The Walton State Bank History

The Bank was granted a state banking charter on April 10, 1907 and began business with $10,000 in capital. The Bank was organized by H.G. (Guy) Hawk. W.E. Johnston served as President, H.G. Hawk was Cashier, and O.L. Spangler was assistant Cashier. O.L. Spangler became President in 1920 and served in that capacity until 1966 when he retired and his son O.E. Spangler became President.

The Bank was and is truly a community Bank with 45 original stockholders.  H.G. (Guy) Hawk worked for Singer Sewing Machine Company selling sewing machines out of his horse and buggy. He saw a need for a community bank in Walton and went in his horse and buggy across the countryside and found people willing to invest with him. He was a true entrepreneur pioneer. Out of the original stockholders, only one individual had 10% ownership with all other stockholders having from 1% to 5% ownership. H.G. Hawk remained on the Board of Directors until he passed away in 1973 at the age of 101.  

The Walton State Bank is the second bank that Walton has had; the first one was opened and also closed in the 1880’s. The present Bank is in the same building where the first one was located. The building was used as a telephone office between the two banks.

The following is an excerpt from a newspaper article in 1966. The story was done when O.L. Spangler retired after being President of the bank for 46 years. He was the assistant cashier of the bank in 1907:

“It was a bad year to start banking, for there was a shortage of money. Some banks used script to aid their customers, but the Walton State Bank didn’t. It limited withdrawals to $5.  “It was just a matter of not having enough  money,” the retiring bank president explains. “Once we ordered $1,000 in currency from Kansas City and all they sent was $200 in dollar bills.” “

The Bank has had two changes in ownership since 1907.  In 1981, the Bank was sold to Melvin Voth. In December of 1984, John M. Esau, who was operations manager at the time, and his father Marvin Esau, put together a group of 25 local investors and purchased the Bank. The main goal of the purchase was to keep a strong community bank in Walton. At the time of purchase, the Bank had total assets of $2.48 million. Presently the Bank has 9 million in assets. John M. Esau has served as President and CEO since the purchase in 1984. His wife Shirley is Vice-President & Cashier, and Marvin Esau is Chairman of the Board.

In 1962 the Bank went through a significant remodel which changed much of the Bank’s original décor. In 2003, the Board decided to remodel the Bank with the goal of taking the Bank back to as close to original as possible. With the help of a local architect, Tim Dudte, and two years of hard work, they were able to accomplish their goal. Most of the work was done by themselves or by customers that did business with the Bank. Marvin Esau did all of the woodwork, and even built the wooden desks currently in use.

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