Melvin became a banker in his teens, delivering statements because postage had gone up to two cents! He also learned to do the books. In 1931, as a student at the University of Nebraska, he was initiated into the hazards of banking. He was home for the summer, alone at the bank, when two men walked in brandishing guns and demanding money. The men escaped with about $1,000 in counter cash after forcing the young teller to open the vault and lay face down on the floor. The pair apparently cased the bank when Melvin was at school, and thought they knew all the employees. Finding him there made them nervous. "Actually", Melvin said later, "there was some nervousness on both sides of the window". The money was never recovered, but the men were captured in Denver some time later after committing several other robberies.
In 1934, as the Kingsley Dam and Lake McConaughy projects were being developed, the bank was moved from Lemoyne to Brule. It was apparent the original town of Lemoyne would soon be under water.
At that time, Brule had three bank buildings, all of which were fatalities of the Great Depression. G.D. purchased the newest of those buildings from the Nebraska Banking Department, changed the bank's name and opened for business as the Bank of Brule.
Melvin H. Adams, Sr. joined his father, G.D. Adams, in 1939 in the operation of the Bank of Brule. Melvin's banking career was interrupted by service in WWII, but he returned as the president of the bank, succeeding his father who died in 1944. Melvin served as president of the bank for 37 years before stepping down in 1981.
Mel Adams, Melvin's son, graduated from the University of Nebraska and became associated with IBM and the National Bank of Commerce in Lincoln. In 1960, following the family tradition, he joined the Bank of Brule. At that time, the Bank of Brule had assets of $1.5 million.
In 1962, the Adams family opened the Keith County Bank in Ogallala with Melvin H. Adams, Sr. serving as president and Mel Adams the managing officer.
Over a ten year period from 1962 to 1972, three existing banks were added to the Adams banking family: the Security State Bank of Madrid in 1969, the First National Bank of Imperial in 1971 and the First Security Bank of Sutherland in 1972. The combined assets of the five banks in 1972 was $25 million.
New facilities were built in 1973 for the Keith County Bank in Ogallala, now the Adams Bank & Trust located at 315 North Spruce Street.
The family tradition of banking continued when Mel Adams'
sons joined the bank. Todd S. Adams joined the bank as cashier and
trust officer in 1985. In 1986, Chad S. Adams began working for Adams
Bank & Trust as chairman of the loan discount committee. Todd and
Chad represent the 4th generation in the Adams family banking business.
Revised banking laws allowed the merger of State banks. All five banks owned by the Adams family were merged under the common name of Adams Bank & Trust in 1986.
In 1992, two loan production offices were started, one in North Platte, NE and the other in Grant, NE. In 1996, both of these offices were converted to full service banks. An additional loan production office was started and converted to a full service bank in Chappell, NE during the final half of 1996. Our 9th location was added to the "family" in May of 1997 with the addition of the First State Bank of Lodgepole, NE. Early in 1999, the Bank of Indianola was purchased bringing to 10 the number of banks offering services through Adams Bank & Trust.
On December 15, 2000, Adams Bank opened our first facility in Colorado in the town of Berthoud. On April 16, 2004, the Adams Bank & Trust completed the process of merging with Vista Bank, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The completion of this merger created a new South Colorado Region for the bank, with 2 branches located in the city of Colorado Springs. On January 3rd of 2005, we expanded our Northern Region to include the town of Firestone, Colorado - opening a temporary facility while our current facility was being built. We moved into this beautiful new facility on August 26th, 2005. A second new facility in the Northern Colorado region was completed during 2006 and we moved into this facility just west of downtown Berthoud on May 15, 2006. In 2007, we continued our mission to serve our customers in this region by opening a new facility south of Ft. Collins, Colorado on Highway 287 and on August 20, 2012 we opened our doors at 10 Ken Pratt Boulevard in Longmont, Colorado. 2013 featured 2 storefront openings with North Platte getting a second location at 3221 South Jeffers on November 8th and our first branch in Kansas opening on September 30th at 370 North Franklin in Colby.
Our Holding Company purchased Colorado On-Line Mortgage Company in 2006; this entity is now named Adams Mortgage and has offices in Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins.
In July of 2008, Melanie (Adams) Washa joined her brothers, Todd and Chad, at the Ogallala location. Melanie serves as a Call Center Specialist and is responsible for solving customer issues. She is the friendly voice you hear when you call in to the bank.
The family banking tradition again continued in June of 2011, as Amanda (Adams) Fanning joined the Adams Bank & Trust banking team. Amanda is serving as Sr. Accounting Manager and as our Deposit Compliance Officer. Amanda is the daughter of Todd Adams and the great-great granddaughter of G. D. Adams, she represents the 5th generation of Adams family bankers.
Pictured in the photo at left are the current members of the Adams' family serving Adams Bank & Trust. From left to right are:
We have grown because of our solid commitment to our community and this region. Today, the Adams Bank & Trust is one of the largest Agriculture banks in the nation. "A large factor in the Bank's success has been the quality and commitment of the personnel this organization has attracted", according to Todd Adams. The same factors that made our bank strong originally, contribute to our continued success today.