Fargo National Bank

Fargo National Bank, 1897-1911

The Fargo National Bank opened its doors on September 13, 1897 with a capital investment of $50,000. The founders of the bank were O. J. deLendrecie, S. G. Wright, G. E. Nichols, W. C. MacFadden, and Martin Hector. Martin Hector served as the first president of the bank until his death in 1938.
The bank was first housed (above right) in the building of the defunct Citizens National Bank, located on the northwest corner of Broadway and N.P. Avenue. In 1911, the bank built a new building on the same site, designed by the Bowen Brothers of Minneapolis, Minnesota (below left). The total cost was $55,500, including the land.

For a year from 1938 until his untimely death on June 25, 1939, the bank was headed by Fred M. Hector, Sr. He was followed by Earl Shaw, who served as president for 31 years, starting in January 1941. It was under his direction that the constructed a new building at the site of the former Waldorf Hotel at the corner of Front Street (Main Avenue) and Seventh Street South. The new facility was completed on May 25, 1958. It was the first bank in Fargo to provide drive-in banking.

When Earl Shaw retired in 1961, he was seceded by D. W. Palmer as president. Mr. Palmer served until 1967, and he was followed by W. R. Braseth. It was under Braseth’s term that the bank established a Trust Department and the name was changed to The Fargo National Bank and Trust Co. in 1968.
Groundbreaking for a new 10 story building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Main took place in September 1972, and the building was occupied in February 1974. (rear view seen below right). In January 1974, C. S. Miller took over as president, and in the fall of that year, a West Side Office was opened near West Acres.

The bank became a franchise of First Interstate Bank, and then in 1992 was purchased by First Community Bankshares. It was later acquired by Bank of the West in 2004.

Fargo National Bank, 1911-1958.
Fargo National Bank, 1974.

"Fargo National Bank" Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (19 July 1907): 28.
"History of the financial institutions of Fargo which tell of city's prosperity" Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (21 April 1909): B3
"Opening of new building a milestone for Fargo National" Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (5 June1959): 12.
"Bank building ceremony today" Fargo Forum (19 September 1972): 1.