Security State Bank is pleased to announce they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Farmers Savings Bank in Frederika, Iowa.
Farmers Savings Bank was founded in 1926 by attorney Fred Rewoldt, Sr. and has served the Northeast Iowa community of Frederika, located in Bremer County, and the surrounding area for nearly a century. Fred Rewoldt, Jr. managed the bank for many decades with a tireless dedication to his customers and community.
“We look forward to honoring the Rewoldt family legacy by welcoming the Farmers Savings Bank customers and employees to Security State Bank” said Darin Johnson, President and CEO. “Our local management and decision-making resonates with customers and we plan to continue that successful approach in the Frederika market.”
With the upcoming retirement of longtime loan officer and cashier Dale Matthias, Security State Bank is excited to bring aboard area native Alex Steege to manage the location along with the friendly, familiar staff of Cindy, Patti and Michelle.
Farmers Savings Bank Board Vice President Margaret Jane (MJ) Rewoldt Smith said, “On behalf of the board of directors and our family, we thank the community for nearly a century of loyal support. From the Great Depression, through the farm crises of the 1980s and now into a historic pandemic, our customer relationships have been treasured. Our board of directors, including President F. John Rewoldt, Dale Matthias, Cindy Asmus, Marvin Schumacher, and Mike Meyer, have been focused on securing the strongest possible future for a community bank in Frederika. We sought a new owner who would continue to really know the customers as friends. Please come in and meet Alex Steege, be patient with the transition, and give the Security State team a full chance to be honored by your business.”
The merger is anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2022, pending regulatory approval.
Security State Bank is a locally-owned community bank with locations in Sutherland, Paullina, New Hampton and an affiliate bank, Peoples Savings Bank in Elma.
Farmers Savings Bank Statement
Farmers Savings Bank of Frederika has been sold by merger to Security State Bank owned by the Johnson Family of Sutherland, IA.
In 1920, the late Fred Rewoldt, Sr. sought a charter for a bank to serve Frederika and the surrounding rural area. He met with family, friends and neighbors who invested $20,000 to start the bank, with one share of bank stock being sold for $100. Many shares are still with descendants of the original stockholders. A charter was granted from the state of Iowa and on February 26, 1926, the bank opened on the south side of Main Street, which presently houses the post office.
Fred’s son, the late Frederic Rewoldt, told of his father sitting at the kitchen table with a published list of farm’s delinquent property taxes slated for a sheriff’s sale during the 1930’s. The Senior Rewoldt used a red pen to make an “x” by all those farms for which the bank held mortgages. On the morning of the sale, he went to the courthouse and paid the taxes due. Only one farm in the loan portfolio was lost during the Great Depression. Founder Fred Rewoldt Sr. came into work every day until age 91. He died in 1978.
His son, the late Frederic Rewoldt, Jr., at age 14, was given his own key to the bank’s front door, taught how to calculate a daily balance and thus began his lifelong career. As WWII ended, veterans came home and went straight to work, borrowing money for tractors and combines. During the 1950’s, the late Erwin O’Connell joined the bank staff and helped customers buy farms, new cars and build ranch-style houses. His wife, Maxine (now Kalvig) joined the staff in 1975 after Erwin’s death. Shirley Mack worked during the 1970s and 1980s as a teller and bookkeeper.
Farmers Savings Bank moved across Main Street to the north side in 1965. A fire destroyed that bank building on an early morning in December 1987. Even as firemen were putting away their hoses, the ledgers were recovered, the scorched vault was opened, and business began in a nearby house. The bank was rebuilt in the same location the following year.
Dale Matthias joined the bank in 1975 witnessing inflation fueled by a land boom as area farms were bought and sold for higher and higher prices. During the 1980s, as commodity prices fell, and many farmers flirted with bankruptcy, Dale guided customers through wise decisions, safe investments and as the last CEO of the bank, shared decades of his life in service to bank customers and the community of Frederika.
Linda (Boeckmann) Schwemm and Denise (Latwesen) Haugen were loyal long-time employees. Mary Rewoldt, wife of Frederic for 65 years, played a role in the success of Farmers Savings, from teller to organizing the Farm Progress shows, Christmas open houses, street parties and strawberry sundaes.
After building the bank’s assets to near $50M through enduring personal friendships with his customers, Frederic Rewoldt retired to Board Emeritus in 2016 and was remembered as a generous banker/friend by hundreds of customers who mourned his passing in October of 2019.
The bank continued operation following Frederic Rewoldt’s retirement and death thanks to the tireless dedication and loyalty of Dale Matthias, Cindy Asmus and Patti Brandenburg as they maneuvered new government compliance requirements, the historic COVID pandemic, and ongoing technology innovations.
Board directors approving the bank sale by merger are Dale Matthias, Cindy Asmus, Marvin Schumacher of Denver, Mike Meyer of Sumner, F. John Rewoldt of Huxley, and Margaret Jane (M.J.) Rewoldt Smith of Guttenberg.
After 95 years serving families and the sale by merger to the Johnson Family, some things have not changed. Loans are made for diamond rings and first homes. Customers carefully unlock their safety deposit boxes to inspect wills and abstracts. Kids hurriedly empty their piggy banks onto the counter.
The board is proud to turn the daily operation over to a banking family who will continue trusted, loyal, and friendly service. Cindy Asmus, Patti Brandenburg, and Michelle Schwarze will remain on the bank staff. Dale Matthias will retire. The Farmers Savings Bank board and the Rewoldt family are grateful to the many friends and loyal customers of Farmers Savings Bank who contributed to 95 years of history and success.