Today is Bank of American Fork Day in American Fork, Utah Feb 05, 2013, 1:00 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

“Now, therefore, be it proclaimed that I, James Hadfield, Mayor of American Fork City, Utah, declare February 5, 2013 as Bank of American Fork Day.”

On January 22, Mayor Hadfield made an official proclamation at the American Fork city council meeting about Bank of American Fork. The branch on Main Street has been a part of American Fork for 100 years today.

On February 5, 1913, People’s State Bank of American Fork was incorporated. The bank was located at 51 E. Main Street in American Fork. The founders were residents of American Fork—a doctor, a merchant, farmers and other businessmen—who were invested in the community and wanted to open a bank as a business venture and service to the community. These founders were Joseph H. Storrs, William Thornton, Hans Christensen, John Franklin Noyes, James H. Clarke, Sidney Nicholes and William Henry Chipman.

Early bank employees built a foundation for Bank of American Fork. Clifford Young raised $200,000 and secured promises to defer withdrawal from depositors in order to safely reopen the bank in 1932, after a brief closure. Young put his own finances on the line and worked tirelessly, and customers, shareholders and new investors trusted him. He taught that the safety and security of customers is the top priority.

Edith Christensen was an early bank associate who loved numbers from the time she was young, and was known for adding ledger columns in her head to test her accuracy. She referred to her brain as an “adding machine,” and knew one mistake could cost a customer or the bank. Today associates do not have to keep ledgers manually, but Christensen set a standard for careful and attentive work that has carried over today.

Orville Gunther was a bank president who espoused the philosophy, “The primary responsibility of the bank is to deal fairly with customers and be satisfied with reasonable profits.” These early bank employees—and many others—exemplified principles that would later become part of Bank of American Fork’s purpose statement: “We exist to strengthen individuals and communities by providing safe financial services with exceptional care.”

In the early ‘20s, the bank moved from its shared offices at 51 East Main Street to its current location, 33 East Main Street, the Progress building—less than a block away. In 1963 People’s State Bank of American Fork shortened its name to Bank of American Fork. Now, less of the customers are sheep farmers. But Bank of American Fork’s commitment to the community is the same.

In our American Fork branch we have tellers like Linda, who customers will wait in line for because she knows their name and their needs. Even though we have more customers than we did in 1913 and we’ve grown from two employees to 300, our commitment to you is the same—both the innovative technology and the small-town service you need.

Mayor Hadfield’s proclamation states, “Whereas, American Fork City is honored to have Bank of American Fork’s headquarters located in American Fork and looks forward to another century of Bank of American Fork serving our community with its big-city banking options and small-town service approach of excellent customer service and friendliness found in a small town.” At Bank of American Fork, we too look forward to another century of serving American Fork and the communities we have grown to be a part of!

We’re excited to tell you about the history of our other branches this year, so come back each month for a spotlight on another branch.

We take this commitment and responsibility for providing big-city banking and small-town service to our communities seriously. If you have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us here or at 800-815-BANK.

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