Within its first fifteen years Miltonvale saw four banks begin and end; The State Bank, W.R. Davis Banking Company, Miltonvale State Bank, and The Bank of Miltonvale. Then in 1897 the Drovers State Bank was formed and in 1905 a new brick building was erected on the corner of Spruce and Starr streets where the present Citizens State Bank stands. It could have been that the state laws made it much too easy to start a bank in those days. A couple of mergers later with other startup banks in Miltonvale led to a one bank town, but in 1933 President Roosevelt declared a moratorium and all banks were subjected to examination. The Miltonvale bank was not allowed to reopen.
Efforts were made to reorganize, but the banking department did not look favorably at any plan submitted. In fact the bank commissioner stated to the bank organizing committee, “That community does not deserve a bank. I know that country and it’s no good. You’ll never see the day when that land will sell for $15 an acre, and I intend to appoint a receiver who will wind up the business and do it fast.” After about two years in receivership , the depositors received eighty-five cents on the dollar.
In 1946 the Bank of Idana decided to liquidate its assets leaving a large area without any banking services. Mr. J.N. McMichael, president of Ottawa County Bank, Minneapolis, contacted Mr. J.R. Ayres, a bank examiner, about starting a bank in Miltonvale. Mr. Ayres moved his wife, El Dana, and his young daughter, Susanne to Miltonvale. Mr. Ayres along with his wife, El Dana, steadfastly worked to make Citizens State Bank a dependable and reliable financial institution. Original stockholders were J.R. Ayres, J. N McMichael, C.A. Graham, George H. Palmer, Thomas H Flear, H.Ray Phelps, T.C. Kimble, H.K. Pokorny, C.L. Williams, L.G. Hart, Glen Hart, Sylvia A Stewart (Mrs. Ayres’ Mother) D. Basil Rankin, Security Investment Company, and J.S. Freeborn.
The new bank was originally capitalized with $35,000; surplus $7,000, and undivided profits of $3500.
There have only been four Chairmen in the history of Citizens State Bank since 1946 and they include Mr. J. N. McMichael, J.R. Ayres, El Dana S. Ayres, and Dale A. Bradley, and only four that have held the title of president; J.R. Ayres, El Dana S. Ayres, Dale A. Bradley, and Tammera. S. Marrs.
Over 60 years later the bank is now run by Mr. Ayres’ son-in-law Dale A Bradley and his daughter Tammy along with a very competent staff that have over 80 years of combined experience.
Citizens State Bank is a member of ABA (American Bankers Association), ICBA (Independent Community Bankers of America), KBA (Kansas Bankers Association), CBAK (Community Bankers Association of Kansas, Miltonvale Chamber of Commerce, and the National Chamber of Commerce.