First Federal Savings Bank
was founded on August 1913 as the Mascoutah Building and Loan Association. At the time there was an influx of new citizens with virtually no rental properties available. To help solve this problem, a group of local businessmen invested to found the Building and Loan Association. Unlike banks of the time, the building and loan could make long time loans repayable in small periodical payments. This enabled a growing number of citizens with lower incomes to secure home mortgages and not have the problems associated with a short time mortgage.
Since it's founding in 1913 First Federal Savings Bank has seen many changes in the financial industry. Services offered have changed from the simple savings plans and mortgage loans of 1913 to the full service family center we enjoy today. First Federal offers an array of products and services to satisfy your family needs at any of our three full service locations - 101 W. Main St., Mascoutah, IL - 1200 E. Hanover St., NewBaden, IL - 115 S. Madison, Lebanon, IL.
As in 1913 First Federal Savings Bank's Board of Directors is comprised of local businessmen, dedicated to improving the quality of life of its customers and will continue to provide products and services at the lowest possible cost.
Detailed History of First Federal Savings Bank
In 1907, the United States admitted a record number of 1,285,349 immigrants. These people came for many reasons -- seeking opportunities for new jobs or new wealth, wishing to escape from religious or political persecution, opposition to the government freedom or happier surrounds in which to live.
Immigration caused problems for the immigrant, for the country to which he moves, and the community in which he settles. An immigrant must usually learn to adjust to his new home and sometimes learn their language, as well as ideals, traditions and values.
Newcomers usually seek homes where their countrymen have already settled and where they will face the fewest personal adjustments.
In the Midwest many immigrants from Germany, Poland and Hungary settled in Chicago and St. Louis. Some immigrants had jobs and homes with relatives waiting for them in their new cities. Other immigrants had to seek jobs and a place to live. Even though available, there was great competition for jobs with persons who had lived in these cities for a long time.
From these larger cities, the immigrants spread out to smaller towns looking for jobs. Some of these people found their way to Mascoutah, where they could get work in the mines and mills. The immigrants' new community found it now had many workers and not enough housing. Some persons resented immigrants, even though their own families had been immigrants only one or two generations before. They did not understand or tolerate the customs, ideals and traditions of the newcomers. As a result, the immigrants sometimes had difficulty finding a good home and winning social acceptance. They often did not have the same economic opportunities as persons who had lived in Mascoutah a longer time.
Some local citizens welcomed the immigrants. They did their best to help them find jobs and suitable living quarters. Some of the town's businessmen would often sit on the benches under the Postel Mill Porch and discuss the growing city's problems. The were virtually no rental homes available and these new immigrants with their low paying jobs did not qualify for home loans from the banks.
1913 to 1923
Several of these men determined to invest their money to found the Mascoutah Building and Loan Association in August 1913.
Investors were invited to participate by purchasing stock. Each share cost 50 cents per month with a charge of 25 cents per share for membership added to the first payment of all stock.
Borrowers were told about the ease with which to pay their mortgages, paying small monthly payments like rent. Money was loaned on first mortgages at not over 50% of the appraised valuation.
A printed statement from the Mascoutah Building and Loan Explains:
"...Few prospective home builders have sufficient funds to pay cash for their homes and they must in large part be paid for with borrowed money. Banks cannot finance this movement, since the making of mortgage loans is only a small side line of their regular business. A bank can not safely tie up any considerable portion of its assets in long time loans, and in every state the law limits the hand, the average working man, depending on his savings from his wages for funds with which to pay for his home, he cannot safely borrow on a short time mortgage which he knows he will not be able to liquidate during the term of the loan, and as it may fall due in time of tight money and depressed business conditions, he fears he may not be able to renew it at maturity.
What is needed to finance a home building program in any community, is a financial institution, especially organized and operated to make long time loans repayable in small periodical payments, about the same as rent. There is just one type of financial institution which is adapted to fill this need, and that is what is known as Building and Loan Association..."
Payments by investors and borrowers were made the first day of the month in the front office of the Postel Milling Company--other days of the month, payments could be made at J.R. Jones residence, ii East South Street. His daughter, Margie Jones took care of the books.
Two of the original founders were replaced. In 1919, H.F. Lill, attorney replaced John J. Flotho, and in 1920, T.E. Hagist, general store owner, replaced A.C. Hagist as directors.
The first printed annual statement in 1918 showed assets of $27,709.74. Assets reached over $100,000 in 1923, 10 years after the founding of the association.
1923 to 1929
During these years were no changes in directors and this was a period of steady growth for Mascoutah Building and Loan as assets amounted to over $250,000 by the end of the 16th year, July 31, 1929.
1929 to 1944
This was a hard time in the economic life of our country and it was hard time in the life of the Mascoutah Building and Loan. The general level of economic activity was low. Assets plunged to $161,000 in these 15 years.
During this time, five more of the charter directors had to be replaced by the association. In 1932, E.R. Schubkegel, contractor, replaced Robert Schubert. In 1934, Philip Kugelmann, barber, E.A. Karstens, miller, and Sigmund Stock, general store employee, replaced Oscar Hagist, Carl Montag and T.E. Hagist. At the same time, E.C. Kamann became Vice President and J.D. Mollman, was elected Treasurer. In 1936, upon the death of George Draser, Dr. O.F. Reinhardt, general practitioner, was elected as a director. E.C. Kamann, President and E.R. Schubkegel Vice President.
1945 to 1957
We see in these years a resurgent Mascoutah Building and Loan Association.
Elmer O. Riess, insurance and real estate agent, replaced J.R. Jones as secretary and designated as manager of the association. The office was now open to investors and borrowers 5 ½ days per week and employed a clerical staff. The office located at South First and West State Streets offered services of insurance, real estate, savings and loan, income tax preparation, state vehicle and driver's license applications and secretary school board all in one facility. The increase in client traffic and demands necessitated additional office space to be constructed at the location in 1955.
In 1945, James Batton, implement dealer and Walter Nenninger, mine worker, replaced E.C. Kamann and Dr. O.F. Reinhardt. E.R. Schubkegel was elected President, E.A. Karstens, Vice President and Elmer O. Riess, Secretary--Manager.
Elections in 1946 showed E.A. Karstens as 1st Vice President and Philip Kugelman as 2nd Vice President, In 1951, E.A. Karstens also assumed the duties of J.D. Mollman as Treasurer. In 1951 Roland Riess, insurance and real estate agent, was elected to fill the vacancy left by J.D. Mollman. In 1952, A.S. Lee, mill employee, was elected to fill the vacancy left by James Batton.
In 1956 the association's name was changed to Mascoutah Savings and Loan. Glenn Liebig, business owner, was elected to replace E.R. Schubkegel. New officers that year were Philip Kugelman, President, Walter Nenninger, 1st Vice President, A.S. Lee, 2nd Vice President, and E.A. Karstens, Treasurer. The following year Meryl T. Schroeder, attorney filled the vacancy left by H.F. Lill and Herbert T. Yaeger, building replaced Sigmund Stock.
A printed advertisement in 1956 states:
For Safe and Profitable investment, buy Paid Up Shares bringing 3% interest.
Additional records show that rent, including heat, electric, water, furnishing and office equipment amounted to $60.00 per year; telephone, telegraph, express and postage amounted to $65.00 per year; advertising amounted to $40.80.
Assets increased 2 ½ times in these 12 years from $161,000 to $405,000.
1958 to 1968
1958, the 45th year, marked the beginning of many improvements:
Accounts were insured up to $10,000 by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation.
Membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago gave it access to additional funds whenever quickly needed.
Elmer Riess was employed as full-time manager and Janet Twenhofel employed as full-time bookkeeper.
Modernized with larger and better equipped offices, as the office now housed only the Savings and Loan Association.
Assets increased 20% during the past year, now totaling over a half million dollars.
In 1959, in addition to advertising the monthly savings plan and paid up shares, clients were urged to start "Our optional savings plan, add any amount any time, withdraw any amount any time." As always, the association printed statements offering their services to the borrower of the Mascoutah area in acquiring homes. "We solicit borrowers who are in need of financial assistance on their homes."
In 1961, the Mascoutah Savings and Loan Association celebrated reaching over $1,000,000 in assets.
In 1962, the borrowers were told "When you need money for buying, building or remodeling your home, let us tell you about our modern, easy to repay, OPEN END mortgage loan."
Board of Directors and Officers were changed in 1963 when Roland E. Riess was elected as Treasurer. The following year Walter E. Grauel, postmaster was elected to the vacancy left by E.A. Karstens.
1965 saw the Mascoutah Savings and Loan Association reach its $2,000,000 asset milestone.
Accounts were insured up to $15,000,000 in 1967. New officers that year were Walter Nenninger, President, A.S. Lee, 1st Vice President, and Glenn Liebig 2nd Vice President. Dr. Paul Svarcas, veterinarian, was elected to replace Herbert Yaeger.
In the Summer of 1967, the Mabus property, located at the corner of First and Main Streets, was purchased to build a new facility to house the rapidly growing association. The dwelling on the property was dismantled and the Yaeger Construction Company was hired to build the new building.
As Elmer Riess anticipated retirement as Secretary and Manager, Ivan DeHart was hired in October 1967. The new building was completed and ready for occupancy two months later. Ivan DeHart was now Secretary and Manager and Betty Schanz, bookkeeper. Elmer Riess remained on the board as a director. At the end of the 55th year, assets had risen to $2,850,000.
1969 to 1985
In 1969, Ivan DeHart was given the title Executive Secretary and Thomas Norrenberns of the IGA Supermarket was elected as director. Elmer Riess was honored with the title Director Emeritus.
Assets in 1970 now reached $4,000,000 and savings were insured up to $20,000. Passbook rates, paid quarterly, were 4 3/4% and Savings Certificates were 5 1/2% to 6%.
The name of the Association was changed to First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Mascoutah, Illinois in 1971.
By 1974 assets had risen to almost $10,000,000. Savings were now insured to $40,000 by FSLIC. The "new" building was already too small and an addition to this building was built on the north side.
January 1, 1976 First Federal Savings and Loan opened their first branch office in the building they leased at 109 East Hanover in New Baden, Illinois.
In 1980 assets amounted to $23,000,000. Accounts were now insured to $100,000 by the FSLIC. The association offered 5 1/2% passbook rate paid quarterly, compounded daily. 5 3/4% to 8 % Savings Certificates, paid quarterly, Six Month Money Market Certificates, 30 Month Money Market Certificates and Interest Bearing Checking Accounts. Looking forward to expanding to Lebanon, Illinois, the association bought the building in December 1980 at 108 West St. Louis Street and started remodeling procedures. Joann Renth was appointed Branch Manager at New Baden, Betty Schanz was appointed Assistant Managing Officer of the Association, Linda Boyce the NOW Account Coordinator, and Gina Klein, Savings Counselor.
The newly remodeled facility housing the Lebanon branch office was opened in March 1981.
The 1982 annual statement offered for borrowers: real estate loans, home and commercial, home improvement loans, installment loans, auto, mobile home, equipment loans share loans, loans made against your savings. The Investors were offered passbook savings at 5 ½%, paid quarterly compounded daily. Certificates of Deposit 7 to 31 Day, 91 Day, 6 Months.
Interest bearing Checking Accounts (NOW) 5 1/4% compounded daily, paid monthly. JUMBO NOW, minimum $5,000.00 and Money Market Deposit Accounts, Minimum $2,500.00. When A.S. Lee died and Glenn Liebig retired form the board of directors in 1983, they were not replaced.
Construction of a new facility at 1200 East Hanover, New Baden was begun in 1983. On October 14, the new branch office was open for business. An Open House honoring the opening of the office was held in December 1983. New officers named in 1983 were Roland Riess, 1st Vice President, Walter Grauel, 2nd Vice President, Dr. Paul Svarcas, Treasurer, Ivan DeHart, Executive Vice President and Secretary, Margaret Brann was named Branch Manager of the Lebanon office.
1985 to 1999
As the 75th year of service to the Mascoutah area thrift customers and homeowners approached, the directions of the association decided that a change in name would reflect the character of the mutual association at this stage of its existence. Accordingly permission was sought from its Federal regulators to change its name to "First Federal Savings Bank of Mascoutah, Illinois." The name change was readily granted.
By 1990 the Bank’s total assets had increased to in excess of 38 million dollars, its net worth was a healthy $2,807,000.00, which was 7.2% of liabilities. It was soon approaching the need to further expand its office and banking flow. Adjoining property had wisely been acquired some years prior for this purpose. Plans for the expansion were finalized in April of 1993 and the new building was completed and occupied in 1994.
In the year 1996, after 29 years of service guiding the bank from a small institution with assets slightly more than 2.5 million dollars, to one with assets of more that 57 million dollars. Ivan DeHart retired as Executive Vice President and Secretary, and was immediately elected as a Director. He was succeeded as Bank President by Terry Giles, who came to the bank with more than twenty years of banking experience. Mr. DeHart served as a Director of the Bank for 25 years, retiring in February 2021.
During the years 1993 to 1999 the bank experienced a rapid growth from 52 million in total assets to its present size in excess of 75 million dollars. During this time the bank’s net worth (capital) grew proportionately to $6,410,553.00 and its asset ratio increased to 8.93% to its liabilities, after considering loan loss reserves. We operated under the purview of the Federal Office of Thrift Supervision during this period.
It has continued to carry out its mission to loan money primarily to single family, owner occupied borrowers, and to pay fair and reasonable rates of interest to its depositors. All deposits are granted up to the limit of $250,000.00 under the terms and condition of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Never has a depositor lost a single dollar at this Bank.
The bank experienced continued growth during this period, and had total assets of $128,284,000 as of December 31, 2012. Capital grew accordingly and equaled $13,656,000. The Office of Thrift Supervision was converted to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in 2011, and FFSB became an OCC regulated bank in 2011. Our mission remained the same and our primary market remained 1-4 owner occupied home loans, and personal deposit accounts. President Terry Giles retired effective December 31, 2016, with Todd Gober assuming the role of President/CEO as of January 1, 2017. Total assets as of December 31, 2016 equaled $96,706,000 with Capital equal to $12,502,000.
2017 - Present
Asset and Deposit growth resumed, with Total assets increasing as of June 30, 2017 to $98,146,000 with capital of $12,628,000, and a Tier 1 Capital ratio of 13.28%. Loan products have been expanded to include non-owner occupied real estate loans, commercial loans, and expanded personal loans. Gross loans as of June 30, 2017 equal $52,875,000 and Net Loans/Total assets equal 54%.
FFSB began a Core Data Processor conversion in April 2017, with conversion to be completed by September 25, 2017. The bank is converting from FIS Miser BI to the Fiserv Cleartouch solution. This will be a signficant technology upgrade and will bring FFSB up to a technological par with our competition and within the industry. In addition, significant enhancements to the website, internet banking, and mobile banking functions were also implemented at this time.
The Bank converted from a fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) to a calendar year effective in 2018.
In 2020, we withstood the COVID 19 pandemic, and saw our assets grow to $128,235,187 by year-end December 31, 2020. The Bank converted from a national charter to a state charter effective December 31, 2020, and showed net income after taxes for 2020 of $645,855, and Tier 1 capital (net FAS 115 adj) of $14,689,578. In addition, we became Federal Reserve members on this same date, evidenced by the purchase of required membership stock. We remain a mutual savings bank, but are now regulated by the State of Illinois, and also the FRB of St. Louis as our new federal regulator, replacing the OCC. Our name remains the same and there are no visible differences to our customers. From a banking perspective, this conversion increases our lending limit from 15% of capital, to 25%, and lowers our annual assessment fees by approximately 50%, for an annual savings of approximately $20,000.
Mr. Matthew Krausz, auctioneer & farmer, was elected to Board February 2021, to fill the vacancy from the retirement of Mr. Ivan DeHart, whose 54 years of service lasted from October 1967 - February 2021.
Exterior & Lobby renovations completed at the New Baden location in August 2021; Major lobby renovation began in Mascoutah in May 2021, completed in September 2021, with a new north entrance added to the facility.