Peoples State Bank McGregor branch opens

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Peoples State Bank employees, McGregor city officials, representatives from the McGregor-Marquette and Prairie du Chien chambers of commerce and other community members celebrated the opening of Peoples State Bank’s new McGregor location on Feb. 26. Cathy Denning, long-time president of Interstate Federal Savings and Loan Association, cut the ribbon with assistance from staff member Janet Hallberg and Interstate Federal director Dan Bickel. Both Denning and Hallberg will continue to work at the McGregor branch. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

The community saw evidence of the transition from Interstate Federal to Peoples State Bank in recent weeks, including the installation of a new awning last week. (Photo by Janet Hallberg)

McGregor Mayor Lyle Troester and Peoples State Bank Chief Executive Officer Brennen Clark shake hands following the Feb. 26 ribbon cutting. Troester called the bank’s opening “a wonderful day for McGregor.” (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


Peoples State Bank’s new McGregor location opened to customers on Feb. 26, five months after it was announced the bank had entered into an agreement to acquire Interstate Federal Savings and Loan Association.


The move had been in the works for several years, said Interstate Federal President Cathy Denning at the time of the September announcement, and will add services to the institution which has served McGregor and surrounding communities for over 100 years.


Known originally as Home Building and Loan, Interstate Federal was founded in 1914 by a few local businessmen as a mutual association to provide funds, mainly for home ownership. The founders and first directors were Logan Blizzard, Anton Huebsch, John (Jack) Kramer and Charles Kramer, and the association was housed in the Kramer Clothing Store building.


Early savings associations were “pooled” funds, collecting money in a barrel in a local store and loaned out once enough funds were gathered. The World Wars and Great Depression set the stage for distrust in traditional banks for many people, making a mutual association a popular choice for savers and borrowers alike.


The institution name was changed to Interstate Federal Savings and Loan Association in August 1935, upon receipt of its charter and federal insurance of deposits. The business moved to its current location at 154 Main St., in McGregor, in 1956, following the purchase of the building from famous local photographer Margery Goergen.


Interstate Federal continued to fulfill deposit and loan needs in the proceeding years. As a Peoples State Bank branch, those services will continue, in addition to services like checking, IRAs and online banking, said Denning.

Peoples State Bank provides convenient, professional and modern banking services through branches in Crawford, Grant and Vernon counties in Wisconsin as well as Clayton and Allamakee counties in Iowa. 

“From the beginning, Peoples State Bank has fostered the belief that a strong community-oriented bank is vital to the prosperity of all customers and the bank has faithfully carried on in this manner for over 100 years,” Peoples State Bank said in a statement. “Peoples State Bank is pleased and excited for the opportunity to provide exceptional community service to the McGregor community and surrounding area.”


Community members saw evidence of the transition in recent weeks, with some aesthetic changes in and outside the building to add more of a “Peoples State Bank feel.” That included new window lettering and installation of a new awning last week.


Customers will find the same Interstate Federal employees inside, however.


“The same familiar faces will be there to greet you, but they will now be able to provide you with all of Peoples State Bank’s personal and business banking products and services,” the bank stated.


Mayor Lyle Troester—who was among the city officials, chamber representatives, bank employees and community members who attended a ribbon cutting on Feb. 26—called the bank’s opening “a wonderful day for McGregor.”


“First off, I would really like to thank all of the people who worked so hard with Interstate Federal Savings and Loan for so many years to help make our community what it is. Past and present, it’s a long history,” Troester told those gathered. “We’ve waited a long time for a full service bank in McGregor, and thank you Peoples for seeing a mutual opportunity for our town and for you. We welcome you with open arms. It’s going to be great to have you here, and I’m asking all our community to help support this bank and make it a success for this town. I look for a continuance of the great history we’ve had in McGregor.”


Business hours at the Peoples State Bank McGregor branch will be Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. An open house event to the community will be announced at a later date.

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