June 30, 1891, The German National Bank was organized and opened for business at 115 Front Street, Beaver Dam. The bank opened its doors with $50,000 in capital and two employees. Deposits of $24,500 were received in the first day of business.
On November 26, 1912, the name of the bank was changed from The German National Bank to The American National Bank of Beaver Dam.
Due to the growth of the community, the bank prospered and in 1924 was remodeled in order to provide customers with more convenient banking services. At this time, a new vault with safety deposit boxes was located in the lower floor of the building in order to expand the counter and teller facilities on the main floor. Four teller windows were added, making a total of seven.
In 1941, during the celebration of Beaver Dam’s centennial, The American National Bank began its 50th year of service to the community. At that time, the bank’s capital and surplus had grown to $175,000, reflecting the conservative policies of management. Five employees and five officers were required to handle deposits of over $2 million. At that time, the bank ranked as the largest in Dodge County.
In 1957, the bank again found that larger facilities were needed in order to handle the increased business. The customer service area was doubled in size during the renovation. In addition, the exterior of the bank facing Front Street was renovated, and a drive-up and walk-up banking unit were added at the rear of the building.
In 1965, a totally new concept in banking convenience was announced with the installation of TV Auto Banking. This was the first TV drive-in banking unit in the Beaver Dam area and was well received by the bank’s many customers.
As the community grew, The American National Bank continued to extend convenience and customer service, and it was realized that a major construction and rebuilding must be made. Construction began in February, 1967. The bank as you see it today was constructed in two phases so that business could be conducted without interruption. Completion of the construction was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on October 25, 1968.
Beaver Dam continued to grow and so did The American National Bank. In October, 1989 the bank broke ground on a new 2,500 square foot branch on the northside of Beaver Dam. The American National Bank’s Northside Branch opened in March of 1990 with the first drive-thru ATM machine in Beaver Dam, along with three drive-thru lanes and full service banking inside.
In 2004, the development of our new branch in Wal-Mart Supercenter was completed and we welcomed our third Beaver Dam office. We offer full service banking at this location including an ATM machine.
To help the bank better align itself with it’s commitment to remain a locally owned, independent, community bank, in the fall of 2017, The American National Bank filled to become a state-chartered bank rather than the nationally-chartered institution that it had been for over 125 years. That filing was approved by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions in the spring of 2018, and on April 3, 2018, The American National Bank became American Bank. All this move means for customers is that we are now able to better serve the needs of our local community by being regulated by our state examiners, rather than a national agency. We are still held to the same standards for safety and soundness, however our regulators are now more local and thus understand Wisconsin communities better!
On August 27, 2018, American Bank merged with it’s sister bank, The Necedah Bank. Although the two banks had been owned by the same holding company since 2003, they operated as separate entities until late summer of 2018. The two banks shared many of the same processes and procedures, thus joining as a single entity made good business sense. The merger put The Necedah Bank in a stronger position to better serve consumer and business customers – with a much broader range of services and new technology and tools – while maintaining its strong commitment to the community.
On September 25, 2018, American Bank officially opened ‘American Bank Square’ behind its office on Front St. in Downtown Beaver Dam. The green space is on a site formally occupied by a metal storage shed that belonged to the bank. The bank wanted to show their commitment to the improvement of the Downtown District as well as be more environmentally-friendly citizens of the city and make a positive impact on the environment. The square was designed so that it would be welcoming and a green space in Downtown Beaver Dam that everyone would be proud to use – not just bank employees.
American Bank’s project visionary, Donna Oathout, worked with Landscape Architect, Matt Wieneke, to make this square what it is today! It’s also worth noting that all materials Wieneke used to build American Bank Square – from the large stones, to the pergola, to the masonry work – was locally-sourced, coming from local companies and the local workforce.
On October 3, 2018 American Bank officially became a Blue Zones Approved Worksite. Working with representatives from Blue Zones Project in Dodge County, American Bank was proud to achieve this accomplishment and show its continued commitment to the health and well-being of its employees.
American Bank has experienced over 127 years of growth, and through it all we remain the same independent, locally owned community bank. Throughout the years we have experienced many technology advancements, building expansions and additions and changes in personnel. But one thing has remained the same: All decisions at American Bank are made with the needs of the local community in mind. With friendly and knowledgeable staff members at offices and “Personal Banker” lending services for real estate, commercial and consumer loans, we proudly continue to serve you – our valued customers!