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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.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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U.S. BANK. U.S. Bank is part of U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company ranked 122 in the 2009 list of Fortune 500 companies. The major "legacy" banks are the original U.S. Bancorp of Portland, Colorado National Bank of Denver, Mercantile Bank of St. Louis, Firstar of Milwaukee, First Bank System/U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis and Star Banc of Cincinnati.

The main branch of US Bank in Dubuque in 2010.

The history of U.S. Bank in Dubuque is recent. In the early 1990s, after it merged with other banking concerns, the name of FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF DUBUQUE was changed to Hawkeye Bank of Dubuque. A few years later, the bank merged into the Mercantile Bank Corporation. In 1999, Mercantile Bank was acquired by FIRSTAR. After Firstar merged with U.S. Bancorp, the banks became known as U.S. Bank, the name the bank carried in 2009.

U. S. Bancorp traces its earliest roots to 1853 when Farmers and Millers Bank in Milwaukee opened its doors with $50,000 in capitalization, eventually becoming First Wisconsin and ultimately Firstar. State Savings Institution with just $8,500 in capital and one $800-a-year teller opened in St. Louis in 1855, later to become part of the Mercantile Trust Company founded by Festus J. Wade in 1899, the forerunner of Mercantile Bancorporation. The First National Bank of Cincinnati, which opened for business in 1863 with the boom of CIVIL WAR cannons firing just across the Ohio River -- survived through many more decades to grow into Star Banc Corporation.

About this same time, The First National Bank of St. Paul was chartered in 1864 after doing business for some eleven years as Parker Paine & Co. A year later, The First National Bank of Minneapolis received its charter in 1865 -- before that it had been a private banking house called Sidel, Wolford & Co. These two First Nationals formed a holding company in early 1929 which became known as First Bank Stock Corporation, which it remained until 1968 when it took the name First Bank System.

Meantime, across the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, The United States National Bank of Portland, Oregon, was chartered in 1891 as a de novo banking company by several individuals who were prominent in the local business community.

These banks thrived as independent entities, each growing usually the largest commercial bank in their respective marketplaces. As opportunities arose, each participated in in-market mergers and acquisitions during the early decades of the 20th Century -- and wider-spread expansions during the 1980s and 1990s -- including the 1993 transaction which brought Colorado National Bank into the First Bank System family and West One Bancorp into the original U.S. Bancorp in 1995.

In 1902, U.S. National Bank of Portland was merged into the Ainsworth National Bank of Portland, but kept the U.S. National Bank name. It turned out to be an important decision, as a 1913 federal law prohibited other banks from using United States in their names from that time forward. U.S. National was among the first banks to form a one-bank holding company, called U.S. Bancorp.

Since 1988 alone, more than 50 banks, large and small, have been merged into the corporation. During the 1990s, Star, Firstar and Mercantile merged to become the new Firstar. First Bank System and U.S. Bancorp combined as U.S. Bancorp. On February 27, 2001, Firstar and U.S. Bancorp became the new U.S. Bancorp.

In 2009 U.S. Bancorp had locations in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. It also had operations in Canada and Europe.

For more information, see the U.S. Bank website at http://www.usbank.com/.