8/15/2013 11:12:00 AM White Rock Bank sold a second time
by Sue Sullivan
White Rock Bank opened its doors for business in December, 1915, after two men, both sons of Swedish immigrant parents who settled in the area in the 1860s, decided that banking services were needed in the small but vibrant village of White Rock.
Originally part of the Vasa Township, farmers in the southern part of the township organized the Farmers Commercial Union in 1868, built a co-op type store, and in 1871 the village was named White Rock for the 500 foot sandstone formation nearby.
In the Cannon Falls Beacon issue of December 17, 1915, an article states, "This bank is financed by reliable men, men with money to meet all obligations and starts out on a solid financial foundation and has before it a future career of usefulness that augurs (foresees or predicts) nothing less than success for all its patrons."
Another historical record states, "During the bleak days of 1933, when many banks folded, the White Rock State Bank continued in operation."
In 1977, White Rock State Bank was purchased by John Blomquist and became part of the BancMidwest Corporation, which already owned the Goodhue State Bank. After the merger, the four banks were known as White Rock Bank.
White Rock Bank started a branch bank in the Cannon Mall in Cannon Falls in 1990. In 1996 the charter was moved from White Rock to Cannon Falls, the location on County 24 was built and the mall office closed.
The downtown Red Wing location was opened in 2004 while building its location on Tyler Road. The downtown location was closed at the end of July this year.
BancMidwest Corporation, John Blomquist sold White Rock Bank to 215 Holding Company, Brian Short in November, 2010.
As of Saturday, August 24, White Rock Bank's name will reflect that acquisition and become known as a First Farmers&Merchants Bank.