Home Federal celebrates 80 years of rich history
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:02 AM
What began in a small upstairs office in downtown Spring Valley 80 years ago has become a mainstay in the town's history. Home Federal Savings Bank is celebrating the impressive achievement this week.
Excitement was building for the organization as crews put up the first Home Federal sign the year it opened in 1934.
Eighty years ago, a number of businessmen met in that small upstairs office to hear a presentation by C.H. Ellingson, a United States government official employed by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of Washington, DC.
Ellingson was trying to recruit the men to organize a federal savings and loan association for Spring Valley and the surrounding area.
Home Federal received its charter from the Federal Home Loan Bank on March 27, 1934, and opened for business.
With the country in the midst of the Great Depression, the organization was determined to provide a safe place for local people to open savings accounts and earn interest on their money. During a time when home loans were scarce, they worked to use this money to provide home loans to other community members and for the construction of homes, which would in turn give employment to laborers and local businesses.
In the early 1940s, the firm moved its headquarters to its longtime home at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Courtland Street, which is now the home of Essig Agency.
By the time Home Federal celebrated its 40-year anniversary it was the largest thrift and home financing institution in Minnesota outside the Twin Cities and Duluth.
Though the business has grown, with its headquarters now in Rochester, and added branches throughout southeastern Minnesota and Iowa, Home Federal has still stayed a strong part of the growth of Spring Valley.
"We thank 80 years of employees who have made this bank strong," expressed President and CEO of Home Federal Savings Bank Brad Krehbiel, "On behalf of today's 200 employees of Home Federal we are renewing our 80-year commitment to enhance the financial well-being of our clients and communities one relationship at a time."