The first Bank of Mauston was established by J.B. Rosencrans on December 12, 1868. It was a “private bank” without stockholders. J.B. Rosencrans then sold to Captain Perry R. Briggs, attorney and postmaster, in 1871. Shortly after purchasing the bank, Briggs took his son as a partner. In 1886, the then millionaire, Jeff T. Heath, returned to Mauston and purchased the bank from Briggs. It remained a private bank until 1902 when it then became incorporated. Upon the unexpected death of Heath in 1903, it was found that his financial affairs were badly tangled. The bank was then reorganized and a number of local businessmen became stockholders.
After Briggs sold the bank to Heath, he moved to Redfield, Dakota Territory. He and his family returned to Mauston and he incorporated the Juneau County State Bank with a capitalization of $25,000.00. The bank then began business in the building that formerly housed the Mauston Public Library.
It is believed J.T. Heath built the white brick building on the corner of Division and State Street in downtown Mauston around 1888. The building had an entrance on the street corner, and the first telephone line in Mauston connected Heath’s office in the bank with his home.
When Perry Briggs sold his interests in the Juneau County Bank and moved to Texas, George S. Grub became the new President with William F. Windsor as cashier and W.G. Hosig as assistant cashier.
When the State Bank was organized William F. Windsor (called “Billy” and wore a “Van Dyke” beard most of life) became the President and W.G. Hosig became Cashier of the Juneau County State Bank. When George S. Grubb retired, Cashier W.G. Hosig became the new President.
Both banks prospered, and in about 1919 the Juneau County Bank took over the post office portion and remodeled the entire building. In 1921 the State Bank remodeled their building.
The Great Depression forced the consolidation of the two banks in 1932 under the name of The Bank of Mauston. The new officers were E.J. Otto, President, Charles L. Behnken, Vice President, E.P., Kueh, Cashier, and R.H. Hale, Assistant Cashier. The board of directors were E.J. Otto, C.L. Behnken, J.H. Ensch, E.P. Kuehn, John Seitz, T.W. Pfaff, and M.L. Powers. The bank reopened after the closing of the Juneau County Bank building. Shortly after the Juneau County building was leased to the Post office department to house the Mauston Power office (later the building housed the Mauston Public Library) the Bank of Mauston moved to the location currently known as the Downtown Branch.
On March 28. 1935 three men held up the bank and shot Cashier R.H. Hale in the shoulder when he attempted to reach for his deer rifle in the vault. All three were captured and received long time prison terms. A year or so later, there was another holdup attempt and Hale shot and killed the robber. To his close personal friends he was ever thereafter called “Buckshot”.
On February 4, 1942, the Bank of Mauston purchased The Lyndon State Bank, located in Lyndon Station, and renamed it the Bank of Mauston-Lyndon Station Branch. The building remained unchanged until 1971. At that time, the 1937 bulletproof teller windows were removed. Additional improvements were made to the building throughout the years including the addition of a vault, an office, and most recently a drive up window.
By 1958 the main bank’s quarters in Mauston had become very crowded and the Dockstader Block built in 1884 immediately south was torn down and the Roth Brothers completed a two-story extension in 1958. A small parking lot was also provided.
The building was extensively remodeled in 1981 with the installation of many new bookkeeping features. The Community Room on the second floor was used by various organizations from 1958 to the mid-1990’s.
In 1991 the Bank of Mauston built a new 14,000 square foot building to house its main office. The old facility at the corner of State and Division Streets had become too small to accommodate the needs of the growing bank. The Bank of Mauston continues to operate the original bank on the corner as a branch.
In 1997, the Bank of Mauston expanded once again. Dells Delton Bank opened in December of 1997 on Highway A in Wisconsin Dells. In August of 2002 a new building was completed. The new building offers more room for growth and added privacy for customers.
In 2001, another bank was added in New Lisbon. The New Lisbon Bank opened for business on March 5, 2001.
In 2005, Bank of Mauston opened a branch office in Necedah to serve its northern Juneau County customers better. Bank of Mauston, Necedah Branch was opened August 15, 2005.
Through all of the growth Bank of Mauston has experienced, we remain an independent, locally owned bank. All decisions at Bank of Mauston are made locally.
If you are looking for a bank that understands the Mauston area and will deal with you as an individual, the Bank of Mauston is the Bank for you.