Serving the Community for More Than a Century!

The State Bank of Alcester had its beginnings in late December of 1890 when F. E. Watkins and his associates started a private bank called the First State Bank in Alcester.  A bank was needed to eliminate the risk involved in transporting money over land from nearby Hawarden, Iowa. Alcester was then a small, but ambitious, unincorporated town with several businesses needing money for transactions. This was truly a pioneer bank.

For three years this bank operated without any fixed capital, with the owners advancing the necessary money as it was needed. On Jan. 1, 1894, it was organized as a state bank with capital of $5,000 and named the State Bank of Alcester. Individual deposits first reached the $5,000 mark on March 5, 1897.

In 1919 E. F. McKellips and his father H. F. McKellips, purchased the Watkins stock holdings in this Alcester bank, making it for the first time a completely home-owned and home-managed bank. The bank has been in the McKellips family since that time. Roger McKellips followed his father as President and Chairman of the Board, and Gary McKellips took over for Roger as CEO in 1990.  Jaimey Schempp was appointed President in April 2012, and Gary remained the CEO and became Chairman of the Board as well.

The 1920s proved to be rough years as the State Bank of Alcester closed for a brief time during this period. On Jan. 15, 1927, five months after closing, it reopened with new capital of $25,000 and Surplus and Undivided Profits of $3,570.

E. F. McKellips began selling insurance in the evenings, and after 20 years was able to repay the depositors of the old State Bank of Alcester 100 cents on a dollar for all deposits.

With the growth of the community and the number of bank customers, the bank began construction of new facilities in 1955. The Lewis Drug Store building on the corner to the north of the bank was purchased and moved one-half block east, leaving room for the expansion. The new addition opened in 1956. It was a red, brick building and abutted the old bank building.

The bank continued to grow and completed more remodeling and a new addition in 1976. The new addition covered the location of the original bank. The exterior was remodeled with a rock facing, new outside lights and a time and temperature clock.

In 1996 the drugstore, cafe and liquor store were relocated so the bank could expand once again. The bank helped renovate other larger, downtown buildings into which these businesses moved. A double lane drive-up teller window and night depository were added to the bank along with more offices, conference rooms, restrooms, kitchenettes and a lounge. The grand opening was held in July 1997.

In March 2003 the Alcester Community Fitness Center moved to the bank’s basement.

The loyalty and support given the State Bank of Alcester by the Alcester area has resulted in a bank with strength of capital and assets of more than $100 million.

This pioneer bank has proven to be an anchor institution in the progress and development of southeastern South Dakota.  The current directors and employees are committed to provide the convenience of modern technology and the personal service wanted.

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