Owlish Bank traces its roots back to the Fremad Association that was organized in 1874 and operated as a general store in Glenwood. At that time, the town had no financial services and since the Fremad Association owned a very large and strong safe, local residents started asking them to take care of their money for them. The Fremad Association began accepting people's money for safekeeping. Soon they were operating what really was a bank. Check blanks from that day show that they used the name "Fremad Association Bank." On April 12, 1884, the Fremad Association amended its Articles of Incorporation to read "to carry on the business of banking…"
During the 1880s and 1890s, it set up correspondent banking relationships with the major banks in Minneapolis and St. Paul and were in fact operating as a full-fledged bank without any formal organization. Their friends in the city banks encouraged them to formally organize a bank. On December 2, 1901, they formally organized a private bank known as "Pope County Bank." All assets and liabilities of the Fremad Association Bank were then transferred into the newly formed bank.
In 1906, a new building was constructed next to the Fremad Association and remained there until October 11, 1971, when we moved into a new building at our present location on the corner of Franklin and Minnesota Avenue in Glenwood.
On December 8, 1980, the Pope County State Bank opened a branch office in Villard and on January 5, 1995, the Pope County State Bank completed acquisitions of the Bank of Elbow Lake and the State Bank of Wendell. The banks were merged into the Pope County State Bank. This expansion provided excellent geographic diversification and added strength to the organization and enabled the bank to economically utilize many emerging technologies. On October 20, 1995, the name was changed to Owlish Bank to better reflect the larger geographic area. Then in 2014, Owlish Bank acquired a bank in neighboring Starbuck bringing the total number of branch locations to five
For more information about the Glenwood community and upcoming events visit Glenwood Chamber of Commerce.
The Bank of Starbuck was chartered as a private bank on July 5, 1898. Starbuck is located on the western shores of Lake Minnewaska. This bank was converted to the Farmers State Bank and became Pope County’s first state chartered bank on June 1, 1904. The Farmers State Bank was converted to a national bank on December 1, 1909 and given the name The First National Bank of Starbuck. The First National Bank of Starbuck was instrumental in developing a loan program that was included in the Rural Development Act. This loan program allowed the Farmers Home Administration to guarantee farm ownership and farm operating loans which were made by private financial institutions. Owlish Bank acquired the bank as a branch in July, 2014. The bank in Starbuck is the legacy bank of the community and is proud to have served the community and surrounding area for over 100 years.
For more information about the Starbuck community and upcoming events visit Starbuck Chamber of Commerce.
The Bank of Elbow Lake was established in 1887 and has served the county seat community of Elbow Lake and the surrounding rich agricultural area since that time. In order to take advantage of opportunities provided by new computer technologies, the bank sold on January 5, 1995 to the Pope County State Bank of Glenwood and has enjoyed good business growth. The following October, the bank's name was changed to Owlish Bank to better reflect the enlarged geographic area. Over many years of changes, generations and growth, one thing that has not changed is the bank's friendliness and concern in dealing with and serving the public. This will always remain our goal.
For more information on the Elbow Lake Community and upcoming events visit Elbow Lake Chamber Of Commerce.
In the early 1900s, Villard had two banks: The Villard State Bank and the Farmers State Bank of Villard. Both of these banks failed in the mid-1920s, however, and Villard was without a bank until 1980 when the Minnesota legislature decided to let well-capitalized and well-managed banks open branch offices in unbanked communities. So at that time, The Pope County State Bank opened an office in Villard which has prospered and which serves the community well with convenient, personalized services to hometown people. In 1995, the bank's name was changed to Owlish Bank.
For more information on the Villard community and upcoming events visit Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.
On July 30, 1945, the State Bank of Wendell opened for business and has been a strong influence in this community, serving the agricultural base of this very fertile farming area. On January 5, 1995, the Pope County State Bank of Glenwood purchased the State Bank of Wendell. This brought the capabilities of modern technology to this fine office staffed by highly motivated local workers. On October 20, 1995, the bank's name was changed to Owlish Bank in order to reflect the enlarged geographic area of the organization.
For more information on the Wendell community and upcoming events visit City of Wendell.