Skip to Content

Serving Walker since 1885.

  • Site Options
  • Printer Friendly
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add To Your Favorites
  • Share icon
  • small font icon
  • medium font icon
  • large font icon


Home About Us History

Serving Our Customers Since 1885

We've been serving the people in the Walker area for over 65 years.  Walker State Bank continues its banking tradition dating back to the late 1800's. Walker's first bank was the Exchange State Bank, which opened March 12, 1885. The bank consisted of one room adjacent to what later became the town's news office, and was founded by H.J. Nietert. Charles H. Nietert served as the bank's cashier. The fledgling institution soon outgrew it's quarters, leading to the building of the first bank in Walker. In 1907, the bank had a capital of $50,000 and carried deposits up to $180,000. 

By 1916, the bank was handling deposits of over $405,000. At the time, the small staff took pride in being considered one of the strongest banks in the country. Unfortunately, this bank burned down on December 17th, 1928, and was bankrupt by 1939. 

The Walker Savings Bank was organized during the spring of 1907 with $16,000 of capital stock. Within a few years, the capital stock had increased to $20,000. Stockholders in the bank were farmers and other businessmen of the area. By 1916, deposits of about $170,000 were being handled. This bank was later acquired by Keith Vawter, and renamed the bank as the North Linn Savings Bank.  

Then in 1945, the bank began to change hands as Vawter decided to liquidate his assets and leave the banking industry. Tom Wiley, Floyd Templeman, A.M. McCright, Frank Takes, and Frank Lindahl formed what became the current bank, and were chartered May 16th, 1946. The bank was purchased by Chris Perlenfein in the early 1950's, and by the mid 1950's, had been sold to John Lessenhop. Mr. Lessenhop later sold the bank to United Home Bank which managed the bank until Alan Mannetter purchased it in 1971. 

The bank found a new home (its current location) in 1969, with the doors opening in 1970. William R. Bernau purchased the bank from Mannetter in 1974, and still owns Walker State Bank today. 

The current bank building has been expanded five times since 1969, and has previously been a restaurant. Although the Walker State Bank has seen many changes in the last six decades, the basic values have held true: Giving quality financial services with a friendly, hometown atmosphere. Over the years, there have been many smiling faces greeting the customers. 

Ever since 1974 when William R. Bernau became the owner of Walker State Bank, he has been true to the values from which the bank was founded and has maintained the honesty found only in small town banking. Over the years, Walker State Bank has always been the small town bank with friendly service.