Serving Our Communities Since 1898
On September 5, 1898, the Bank of Menahga first opened for business. In 1904, Matt Ristinen reorganized the bank and it was renamed the State Bank of Menahga. This building was located on Birch Avenue SE. In 1917, a new building was constructed on the northwest corner of Murray Avenue and Crooks Street. On September 11, 1922, The First National Bank of Menahga received its Bank Charter.
Many things have changed and the bank has had many facelifts and remodels. A post office was put up next to the bank and a dress shop next to that. In the 1960s, the bank was enlarged to include these two building areas. In January 1965, the bank was purchased by Oliver Back and W. E. (Willie) Froemming. For many years, Willie was the owner of the bank and the president.
In 1979, another remodeling added a new bookkeeping room, vault area and drive-up lanes. A 1995 remodeling to the north nearly doubled the size of the building. An old building to the west was torn down to make room for an employee parking lot. Another old building to the north was removed to make room for the bank expansion and a new customer parking lot.
In 1998, the bank celebrated its 100th Anniversary. At that time, the Menahga bank was one of 88 Minnesota banks chartered before 1900 that was still in business. In 1998, the bank was purchased by Willie’s daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Roger Day. Roger and Nancy and their two sons, Jim and Justin, continue to work at the bank. In 2005, the bank purchased Security State Bank of Sebeka. In 2006, the two banks were merged into one and the name was changed to First National Bank of Menahga & Sebeka.
In 2013, the interior of the Menahga bank building was completely remodeled and modernized, including moving the teller line. In 2015, the interior of the Sebeka bank building was completely remodeled.
As of August 1, 2017, First National Bank of Menahga & Sebeka officially changed its name to Community First Bank. The bank changed its charter from a national bank to a state bank. The bank has the same owners, employees, services, locations, and approach to business. The bank’s motto is “Community First Bank—Putting You First.” The bank has a new logo and name but all services remain the same.
The bank’s insurance agency will continue to operate under its existing name for the time being.
Personal Service With Decisions Made Locally
All loan decisions are made locally. The bank believes in personal service that starts with friendliness and a sincere desire to be helpful. Although their equipment and services are as advanced as any, the bank extends old-fashioned personal attention to its customers.
The bank remains independent and family-owned and continues to grow and serve the communities of Menahga and Sebeka. The bank is committed to building and maintaining long-term relationships with their customers. The number one priority of Community First Bank is to contribute to the strength and growth of the communities they serve.