Skip Navigation
Historic Garage and Drug store in Haviland KS

Haviland State Bank History

Haviland State Bank opened in 1903 by George Lemon of Pratt. The First directors of the bank were founder George Lemon, President; Otto H. Bock, Secretary and Cashier; H.A. Barbee, a cattleman near Pratt; R.D. Woodward, and L.J. Woodward of Haviland.

When HSB first opened in 1903 the money was not kept in the bank. Otto Bock, Cashier; lived in Pratt and would come to Haviland every morning on the train, carrying a small bag with the bank's cash for that day's business and would return to Pratt with the cash at the close of the day's business. After Bock was replace by Bard Matthews, the money was kept in the Haviland Bank since Bard slept in the back of the bank.

The first haviland State Bank building

 

The first (frame) building was moved across the street while the new brick bank building was being erected. But the vault could not be moved, so the money was kept on the east side of the street and the business was transacted on the west side of the street. A wheelbarrow was used to carry the bank's business back and forth between the two buildings.

Haviland State Bank building with Model A parked in the street

 

The bank survived the bank holiday in 1933, although it closed along with other banks and operated on telegraph orders.

The bank was sold to the Matthews and Bennett families in 1947. In 1981, the Matthews family formed Haviland Bancshares, Inc., and they are still majority stockholders today.

The bank is proud of its 118-year heritage and is thankful for the opportunity to serve and assist the community, patrons, and Kiowa County. The Board of Directors together with officers and staff look forward to the opportunity to continue to provide a full line of banking services to our patrons and to assist in the growth and further development of Kiowa County and surrounding area.

Group of men working at a bank during the early 1900s

Bill Ewert, A. T. McNutt, J. G. Bennett, Bard E. Matthews  (1919)

3 men standing in front of a banking cage during the 1950s

H.H. Beck, Deloss Corkel, Bard E. Matthews (1932)

Group of people posing in a bank during the 1930s

Harold Bennett, Willard Matthews, Anna Lee Tuttle, Gordon Bennett  (1953)

George W. Lemon


GEORGE W. LEMON

George W. Lemon of Pratt, who founded the Haviland State Bank in 1903, was rightfully called the father of banking enterprise in this area. He founded the First National Bank in Pratt just a year before starting the Haviland Bank. He held his interest in the Haviland State Bank until 1947, at which time he sold his stock to the Matthews and Bennett families.

J.G. Bennett (Gordon)


J.G. BENNETT (Gordon)

J. G. Bennett (Gordon) came to Haviland in 1911, when Bard E. Matthews wrote to the business school in Lawrence asking for summer help at the Haviland State Bank. Gordon got off the train in Haviland expecting to stay a few weeks and remained with the bank until his death in 1958. During World War II, while Willard was in the service, Gordon operated the bank with only the help of two girls.

Willard A. Matthews


WILLARD A. MATTHEWS

Willard A. Matthews, president of the bank, first worked at the bank when he was a high school freshman.  He recalls it was the late Ted McNutt who taught him to operate the posting machines. Willard attended Kemper Military Academy and Kansas University and spent four years in the army, part of which he served as an Infantry Captain in Europe during the second world war.  After his discharge from the Army he worked about 9 months in the Greensburg bank. He was 34 years old when he became president of the Haviland bank in 1947.

(Newspaper Article from 1963)

Bank Plans Open House in New Building Nov. 9 & 10

Open House at the new Haviland State Bank building will be held Nov. 9 and 10. The bank will be celebrating its 60th anniversary as well as its move into new quarters.

The new bank, of brick and glass construction, was designed by Architect Alvin Row of Larned and built by contractor J.D. Harrell of Greensburg. Construction was begun in March. President of the bank is Willard A. Matthews, who is also a member of the State Banking Board. He describes the new building as "an ultra-modern country bank." It has a drive-up window and night depository.

Current Haviland State Bank

Striking features of the 52' x 52' building's exterior are its colorful brick facing and broad thermo-proof windows. Interior tone is established by walnut paneling and Formica-top Fixtures. The floor is of non-conductive terrazzo. Both heating and air-conditioning systems use natural gas. Floor plans includes a private office for the bank's chief executive, a convenient conference room, bookkeeping department, and a large open area for lobby, tellers and cashier. The vault has a new 3 1/2" Diebold door and contains 300 new safety deposit boxes of various sizes. High fidelity music comes from concealed speakers throughout the bank. The new building is located on Main Street lots just north of the old two-story brick building in which the bank was established in 1903. It fronts on 200 feet of new curbing and also has an off-street parking area to its south. A large old tree on the lots was left standing to provide shade and a comfortable setting.

The bank has capital and surplus of $110,000 and total assets of $2 million. First president of the bank was George W. Lemon of Pratt who served until 1947. Bard E Matthews became cashier and active manager of the bank in 1904 and served until 1942. J.G. Bennet was cashier from 1942 to 1958. Willard A. Matthews became president in 1947. Wm. Lee Dunbar now is cashier. Present directors are Matthews, Dunbar, Dean E. Matthews of Ashland, H.H. Bennett of Haviland, and M.E. Woodard of Goodland. Except for the drive-up window and night depository, President Matthews says, the bank's service will not be greatly changed. "we are endeavoring to provide complete banking service to our customers on a personal and confidential basis. Haviland Mayor Howard Ellis said, "We are delighted with this fine addition to our city. We have two large new churches, new building at Friends Bible College and many new homes under construction. Around here we're optimistic about the future." Hours for the open house will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov 9 and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov 10.

(Newspaper Article from 1963)

Bank Plans Open House in
New Building Nov. 9 & 10

Open House at the new Haviland State Bank building will be held Nov. 9 and 10. The bank will be celebrating its 60th anniversary as well as its move into new quarters.

The new bank, of brick and glass construction, was designed by Architect Alvin Row of Larned and built by contractor J.D. Harrell of Greensburg. Construction was begun in March. President of the bank is Willard A. Matthews, who is also a member of the State Banking Board. He describes the new building as "an ultra-modern country bank." It has a drive-up window and night depository Striking features of the 52' x 52' building's exterior are its colorful brick facing and broad thermo-proof windows. Interior tone is established by walnut paneling and Formica-top Fixtures. The floor is of non-conductive terrazzo. Both heating and air-conditioning systems use natural gas. Floor plans includes a private office for the bank's chief executive, a convenient

conference room, bookkeeping department, and a large open area for lobby, tellers and cashiers. The vault has a new 3 1/2" Diebold door and contains 300 new safety deposit boxes of various sizes. High fidelity music comes from concealed speakers throughout the bank. The new building is located on Main Street lots just north of the old two-story brick building in which the bank was established in 1903. It fronts on 200 feet of new curbing and also has an off-street parking area to its south. A large old tree on the lots was left standing to provide shade and a comfortable setting. The bank has capital and surplus of $110,000 and total assets of $2 million. First president of the bank was George W. Lemon of Pratt who served until 1947. Bard E. Matthews became cashier and active manager of the bank in 1904 and served until 1942. J.G. Bennet was cashier from 1942 to 1958. Willard A. Matthews became president in 1947. Wm. Lee Dunbar now is cashier. Present directors are Matthews, Dunbar, Dean E. Matthews of Ashland, H.H. Bennett of Haviland, and M.E. Woodard of Goodland.

Present directors are Matthews, Dunbar, Dean E. Matthews of Ashland, H.H. Bennett of Haviland, and M.E. Woodard of Goodland.Current Haviland State Bank Except for the drive-up window and night depository, President Matthews says, the bank's service will not be greatly changed. "we are endeavoring to provide complete banking service to our customers on a personal and confidential basis. Haviland Mayor Howard Ellis said, "We are delighted with this fine addition to our city. We have two large new churches, new building at Friends Bible College and many new homes under construction. Around here we're optimistic about the future." Hours for the open house will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov 9 and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov 10.

Back to Top