State Bank of Townsend
The State Bank of Townsend

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Postcard image of bank of townsendAbout Us

The State Bank of Townsend opened in 1899 and has been serving its neighbors and friends in Broadwater County ever since. Through good times and bad – the great depression, drought, rain and fire, we’ve been here for you and will continue to be here for you. It was inevitable, Broadwater County is growing and we are growing with it. We offer you good, honest and courteous service with a smile. Stop by and have a cup of coffee with us today!

Three years after Wisconsin native John Patrick Kearns graduated from Bayless Business College in Dubuque, Iowa, he traveled west to explore career possibilities in Montana. A year later, the 27-year-old entrepreneur moved his young family to Broadwater County and helped launch The State Bank of Townsend. Thus began a legacy of family-owned, independent banking which continues in its second century.
jp kearns pictureWith opening capital of $25,000.00, The State Bank of Townend listed as officers on its inaugural day – June 1, 1899 - President J.E. Kanouse, Vice-President A.W. Schreiber, Head Cashier and Major Stockholder J.P. Kearns and Assistant Cashier Louis Rotwitt.

J.P. Kearns assumed presidency of the Bank in 1917, continuing his 51 year career at the State Bank of Townsend. Four of J.P and Sarah Mary Kearns’ children went on to hold positions at the Bank, the youngest son, James W. Kearns, carried on the family tradition. working more than 50 years in the banking business.
The bank moved into it’s new building in 1918 and continues to occupy this space today.

J.P. and James W. worked shoulder to shoulder at the bank, through the Depression, past World War II, and in 1950, at the age of 78, J.P. died of a heart attack. At the time of his death, according to his obituary, he was the oldest working bank president in the state of Montana.

James W. Kearns assumed the helm and ran the Bank even longer—retiring at age 84 in 1987. He died a year after he retired.

In 1961, J. William (Bill) Kearns, Jr., the older of James W. and Ossia Kearns’ two sons, became the Assistant Cashier at State Bank. A year before his father’s death, Bill became Chairman of the bank his grandfather helped create. He continues to serve as Chairman today.

The State Bank of Townsend continues its tradition of full service community banking with a well trained and friendly staff willing to listen to your needs.


400 Broadway - Townsend, MT 59644 - Phone (406) 266-3176  - Toll Free 1-800-735-6385

The State Bank of Townsend
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