The Baxter State Bank
The history of a bank is often the story of people; its founders, its shareholders, its employees and its customers. It is people who have made The Baxter State Bank the oldest currently operating business in Baxter Springs and Cherokee County.
In the early 1900s, though not yet a “boom” town, Baxter Springs was enjoying comfortable growth. The population had reached 1290, good farms and the Tri-State lead and zinc mines were soon to develop bringing new businesses growing opportunities.
In February of 1905, J.M. Cooper, Lillian H. Moore, Tom Moore, F.S. Greene, T.J. Morrow, E.L. McCarthy, W. VonWedell and C.W. Daniels met to organize a bank that would meet the needs of the expanding community. The bank was organized under state law, capitalized at $30,000, and with a directorate composed of well known, representative and successful businessmen and financiers, The Baxter State Bank opened its doors for banking business on April 21, 1905.
By 1908 expansion was necessary and plans for construction of a new bank building were made and in 1910 a new bank building was ready for occupancy at 1036 Military. Deposits and customer relationships continued to climb and the bank was known for being “Good and Prosperous”. In 1928, The Baxter State Bank was declared the “Strongest Bank in Cherokee County” and was commonly known as the “Million Dollar Bank”. To commemorate the achievement a set of scales was purchased for the benefit of customers and by the end of 1928 had registered a total weight of 31,117 lbs. The same scales still stand in the lobby of the bank today.
By the mid 1970s The Baxter State Bank had provided a solid foundation for the community during multiple world wars and conflicts, depression and numerous economic boom and bust cycles. As a result of continued increased business, in December 1973 ground was broken at the corner of Fourteenth and Military Avenue for the site of the existing bank building.
In the midst of today’s modern banking environment and the automation and computerization it has brought, we think you will continue to find more than a good share of old-fashioned personal attention and service from us. For more than 113 years we have provided a quality banking experience and continue to promote financially responsible and conservative banking practices.