|A History of STRUM
and the TOWN OF UNITY by Roy Matson
|74% was loans and discounts, proving the bank was active in the loan business. As most
banks they followed the advice of larger big city banks and invested in inflated farm
mortgages with the result that losses were frequent. The stock market crash in October,
1929 with the following market deflation and slowing of the economy had a great effect
on these small local banks. There were no receiving agencies of the government that could
have held questionable collateral for a limited time to tide pressed financial institutions
until time would permit reforming. A bank is the economic balance wheel of a community.
Around and through it local business revolves and on its stability rests much confidence.
Many people’s trust here on earth is invested in its continuity. When a bank fails,
especially in those days of no deposit insurance, there was more lost than merely hope and
trust. Depositors up in years saw their security gone. Remember, old age pensions were
yet unheard of. Social Security as we know it was a radical plan to be proposed four years
later. Banks closed steadily after the market crash but none thought it would happen here.
Directors closed the First State Bank of Strum for business in August, 1931.
It was a weird, unforgettable day even to a twenty-year-old with no deposit. And as the
years passed my realization grew as to the seriousness of the happening and how very little
a person of that young age actually knows of life’s problems. I had began working for H.
George Peterson, the Ford dealer, in March of that year. Work began at 7:00 A.M. and in
my case was preceded by a two mile walk. Sivert Rekstad, bank president, and I
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