While the charter for Fulton State Bank, now Central Bank Illinois, dates back to 1902, a look into history tells us the bank is actually much older. The T.A. Hardin Company formed the Fulton State Bank as a private bank in 1876. This traces bank origin back 126 years. The forming company included Thomas A. Hardin, N.W. McGee, Quinton C. Ward, and John Hungate, who were actual owners of the bank. In 1898, upon the death of Mr. Hardin, the bank was then sold to T.B. Ingwersen.

The “100 year” history of the bank begins in 1902 when the bank was incorporated under the laws of Illinois as a state-chartered bank. M.W. Ingwersen and Gustav Gradert had purchased the bank at the time and incorporated with $50,000.00 in capital. The Ingwersen family controlled the bank until 1957, when Mr. and Mrs. Henry Keifer purchased it from the Ingwersen’s.

Mr. Keifer served as the bank President until his death in 1978. His widow, Mary Keifer subsequently sold the bank to the Pohlad family that same year. The Pohlad’s continued their ownership of Fulton State Bank, undergoing a name change to Marquette Bank in June of 1998, until selling to Central Banc, Inc. in December of 2000. At that time, the bank changed its name and operated under a separate charter as Central Bank Fulton. In December 2004, the holding company Central Banc, Inc. merged this subsidiary into Central Bank Illinois. This merger eliminated the duplication of many internal processes resulting in substantial costs savings to the organization. As one organization the company has greater flexibility in positioning for future expansion.

The original bank was located on Fourth Street from 1898 until 1967. After expanding twice and remodeling numerous times, property was acquired at the corner of Eleventh Avenue and Fifth Street by Henry Keifer. It was Mr. Keifer who was responsible for building the new bank at that location in 1967. With over 4,000 square feet, the new facility was believed to have enough space to accommodate growth. In 1967 total deposits were $7,000,000 and by 1994 they had grown to over $52,000,000. The continued growth had quickly surpassed the space available and it became evident a new bank building was needed.

Property was acquired at the bank’s current location on Fourteenth Avenue and the new building opened in 1995. The new building included over 10,000 square feet designed with customer service attributes as a priority. The original building on Eleventh Avenue continued to serve as a downtown branch location, but has since been closed.

While we have achieved a milestone of 100 years as a state-chartered bank, the history of Central Bank Fulton can be traced to 1876. When the original founders of the bank first opened for business, they did so with a commitment to provide the area with the best in banking services. Today, over a century later, the commitment of our shareholders, board members, management and staff remains the same.

Our staff members are actively involved in community events, serve on various boards, and provide a countless number of volunteer hours. In addition, Central Bank contributes thousands of dollars annually to local organizations, not-for-profit groups, sponsors local events, and makes ongoing pledges to the growth and betterment of our community. Central Bank is proud to have been a part of Fulton's history and we look forward to serving our community and future generations.