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Banking Service History

Compiled and Edited by Michael R. Reilly

Last Revised 05/16/2005

     The first bank was started in Sussex in 1911. Called Sussex State Bank, it was operated by J. W. Cannon. It was closed in 1933 during the Bank Holiday due to the weakened condition caused by the Great Depression. 

    In May, 1939, upon recommendation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and State Banking Department, the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Menomonee Falls took over the operation of the Sussex Bank. (Farmers and Merchants began in Menomonee Falls on May 20, 1908 with Samuel A. Connell as president and Albert H. Eckhardt as cashier.) 

    Harry Rodgers was the first manager of the Sussex F&M Bank, and remained there until his retirement. Upon Rogers retirement, Elmore and Esther Bast became a great husband-wife team as managers of the Sussex office. Mr.  and Mrs. Bast contributed a great deal tot he growth of the Sussex office. Other managers at Sussex include; Eugene Ackatz, Robert Dahinden and Earl Mester, the present manager (1972). Presently Mester has a staff of six. Source: Recollections from the Past: Sussex, Wisconsin, Presented by Farmers & Merchants Bank, August 4, 1972

Editor's note: J. W. Cannon was actually the first manager following the merger of the two banks, see text below.

Shown above are Elmore Bast, left, and Harry Rodgers. Both men have served as managers of the F&M's Sussex office. Source: Recollections from the Past: Sussex, Wisconsin, Presented by Farmers & Merchants Bank, August 4, 1972


Sussex Bank in Falls Merger
    Negotiations which have been pending for the past 60 days have now been completed whereby the Federal Deposit Insurance corporation and the state banking commission have approved the merger of the Sussex State bank with the Farmers & Merchants bank at Menomonee Falls. Under the terms of the merger the entire deposit liability of the Sussex State bank will be assumed by the Farmers & Merchants bank.     All local loans and mortgages will likewise be taken over by them.
    The banking house at Sussex has been purchased by the Farmers & Merchants bank and they will operate a paying and receiving station there so that Sussex, and surrounding community can be rendered banking services. J. W. Cannon, present cashier at the Sussex State bank will become manager of the Sussex station and be assisted for the present by Paul Dearborn. Miss Eleanore Motz will be transferred to the bookkeeping department at Menomonee Falls where all bookkeeping of the Sussex station will be handled. All deposits will continue to be insured under the terms of the FDIC.
    The Farmers & Merchants bank is the second  largest bank in Waukesha county with resources previous to this merger of over one and one-half million dollars. Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, May 18, 1938, page 8.

    Customers of the Sussex area Farmers and merchants Bank of Menomonee Falls have received the following notice: "J. W. Cannon tendered his resignation as manager of the Sussex office during December, effective as of January first. He will be employed here at the parent bank in Menomonee Falls temporarily. His position as manager of the Sussex office will be filled by Harry Rodgers who comes highly recommended by the state banking commission. Mr. Rodgers has had over 30 years experience in country bank work in Wisconsin and lived in a rural community all his life. Mr. Rodgers will take up his duties next Monday, Jan. 9, and will soon move his family to Sussex as soon as he is able to find suitable living quarters. Mr. Dearborn will remain at the Sussex office temporarily as assistant to Mr. Rodgers." Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, January 11, 1939, page 8.


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