What is now known as Reliance State Bank was founded by John H. Brekken in 1928. Brekken came from Norway to Ellis Island when he was 17 years old. He worked in several banks in South Dakota and Iowa. On March 28, 1928, Mr. Brekken opened Randall State Bank at age 43. Mr. Brekken, a few farmers, and a couple of small businessmen put together $30,000 for the purpose of serving farmers and small-town businessmen of the community. Mr. Brekken once described Randall as "In the heart of the garden spot of the world, a place to grow and to raise a family among the finest of people."
Shortly after, the Great Depression struck, but the bank weathered these tough years, as it would do again during the savings and loan crisis, the great recession, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the original stockholders were still with us through 1994.
In 1964, Carroll Kinseth, son-in-law of Mr. Brekken, purchased controlling interest from Brekken. In 1972, the old pioneer building in Story City (pictured above) was purchased, remodeled, and restored. It was originally built by a Mr. Christianson in the late 1800s, the same gentleman who built the original bank in Randall. This became the main office of the bank, which was effectively renamed Randall-Story State Bank. The Story City branch opened for business on January 2, 1973 and remains open today.
"It is and always has been our policy to reinvest our depositor's money to local people. This policy has been good for the community, of which we are a part, and has certainly been good for the bank," Mr. Kinseth once wrote. It remains our policy today.
In 1995, Randall-Story State Bank joined Ames National Corporation, a commercial bank holding company headquartered in Ames, Iowa. The bank retained its charter and local decision making and gained more efficiencies in operations.
In April of 2012, the bank expanded into the Garner and Klemme communities. The bank's name was changed to what it is presently, Reliance State Bank. To be reliable means you can be depended on and trusted, which are important core values of ours and central to the way we do business.
While technology, names, and locations may change, one thing doesn't, and that's how we treat others the way we would want to be treated. We thank you for choosing us to be your community bank.