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The Poplar Grove State Bank was organized in 1946 by a local group of citizens. The original list of subscribing stockholders has 55 names. A 5-member board of directors was elected on June 25, 1946, and a Cashier was hired at a salary of $200.00 per month. A charter from the State of Illinois was issued on July 9, 1946. At the July 23, 1946, board meeting, an Assistant Cashier was hired at a salary of $140.00 per month. A portion of a brick building on State Street in Poplar Grove was leased for $75.00 per month. The budget for start-up expenses was $7,000.00, which included $3,450.00 for a vault door, and the remainder for remodeling, equipment and supplies.

On March 15, 1955, Lowell Hattery purchased controlling interest, and along with his wife, Maybelle, operated the bank until June, 1962, when they retired and sold their stock to the Kniep family, who have operated the bank for the past 41 years. Kent H. Kniep joined the bank full time in March 1980, and currently serves as President.

In 1967, a new building was constructed ½ block north of the old building. The vault door, referred to previously, was moved and installed in the new building. The original bill of lading indicates the weight to be 10,000 pounds, with seven inches of solid steel and three time clocks. In 1997, the building was extensively remodeled and an addition constructed.

In 2002, a branch bank was built on Route 76, across from the main gate of Candlewick Lake. Since 1962, the staff has grown from 3 to 15, and total assets from $1,100,000.00 to over $70,000,000.00. Our community is growing, and our plans are to continue serving its banking needs.

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