On April 12, 1955, individuals prominent in banking and investing chartered the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Aberdeen, SD.
On November 24, 1964, several of the same individuals organized Dacotah Bank Holding Company (DBHC), which later became Dacotah Banks, Inc. (DBI). The firm initially acquired controlling interest in Security Bank, Webster, SD, and its associated insurance agency and building company.
In 1969, DBI received regulatory approval as a registered bank holding company and, the same year, purchased controlling interest in the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Aberdeen, as well as the Citizens State Bank at Clark, and the Citizens Bank at Mobridge, SD.
On December 1971, DBI filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a publicly-traded company, using the net proceeds from the stock sale to acquire an interest in the Bank of Lemmon. During the 1970s, we strengthened our position as a multi-bank holding company through retained earnings and prudent lending policies. These policies would prove essential to the survival of our company and our customers in the approaching farm crisis.
The decade of the 1980s dawned with a drought affecting the western half of Dacotah Bank’s service area. The drought, coupled with low commodity prices and high interest rates, devastated the farming community. Rather than giving up our farm accounts, as many of the national banks did, we stayed in the trenches and saw hundreds of local farmers through the worst agricultural calamity since the Great Depression. “The fortunes of our company to a great extent are tied to the success and well-being of the farmers and ranchers and small businesses with whom we do business,” wrote then-Chairman Rodney Fouberg to DBI stockholders. During the 1980s, DBI added banks in Cresbard, SD (1981) and Faulkton, SD (1982).
On May 8, 1987 we also acquired the failed First State Bank of Sisseton, SD from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Sisseton was our first bank outside the bank’s originally defined service area.
The 1990s ushered in a new expansion phase—de novo branching or “from the ground up”. Through our Clark charter, we constructed and opened a new branch in Watertown, SD. This was the bank’s first expansion into a major population area by a means other than acquisition of a charter.
Also in 1990, Dacotah Bank received approval to establish (through our Aberdeen charter) a branch on the west side of Sioux Falls, SD. By the end of the 1990s, a second Sioux Falls location was built downtown (1994), the company entered Rapid City, SD through a de novo branch (1999), and opened a second banking location in east Aberdeen, (1999). We looked at our de novo entry into growing population centers of the state as a way to add to our deposits and expand our loan portfolio, both of which ultimately happened. At the same time, we continued to define ourselves as a locally-owned bank with primary interest in the rural communities of the state.
Referring to the challenge from non-traditional banking entities brought about by deregulation and acknowledging our success in starting new branches, Chairman Fouberg wrote our stockholders: “We continue to look for ways to serve our existing customer base. In spite of increased competition and moderate growth, community banks like ours remain the backbone of their areas.” Also during this decade, we:
Entered, through acquisition, the abstract and title business in Webster, SD (1994) and Huron, SD (1995)
Changed our corporate name from Dacotah Bank Holding Co. to Dacotah Banks Inc. (DBI) and the names of each banking location to Dacotah Bank (1995)
Completed the purchase of all minority interest in our six subsidiary banks (serving 16 communities) and collapsed their charters into one Aberdeen-based charter (1997)
Passed the $500 million assets mark (1998)
Introduced Internet banking to our customers (1998).
In February 2000, the bank grew beyond the borders of our home state, acquiring Rolla Holding Company, with its two charter banks: The First State Bank of Rolla, ND (branches in Belcourt, ND, Regent, ND and Reeder, ND) and the First National Bank of Hettinger, ND.
Also that year, DBI acquired the holding company for First National Bank of Bowbells, ND, with branches in Flaxton and on North Broadway in Minot, ND. The acquisition of the Minot location gave our company a presence in one of North Dakota’s largest communities.
The Farmers and Merchants Bank of Valley City, ND was acquired by the holding company in September of 2001 and added an important community to the firm’s family of banks along the I-94 corridor.
In 2004, additional branches were opened in Minot on South Broadway, Rapid City on Main Street, and Town Centre on East 10th Street in Sioux Falls.
Dacotah Banks were added in 2006 through commercial property acquisition in Dickinson, ND and the purchase of a small branch in Brookings, SD.
The company’s presence in Sioux Falls expanded southward with the cities growth and a branch was built at the intersection of 57th Street and Cliff Avenue in 2007.
Custer, SD was added as a Dacotah Bank market in 2008 when the company built a de novo branch to serve clients in this underbanked historical community that relied heavily on tourism.
Following the attainment of over $2 billion in assets in 2012, Dacotah Bank acquired branches in Morris and Chokio, MN in 2013 and hosted an open house in April 2014. The following year on July 15, Dacotah Bank entered the Jamestown, ND market with an open house to introduce a new full-service branch on the southwest commercial area of the city.
In the 2017 Annual Report, management expressed that moving forward; Dacotah Bank will deliver products and services in a manner acceptable to our customers and protect their personal information. The future of the banking industry is dependent on successfully melding the latest technologies and the highest level of customer service.