Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Celebrating 100 Years

Wyoming Bank & Trust 100 Years Strong

 

April 25, 2019

Victoria Smithey/Pine Bluffs Post

Left to right: Tom Fornstrom - retired bank manager, Dennis Wallace - Chairman of the Board, Jeff Wallace - CEO, Tom Bass- Senior VP, Lorna Dunlap - Branch Manager, Sandy Ragsdale - Bookkeeper/Teller, and Toby Hytrek- VP/Loan Officer.

One hundred years, not very long for a planet or a life, but for a bank? Wyoming Bank and Trust is celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year, and customers and employees alike can't say enough good things about the bank that's been around as long as anyone can remember. In a small town called Luther, Wyoming, Luther State Bank was opened in 1907. Built to deal with all of the new settlements and agricultural workers, the town of Luther existed for three years, and in 1910 the town was renamed Burns to match the train station named after a railroad worker that was killed there. In the book "Wyoming Bank and Trust The First One Hundred Years," published 2019, author Angi Beauheim states "The town that would become Burns was created to host a bank and the headquarters for the Federal Land and Security Company sales operation."

The bank would continue to support the ranchers and land owners in the area and on May 5, 1919, would become The Farmers State Bank of Burns. The banks first president, Charles O. Lyon was a staple in the local area. A wheat farmer, miller, and farm equipment salesman, Lyon was a familiar face in the community even serving as postmaster for a time. The bank would see two more owners, Andrew Kendig until 1933, and Clarence Schliske who would sell the bank to the current chairman, Dennis Wallace in 1970. Wyoming Bank and Trust would definitely see some bumps in the road as it survived two robberies, one in 1954 and one in 1955, but would eventually become a five star rated institution according to Bauer Financial Inc.

Wyoming Bank and Trust is a place where employees feel like family and many boast numerous years of service. Lorna Dunlap joined the bank family as a teller in 1976. "Applying for the job was a lot less complicated back in 1976, I remember coming into the bank one day and casually asking Dennis if there ever was an opening, would he consider hiring me. That was it. No background check, no resume, nothing even to fill out. I was thrilled when he called to let me know I had a job." Lorna was quoted as saying in Beauheim's book. From teller, to cashier, to loan officer, and finally today as the bank manager Lorna Dunlap has given 43 years to this family, and keeps on going.

Victoria Smithey/Pine Bluffs Post

Sandy Ragsdale and Lorna Dunlap greet customers at the counter during the celebration.

Jeff Wallace has also given much of his time to his father's bank. Joining Wyoming Bank and Trust in January of 1995, Jeff would eventually find himself the CEO of the Cheyenne branch of the bank.

Dennis Wallace has created a customer friendly atmosphere in a world where cold hard cash often comes with more number crunching than hand shaking. Wyoming Bank and Trust operates with old fashioned values and excellent customer service. One employee is quoted in Beauheim's book as saying. "The expertise and friendly attitude of everyone here and the incredibly caring upper management that genuinely appreciates their team and they really show it in big and little ways. Very friendly place to be."

Congratulations on one hundred years of service, and here's hoping for at least one hundred more.

 

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