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International Bank of Amherst - A brief history of the Bank and the Community

By H.B. "Butch" Pomeroy

The Tomorrow River area was first settled in the early 1850's. The Tomorrow River, Flume Creek, and Spring Creek provided power for the grist and saw mills in the area.

In 1871 the Wisconsin Central Railroad was built through here. The Green Bay Railroad was built in 1872 passing just north of the Village of Amherst. As a result of the two railroads and Federal Highway 18, the area became an important business center for buying and selling potatoes.

The community needed a bank, as the nearest banks were located in Stevens Point and Waupaca. There was talk for many years of establishing a bank in Amherst. On November 25, 1892 a meeting was held in the office of H.H. Nelson where 19 citizens of Amherst and Stevens Point subscribed for stock in the total amount of $25,000.

The first stockholders' meeting was held on January 6, 1893. It was decided that the name of the bank should be "The International Bank of Amherst." The articles of incorporation were signed and acknowledged before Justice H.H. Scott.

On the 2nd day of May 1893 the bank purchased the lot and building located on the corner of Main & Wilson St, owned by H.H. Nelson. The board of directors agreed to remodel the building that was built in 1851 and rent out unused space on the second floor.

The present bank building was constructed on the same site in 1920. It has been remodeled several times, but materials were re-used or duplicated to retain the original appearance. A large addition & remodeling project was completed in 2002.

One hundred years is a long time for any business to survive, including banks. The bank remained strong through several "banking panics". There were two major crises that the bank successfully overcame. The first was a robbery in 1899 when over $5,000 was taken. A special stockholder meeting was held and the stockholders agreed to being assessed to cover the loss. The robbers were caught a few days later in Wausau and some of the money was recovered.

The second crisis was the great depression in the 1930's. The bank continued to operate with the exception of the National Bank Holiday. An editorial in the Stevens Point Journal on October 13, 1936 states "The International Bank serves an important territory. It has rendered a high type of service. Since the low point of the depression it has had marked gains in deposits. Having stood the test of the most severe crisis in the history of banking in this country, the International Bank is fully justified in viewing the future with confidence. And the community it serves can be thankful for the institution that set such a fine record."

The same principles apply today: prudent lending, avoiding speculative investments, making a reasonable profit, and maintaining a strong capital position.

We have always made our customers our number one investment priority. Whether it's the expansion of a current business, start up of a new company, or the financing of a family vehicle or home, we are here to meet those needs.

There has been a Pomeroy managing this bank continually since 1898. My great grandfather, L.A. Pomeroy was one of the original stockholders. He resigned his job in 1898 with a Stevens Point bank and came to this bank. Harry B. Pomeroy, my grandfather started in 1911. My father, L.A. Pomeroy, began his career here in 1948. I joined the bank in 1974.

We are proud to be an independent community bank. Since our bank is locally owned, all decisions are made right here in Amherst. No decisions are postponed because of out of town control. Please feel free to visit with us if you would like further information about our bank.