Once upon a time...
In 1920 a group of community-minded citizens and businessmen of Glenview led by Charles Rugen opened a bank to serve the small farming community. The newly opened bank was operated from the Rugen Store, located where Bess Hardware currently is on Glenview Road. The bank had one employee and one safe in the back of the store to keep the farmers’ money secure. The money would be placed in the bank for security and, for a small fee, the money would be lent to assist with the development of the town. The first bank building was built at 1825 Glenview Road and officially opened on May 17, 1921. Rugen, acting as a part time president, invited the public to visit the new bank any time between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM. With starting capital of $30,000 and one full time employee, Glenview State Bank was opened, grew and prospered.
Glenview State Bank weathered the financial storms of the late ‘20’s and ‘30’s by conservative management and dedication to serving customers. Along with all other banks in the country, it was closed briefly in 1933 on orders from President Franklin Roosevelt. GSB was notified that $60,000 in capital was required before it could reopen. The additional capital was obtained in short order by paying certain depositors 10% interest to exchange their deposits for subordinated debt. This was an extremely high rate of return considering the prime rate was only 1 ½% at the time. The reopening of GSB was evidence of the commitment and perseverance of both the bank and the community of Glenview. GSB was one of the few banks that did not fail as a result of the Great Depression. At that time, the bank opened at 9:00 AM, closed for an hour at lunchtime, and closed for the day at 3:00 PM. Transactions were hand posted, there was one telephone, a borrowed clock, one typewriter and one hand-operated adding machine.
By 1941, GSB, like all local businesses, was sending men and boys off to war. This prompted the bank to hire a female employee – the first of many more to come.
At its 30th anniversary in 1951, GSB reported assets of $6.9 million, with 24 employees and 5,000 accounts. In 1960 Glenview State Bank celebrated its 39th anniversary. While not usually considered a milestone, it was important in the history of the bank because that was the year that Cummins-American Corporation bought the bank from Herbert Lutter, Richard Rugen, Edward Herman and their families. Paul C. Jones, John E. Jones and James Mentzer, principals in Cummins-American, had been looking for a bank to buy for some time. For them, becoming involved with GSB was like returning to their roots. Each came from Marion, Indiana where they began their careers in banking and the auto finance industry.
In 1961, the bank introduced a revolutionary idea – keeping customer hours! Instead of the traditional bankers’ hours, the bank opened at 7AM and closed at 7PM. This departure from banking tradition marked the beginning of many innovations that have become GSB trademarks.
In 1971 GSB was 50 years old, with 3 convenient locations: 1825 Glenview Road, a drive up facility at 800 Waukegan Road and an office at the Naval Air Station, which was in operation until the mid 1980s. Assets were over $73 million and plans for a new building at 800 Waukegan Road were announced. When the new building opened in February, 1973 the bank’s assets had grown to $97 million. A plaque at the east entrance declared the building “Dedicated to the Glory of God and His Politics.” The murals by Peter Darro in the main lobby provided history and inspiration for the entire community.
Paul C. Jones continued to introduce new technology and services until his death in 1978. He was a fixture at the bank, personally greeting customers in the lobby, doing whatever was needed to serve those customers. Upon his death, his son, John E. Jones, became chairman.
Another Glenview branch, located at 2610 Golf Rd, opened in November, 1979.
The 1980’s were a difficult time for all banks and GSB was no exception. The difficult times called for all employees to work hard and control expenses while management worked out real estate loans.
In 1990, a branch was opened at 3310 Glenview Rd, at the corner of Glenview Rd. and Greenwood. In 1995, a branch was opened in a small strip mall in Northbrook; the first branch outside of Glenview. That same year, the original building at 1825 Glenview Road was closed. In 1998, a branch in Northfield was opened.
During the 90’s, Paul A. Jones, grandson of Paul C. Jones, assumed the leadership of the Bank. In the Jones’ family tradition, Paul has displayed a commitment to technology, while never losing sight of the bank’s purpose – to serve the community. Currently Paul is the Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of Glenview State Bank.In 2000 we ventured farther afield and, after renovating a former bank building, opened a branch in south Arlington Heights at 1808 S. Arlington Heights Rd. Closing assets that year were $691 million. This branch closed at the end of 2012.
In December 2002, a new bank building at 2222 Chestnut Ave. in Glenview was opened. This building is located next to the former Glenview Naval Air Station and is evidence of the bank’s commitment to grow with the community. In February 2004, the original branch in Northbrook was closed and the bank moved to a new building in Northbrook, responding to customer requests for more parking and drive in banking capability.February 2010 saw the opening of Mount Prospect State Bank, a branch of Glenview State Bank, in downtown Mount Prospect. They moved into a new building at 299 West Central Road in June, 2012. Additional services were added including a drive-in with 24-hour ATM and Safe Deposit boxes.
John Jones’ Mission Statement
The following mission statement, written by John Jones, describes the purpose and guiding principles of the bank and is as appropriate today as it would have been in 1920.
“The purpose of our Bank is to meet the financial needs of people – products and services for our customers, jobs that challenge our employees and a return on the capital provided by our customers and owners. It is our job to treat all of these groups fairly. The purpose is more important than making money, even though we must to survive”. - John E. Jones
There are a number of reasons why people notice that banking at GSB is easier and more “comfortable” than at some other financial institutions. Perhaps it’s the combination of experienced employees and unique benefits, or maybe it’s the excellent service that comes with a genuine desire to be the best bank for the customers, or it could evolve from GSB’s commitment to the communities it serves.
GSB has been a major contributor to the community since 1921. Financial and physical support is evident in charitable, educational and civic organizations and events throughout the year. Bank employees serve on boards and committees, Glenview State Bank provides customers with a balanced blend of more than 90 years of history and experience with the newest technology and bank services. In 1961 GSB was one of the first to offer a drive-up and exterior walk-up teller window. In 1962 GSB introduced the “remote TV drive-in banking” concept, the precursor to the modern drive up lanes seen today. In 1977, GSB was one of the first Midwest banks to offer customers an ATM card.
With a total of seven branches located in Glenview, Northbrook, Northfield and
Mount Prospect, GSB has grown to over $1 billion in assets.
The bank stresses the importance of personal attention, beginning with providing a live voice to answer the phones 66 hours each week. To protect customers’ privacy and identity, the Bank offers free identity theft resolution services to all checking account holders and resident family members. Four years ago, GSB introduced free paper shredding days and now offers the public several shredding days annually. These services, along with a full range of banking products, offer customers all of the financial resources provided by the “big banks” while never losing sight of the mission statement that was expressed by John Jones, and that was such a driving force for the founders of the bank in 1920.
One of the few remaining independent banks in Illinois, GSB has been owned and managed by the same family for three generations. A staunch supporter of civic and charitable organizations, management takes pride in being a true community bank. Helping others extends to GSB’s business philosophy also. Bank services and loans for community development, local businesses, homeowners and other individuals contribute to the quality of life area residents enjoy. GSB’s expanded Trust and Investment Management Department offers other services rarely found in a community bank.
Glenview State Bank was started by the Glenview community and has grown with the Glenview community. As a community bank, GSB “belongs” to its employees, its customers and all the communities it now serves, and will continue to play a major role in the lives of its employees, customers and each of those communities for some time to come.
Glenview State Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cummins-American Corp. with its headquarters in Glenview.