Following his four years of military service in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Captain Wayne Stroup was riding the train from the east coast back to his parents’ home in Hazen, North Dakota. He was wearing his uniform and happened to be seated next to Hans Fischer, the owner of the Farmer’s Security Bank in Washburn, who had lost his son in the war.
The conversation and the connection they made on that train over the next day and a half would have far-reaching effects.
Wayne had been a school teacher in Montana and western North Dakota before the war, but afterwards he moved back to Hazen and went to work for the Union State Bank where his father and brother worked.
This situation continued until 1956, when Mr. Fischer walked into the Hazen bank one day and shocked Wayne by saying, “I’m going to sell you my bank in Garrison!”
After much time and work to set up the financing plan for this surprising acquisition, Wayne packed up his family and moved to Garrison, North Dakota. The year was 1957.
As time passed, Garrison State Bank grew, and in 1961, when he retired, Mr. Fischer sold Wayne his Farmers Security Bank in Washburn. In 1965 Wayne transformed the Turtle Lake receiving station into the Bank of Turtle Lake. Wayne retired from the day to day banking activities in 1989, however, he continued to take an active role in this system and was attending board meetings until shortly before his passing at age 98 in September of 2015. The three banks have remained strong through the decades by remaining focused on serving their customers and building community. Today these banks are leaders in their communities, and it all began with a chance meeting on a train!
Wayne in the office
Historical Dates and Timeline
Feb. 10, 1919 Farmers State Bank of Gladstone, in Gladstone, ND was founded by Adam Lefor, Thomas Lefor, and J. W. Brinton. (later to become Garrison State Bank)
October 1919 Farmers Security Bank of Washburn, ND was founded with officers being Ole Holtan, President, Oscar S. Ober, Vice President, and Hans A. Fischer, Cashier.
February 1, 1931 Farmers Security Bank assumed the deposit liability and took over the assets of Washburn State Bank.
June 22, 1935 The Charter of Farmers State Bank of Gladstone was moved to Garrison, North Dakota, and it became Garrison State Bank.
Nov. 24, 1956 Wayne purchased his first shares of Garrison State Bank stock from owner Hans Fischer and became President of GSB.
May 4, 1962 Wayne began the acquisition of Farmers Security Bank by making his initial purchase of FSB stock from Hans Fischer.
Aug. 31, 1965 The Bank of Turtle Lake was founded, created from Mr. Fischer’s receiving station. Some capital and accounts were moved from FSB to Turtle Lake.
Nov., 1972 The Garrison State Bank opened their new building on Main Street.
May 7, 1979 The Bank of Turtle Lake opened their new building on Main Street.
Dec. 11, 1981 The McLean Bank Holding Company was founded to become the proprietary owner of the three banks and purchased as much of their outstanding bank stock as possible. This made the three banks more efficient by combining and sharing their resources in one system, while still remaining independent entities. Wayne was the majority shareholder of the new holding company.
Dec., 1983 A trust department is added to GSB, and it becomes Garrison State Bank & Trust.
Sept. 3, 1984 Farmers Security Bank opened their new building on Main Street.
Wayne welcomes customers in 1961
Wayne and wife, Bernice, in the 60’s
Son, Jan, and Wayne in 2014