Community, family ties celebrated on Merchants Bank’s 125th anniversary | News, Sports, Jobs


Sue Sitter/PCT Descendants of Merchants Bank founder WD McClintock pose for a family photo. From back left are Wiz Wyatt, husband of Jane McClintock Wyatt; Mary Wyatt Lee, Christina McClintock, David McClintock, Matthew McClintock, Toni McClintock, John Kelly, Jim McClintock and Catherine Poole. Front row from left are Susan Wyatt, Jessie Wyatt, Jane McClintock Wyatt, Clare McClintock, Jessie McClintock Kelly, Miriam Poole and Anne McClintock. Kneeling from left are Katherine McClintock, Julia McClintock and John Meeker.

Several descendants of WD McClintock joined members of the rugby community to celebrate 125 years of community banking at Merchants Bank on July 20.

McClintock founded the first Merchants Bank site in Rugby on August 4, 1897, with John A. Davis and Henry Erickson.

Almost 125 years to the day after the bank’s birth, Jane McClintock Wyatt, WD McClintock’s great-granddaughter, spoke at the bank’s anniversary celebration, which doubled in many ways a family reunion.

Wyatt, who is chairman of the board of Merchants Bank, addressed the attendees, who enjoyed a lunch of burgers and turkey sandwiches served by bank employees.

“Did you know that our initial capital was $5,000? That was it,” McClintock told the crowd. “And they had deposits of just over $3,900. Needless to say, the capital requirements and the size of the bank increased significantly.

Years after the bank was founded, WD McClintock took over operations after buying out its partners.

WD’s son, George D. Sr., then took over the banking operations before handing over his duties to his son, George D. Jr.

His son Michael McClintock ran the bank when George Jr. retired. When Michael died in 2013, his sister, Jane McClintock Wyatt, took over the job.

The bank established branches in Upham, Towner, Granville and Mapleton, and Fairview, Montana. The newest branch of the Merchants Bank is in Mapleton.

“It’s a wonderful legacy” Wyatt spoke about the bank’s place in the family and the communities it serves.

“We are one of the last true community banks,” Wyatt said. “We have grown a lot. We’re not as big as others, but we have the time, ability and desire to build long-term relationships.

“I just spoke to a gentleman who told me that his family started a relationship with the Merchants Bank in 1908”, Wyatt added. “I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s been over 100 years! Relationships are almost as old as we are!

“He had a relationship, his kids had a relationship, and his grandkids have a relationship,” Wyatt added. “How do you not cherish this?”

Wyatt’s sister, Jessie McClintock Kelly, who was in attendance with her sister Anne McClintock and many of McClintock’s descendants, said the long-term relationships established at Merchants Bank are “something we are really proud of. Just thinking about it, the amazing team and how the family has stayed connected, it’s truly wonderful.

“But let’s be honest” Wyatt added. “Our employees made it all possible. It is a marvelous heritage for us.

Wyatt noted that Merchants Bank has experienced depressions, recessions and booms over its lifetime, “But our bank clerks overwhelmed us.”

Anne McClintock, also a Merchants Bank board member, agreed. “It’s not us, it’s them” McClintock said of Merchants Bank employees. We are the happy beneficiaries.

“And our job is to take very good care of those who take care of the bank,” Wyatt said.

Alongside Wyatt, Cody Melgaard, Chairman of Merchants Bank Rugby and Patricia Paul, Chief Operating Officer of Merchants Bank, Rugby, delivered a speech to the crowd celebrating the special day.

Katelyn Weider, representing Senator Kevin Cramer, also delivered a congratulatory message.

Other special guests included North Dakota State Representative Jon Nelson and Rugby Mayor Frank LaRocque.

Melgaard welcomed Heart of America Medical Center CEO Erik Christenson to the celebration. He and Wyatt presented Christenson with a check for a capital campaign fund to raise money to build a new hospital.

“Thank you for the service rendered to the rugby community and the surrounding area”, Melgaard said, handing Christenson a big cardboard check. “We would like to give the Build 2024 project $150,000.”

Christenson clapped and thanked Melgaard and Wyatt.

“If you look at Heart of America’s mission, it’s to advance the well-being of our community through patient-centered, compassionate care,” Christenson told the crowd.

“Heart of America is part of the community. It belongs to the community. This is your hospital and our mission here is to make this community a better community,” Christenson, a 22-year-old rugby resident said.

“I raised my children here and it’s a community I want to see continue to thrive,” Christenson added. “It is thanks to partnerships like this one with the Merchants Bank, willing and able to share this kind of gift, that this project is possible.

“I just want to say thank you to Merchants Bank for all you have done here and all you do for the community,” Christenson said. “And thank you for being a strong partner with Heart of America as we continue to build and make rugby a better place for all of us to live.”


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