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History

About Us

A Timeless Approach to Serving Salem

Not only were we the first bank in Salem, Missouri, but we are among the oldest banks in the Ozarks.

For more than 135 years, The Bank of Salem has provided financial services to the people and businesses of Salem. We look forward to the next century — and beyond!

The Bank of Salem: Historical Highlights

  • October 10, 1883 — The Bank of Salem was founded, with W.R. Love as the first president. Other organizers were W.A. Young, L.B. Woodside, Hiram Hodges, E.B. Sankey, H.B. Clark, A.H. Clark, J.M. Orchard and David Carson. The bank’s first authorized capital was $13,000.00.
  • 1929 - 1939, The Great Depression — There were five banks in Salem during the Great Depression, and not one of them failed. Security State Bank was purchased by Bank of Salem, and Farmers and Merchants Bank merged with Dent County Bank (now Town & Country Bank). First National Bank was eventually purchased by Mercantile Bank of St. Louis (now U.S. Bank).
  • 1946 — The Bank of Salem, located at 102 West Fourth Street since its founding, received a one-story addition immediately south of the original structure.
  • 1966 — The bank purchased the two-story brick structure known as the Malone Building facing Third Street, south of the one-story addition, resulting in a building 150 feet long but only 20 feet wide with several different floor levels — not an efficient floor plan for modern banking.
  • 1966 — The Judson Young Memorial Educational Foundation, Inc., was also established in 1966 and is still in operation today. Created by H.A. Young (the sixth president of the bank) and his wife Maggie as a memorial to their only son, Judson, who died in 1928 while a student at Dartmouth College, the foundation provides educational assistance in the form of loans to students for post-secondary education. In recent years, the foundation’s charitable activities have been expanded to include donations to local school districts, community-minded entities and other educational institutions.
  • 1982 — The bank moved to its present location at the corner of Fourth and Main Streets after purchasing and remodeling the two-story brick building known as the Butler-Coffman Building. Before the bank occupied the premises, the exterior and interior of the building were extensively remodeled.
  • 2009 — The bank opened its new full-service, Drive-In branch at the intersection of Highways 19-32-72. 
  • October 10, 2018 — The Bank of Salem celebrated its 135th birthday. We are still owned and operated by descendants of the original bank organizers. Our current building houses many items of local historical interest, including the original staircase from the Butler-Coffman Building, two doors made by local Chevrolet dealer Jim Pines for H.A. Young, the original door and clock from the first bank building, and woodwork made from locally grown timber.
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