director of the Board.
Marion State Bank celebrated 100 years of service in 2006. The bank hosted a grand celebration for the citizens of Marion and Guadalupe County to commemorate the bank’s 100th anniversary. The event drew a huge crowd including state and local dignitaries.
Marion State Bank was presented a proclamation from the city honoring the institution for all of its accomplishments over the years. The bank was presented a resolution from the U. S. House of Representatives congratulating the bank on many outstanding achievements through the years. The Texas Bankers Association also presented the bank with an official proclamation from the TBA Board of Directors. This congratulatory proclamation made note of the factors that have contributed to the bank’s success, such as consistent local ownership and management and leaders that have withstood outside influences to steadfastly maintain a sense of local pride and ownership within the community.
October 23, 2006 this small town bank that has served generations of Marion residents was recognized for reaching a historic milestone. The bank celebrated 100 years of being in business with a historical marker dedication. The marker is the third one granted to Marion by the Texas Historical Commission. There are markers for the founding of Marion and the school district, which is more than 100 years old.
In the age of mega-bank mergers and acquisitions, Marion State Bank is proud to serve its customers in the traditional way of banking, whereas the three C’s, Character, Credit and Collateral are the most important factors to successful banking. Like the old, slow-growing live oak tree planted from an acorn behind the Dreyer building, by Gilbert Staats’ stepfather and former bank president, the late E. C. Schulz, Marion State Bank continues its slow-growth approach to providing personal service and treating its customers with respect and appreciation.