TORRINGTON – Pinnacle Bank in Torrington is celebrating a century of service to the community this year.
It was Jan. 18, 1918, when the original Citizens National Bank of Torrington received its national charter No. 11132, naming it an official depository for banking purposes.
Organizers were W.O. Eaton, President; E.B. Dearing, Vice-President; and R.F. Tebbet, Cashier. Tebbet had been employed by the First National Bank in Torrington, and was hired as the chief executive officer of the new bank, a position he held for nearly 50 years. Other directors are listed as Sam Tebbet, Mary Tebbet and Mable Eaton.
Citizens National Bank survived the dark years of the Depression, and as of March 19, 1932, with the failure of the Goshen County Bank, became the only bank left in Torrington. For many decades, Citizens and what originated as Farmers State Bank of J.M., were the only banks in the county.
Over the years, the bank has evolved to meet the needs of an ever-changing clientele.
Torrington native and Regional President Todd Peterson said the bank’s name was changed in 1998 to streamline management, placing the charters for Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming under one holding company, Pinnacle Bank.
“We’re honored to be able to serve this area for 100 years,” Peterson said Monday afternoon from his office in the Torrington bank. “And we’re proud to have had only two owners, the Tebbets and Eatons, and since 1971, the Dinsdales. That’s unusual in today’s world.”
According to Peterson, the bank survived the Depression, bucking a nationwide trend, to make it to 100 years. He continued to cite changes in the industry, especially technology, that have changed the way financial institutions do business. As examples, Peterson said they have reduced the number of people who used to work behind the scenes, and have been replaced by on-line banking.
“We’re pretty proud to still have a good hometown feeling and be here,” Peterson said. “And we’re proud of our commitment to the community, and the contributions that our 25 employees make through service organizations.”
Recalling his memory of the fire, Peterson said he and fellow drivers ed students had just returned from a practice session. They bought doughnuts at Castle’s Bakery and stood on the corner where Torrington Office Supply is now located watching all of
“And the bank opened the next Monday across the street at the Trail Hotel,” Peterson said. “They didn’t miss a beat.”
The fire, attributed to a gas leak, was estimated to have caused $1.5 million in damage to the bank and adjacent buildings, according to reports in the Feb. 24, 1969, Torrington Telegram. Several businesses were displaced, including a doctor’s office, an attorney’s office, and a drug store, among others.
Considering the number of generations the bank has served, Peterson said, “The demographics have changed, but we’ll continue to deliver good personal service, whether to our customers who want to come into the bank, or those who prefer electronic services.”
Editor’s Note: Historical information for this story was gleaned from “Wind Pudding and Rabbit Tracks, A History of Goshen County, Wyoming,” Copyright 1989 by the Goshen County History Book Committee, of Torrington.
Pinnacle Bank will host a variety of special events throughout the year to celebrate its century anniversary:
Feb. 28 – Drawing for Family Movie Pass Package.
March 30 – Drawing for Family Passes to Pleasant Valley Greenhouse Fun Center.
April 6 – 100th Birthday Party celebration for the bank with treats and prizes.
May 31 – Four $25 gift certificates to Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant.
June 29 – Drawing for free tickets to Cheyenne Frontier Days events.
July 20 – Free Movie in the Park, ice cream social.
Aug. 2 – Centennial Customer Appreciation with food, music, a free TV, and cash give-away.