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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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HEARTLAND FINANCIAL USA, INC. In August 1981, Heartland Bancorp, the holding company of DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY with offices in Dubuque, Epworth, Key West, Farley and Holy Cross, was formed. In May 1991, the name Heartland Bancorp was changed to Heartland Financial USA.

The Dubuque holding company became one of the first in Iowa to engage in interstate banking. According to officers of the Galena State Bank of Galena, Illinois, the bank would join Heartland in 1992. Galena State Bank would remain a separate banking institution and its name would remain the same. (1)

In 2016 Heartland posted its best year on record. The company reported new income of $60 million for 2015 surpassing the previous year's total by 43 percent. Earnings per share were up 29% year over year and Heartland had eight more banking locations than in 2014. (2)

During 2016 Heartland completed its acquisition of Premier Valley Bank in Fresno, California and completed a systems conversion of Community Bank in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In October the company announced it had entered into a merger agreement with CIC Bancshares Inc., parent company of Centennial Bank Bank of Denver, Colorado. (3) In April, 2016 the company announced that full-time equivalent employees had reached 1,907, an increase of 7.4% compared to the same quarter the previous year. The company had added 341 people in Dubuque. (4) For the quarter ending on September 30th, Heartland reported an increase in profits of 40% over the same period in 2015. A merger with Founders Bancorp, a California-based company was announced with a valuation of $29.1 million. This acquisition will cause Heartland to exceed $800 million in total assets in California. Lynn B. FULLER, CEO of Heartland stated that the goal was to reach $1 billion in total assets in each of the ten states in which the bank had a charter. With the merger, Heartland had 112 full-service banking locations in twelve states. The number of employees had grown to 1,846 employees as of September 30th. (5)

On May 9, 2017 Heartland Financial USA, Inc. was named a "Forbes Best Bank 2017." In its annual review of the 100 largest publicly traded banks and thrifts, Forbes ranked Heartland 44th among a nationwide group of banks with assets ranging from under $8 billion to over $2.5 trillion. (6)

In January 2017, Heartland announced a net income of $80.1 million in 2016, a single-year record and exceeding the previous year's earnings by 35%. The company had 109 banking locations in 87 communities in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and California. The company provides banking, mortgage, private client, investment, treasury management, card services, insurance, and consumer finance services to individuals and businesses. (7) There were 1,864 full-time-equivalent employees in the last quarter of 2016, an increase from 1,799 at the end of 2015. (8)

Heartland Financial played a monumental role in the rehabilitation of downtown Dubuque. In 2002 it purchased the Ziepprecht Building and the John Bell Block, once the location of the WALSH STORE. Located across Central Avenue from DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, the buildings had been vacant and detracted from the neighborhood. Both buildings, however, were listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES so renovation had to follow strict guidelines to maintain the original exterior appearance. (9)

Construction problems included the collapse of nearly forty feet of the second floor after contractors had left for the day. Originally used for apartments, the structure needed additional support for the load limits of a modern office complex. Sandy soil forced support systems for the tunnel constructed between the Heartland facility and DB&T and the completed 12,000 square-foot addition on the west side of the Heartland property. The original estimate of expense was $4.5 million. This grew to nearly $8 million which made Heartland eligible for additional tax credits related to historical preservation. An open house was planned for July of 2004. (10)

The following videos record the rehabilitation project.

=== 1989 Central Ave Renovation === (11)



13th & Central Transformation

West Transformation

NW Corner Transformation


Heartland was poised to exceed $10 billion in assets at the end of 2017. At the end of the third quarter, Heartland had about $9.8 billion in total assets. With the completion of the purchase of Signature Bancshares, an institution based in Minnetonka, Minnesota with nearly $400 million in total assets, in 2018 the goal would be reached. Heartland has had twenty acquisitions since 1994 and 13 since 2011. With the latest acquisition, each of Heartland's ten chartered subsidiary banks would have assets of $1 billion or more. (12)

In January, 2019 bank officials announced that Heartland had set another record for annual net income and had outpaced the previous year's earnings by 55%. Total net income for 2018 was $117 million up from $75.3 million the previous year. The sizable increase was in great part due to two large acquisitions. (13)

In 2019 Heartland had an estimated 2,000 employees nationwide. This included 450 Heartland employees in Dubuque and an additional 150 at Dubuque Bank & Trust. Within the city, employees worked at four locations: the former WALSH STORE at 1301 Central; part of the Dubuque Bank & Trust banking center at 1398 Central; DUBUQUE BUILDING, and a portion of the DB&T banking center at 2196 Holliday Drive. With need for additional space, the firm announced a partnership with COTTINGHAM AND BUTLER, INC. on November 29, 2019 to purchase the landmark Dubuque Building for an estimated $12 million. The company would sell the property at 1301 Central while continuing to operate out of the sites at 1398 Central and 2196 Holliday Drive. (14)

Despite the PANDEMIC of 2020 and two-thirds of its employees working from home, Heartland reported on October 26, 2020 the most profitable quarter in its history. The net income of $45.5 million during the three months ending on September 30th was an increase of 32% compared to the same quarter in 2019. (15)

In October, 2021 Heartland, since renamed HTLF, had approximately 600 employees and was expected to expand business in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. HTLF reported net income of $164.3 million which was an increase of $95.7 million over the same nine-month period in 2020. (16)

In a surprise announcement on February 25, 2022, Lynn B. FULLER executive operating chairman of HTLF announced his intention to retire from the company although he would retain his place on the company's board of directors until 2024. In a meeting with representatives of the Telegraphy Herald on the previous day he expressed his 'extraordinary disappointment' in recent moves by the financial services company and its intention to move its headquarters to Colorado. In his letter to the company, Fuller had expressed disappointment with the apparent inability of management to articulate and follow a strategy to improve total return to stockholders. He claimed that some directors seemed focused on collapsing the charters of the company's subsidiary banks rather than on profitably expanding the loan portfolio and growing through acquisitions. Fuller stated that while administrative operations would remain in Dubuque for a time, he was concerned that those operations might be relocated to Colorado too. (17)




1. Smith, Rick. "Heartland, Galena Bank to Bridge Border in '92," Telegraph Herald, April 10, 1991, p. 1

2. Montgomery, Jeff. "Heartland Sees 'Best Year on Record,' " Telegraph Herald, January 26, 2016, p. 3A

3. Ibid.

4. Montgomery, Jeff. "Heartland Reports Surge in 1st Quarter Net Income," Telegraph Herald, April 26, 2016, p. 3A.

5. Montgomery, Jeff. "Heartland Announces Merger, Profits Jump 40%," Telegraph Herald, November 1, 2016, p. 3A

6. Heartland Financial USA, Inc. "Newsroom" Online: https://www.htlf.com/#/newsroom

7. Ibid.

8. Montgomery, Jeff."Heartland Financial Sets Company Record in 2016," Telegraph Herald, January 31, 2017, p. 3A

9. Kittle, M. D. "Heartland Rehab Project Heads into Home Stretch," Telegraph Herald, February 17, 2004, p. 1

10. Ibid.

11. Nelson Klavitter and Heartland Financial USA

12. Montgomery, Jeff. "Heartland Moves to Top $10 Billion," Telegraph Herald, November 15, 2017, p. 1A

13. Montgomery, Jeff, "Record-Setting Year: Heartland Profits Jump 55%, Telegraph Herald, January 29, 2019, p. 3A

14. Montgomery, Jeff, "Companies to Buy Roshek Building," Telegraph Herald, November 29, 2017, p. 2A

15. Montgomery, Jeff, "Heartland Financial Records Its Most Profitable Quarter," Telegraph Herald, October 27, 2020, p. 1A

16. Montgomery, Jeff, "Dubuque Financial Institution Reports Continued Growth, Positive Outlook for Future," Telegraph Herald, Oct. 26, 2021, p. 6A

17. Kruse, John, "HTLF Leader Retiring Amid Concerns," Telegraph Herald, February 25, 2022, p. 1A