First State Bank of Wabasha - Established 1881

First State Bank began as First National Bank

The Bank of Wabasha, which through the firm of A. D. Southworth & Co. dated back to 1872, was organized September 1, 1881.  The capital stock was placed at $50,000, of which one-half was paid in.  W. S. Jackson was elected president, and held that office until his death in February, 1882, when he was succeeded by Lucas Kuehn.  October 1, 1882, the bank moved to the north side of Main Street, midway between Pembroke and Alleghany streets, in the new building which the Odd Fellows had just completed at that time.

The First National Bank of Wabasha was chartered December 29, 1883, as a bank of issue, deposit, loan and exchange.  It was merely an enlargement of the scope of the Bank of Wabasha with no change in ownership or management.  In 1920, it had paid up capital of $50,000, with surplus and profits of about $55,000, and deposits of $800,000.  The officers were:  President, C. C. Hirschy; Cashier, L. Whitmore; Assistant Cashier, H. H. Whitmore. Hirschy held the position of President for 43 years until his death in 1933.

First National Bank moves

In 1934, the bank moved to its present modern home at the corner of Main and Pembroke after a long period in the I.O.O.F. building at 128 Main Street West. The growth of the First National Bank was steady and rapid. On January 1, 1885, deposits totaled $250,000. At the beginning of 1934, total deposits were over $1,500,000. 

First National Bank changes ownership

On October 1, 1940, A.J. Doffing of Minneapolis and Associates purchased controlling interest in the First National Bank of Wabasha.  At the same meeting, A.R. Evans was also elected to the board of directors. A.J. Doffing was also elected Vice-President and Cashier at this time. Mr. Doffing and Mr. Evans had been associated with the banking business in Minneapolis for some time. 

First State Bank of Wabasha is organized

On Saturday, March 22, 1941, the First National Bank reorganized and became known as the First State Bank. The same board of directors were appointed as were at the First national Bank. Deposits of the First State Bank were insured by the FDIC to the extent provided by law. The Bank’s purpose in reorganizing was to improve its capacity for service.

Today's Leadership

A.J. Doffing served as President until his sudden death in 1966. After that, J.L. Halverson was appointed President of the Bank. At this time, John Doffing, son of A.J. Doffing, was employed at the First national Bank of Mandan, ND. He returned to Wabasha and was appointed Vice-President of First State Bank of Wabasha. In 1985, John Doffing took over as President and currently serves as the CEO/President. The bank celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2006. Today, the current Board of Directors are John Doffing, Edward Passe, Gary Stumpf, James E Abbott, Tom Crowley, Chris Christopherson, and Rick Vaplon. 

History of our building

The building presently serving as First State Bank was formerly known as the Hirschy Opera House. The owner, Samuel Hirschy, enlarged and remodeled the premises into a retail store. The main floor was one of the largest retail stores in Minnesota in the 19th Century, while the 2nd floor was home to many Vaudeville acts, dances, and basketball games. 

Originally, the roof and another set of windows extended above our now 2nd story windows. After a severe wind storm on October 10, 1949, the roof and top set of windows suffered a great deal of damage. The bank was then reconstructed with a lower roof on the 2nd level. Over the years, the 2nd floor was home to a number of businesses including the Clinic offices for Dr. C.G. Ochsner, Dr. B.J. Bouquet and later Dr. L. Ekstrand. Other businesses located there were The National Tea Grocery Store, Arnston Drug Store, and the Wabasha Herald Office. 

On April 25th, 1958, the first expansion and remodeling took place, which was celebrated with an open house. In the autumn of 1981, another extensive remodeling took place in which the bank extended its location to the adjoining businesses, constructed a drive-up facility and added a number of offices to the lobby.

First National Bank Ad (Early 1900's)


First National Bank Ad (1910)


Bank in the Early 1950's