In 1965, Jack Crowley, a former banker; Ted George, owner of Mississippi Engineering; Elmer Ellingsen, manager of Iowa Electric, DeWitt; Rex Peters, owner of Peters Real Estate and Insurance; and Everett Rogers, a Welton farmer, applied for a state bank charter after determining the need for a second bank in DeWitt. Shortly after, Peter McGinn, a local farmer; Dr. Frank Benson, a local dentist; and Andrew Hartmann, another local farmer, were contacted and invited to join the group. They purchased a facility at the bank's present location and selected the name, First Central State Bank.
First Central's doors opened for business on June 12, 1967, at 914 6th Avenue, with Ted George, President, and Doyle Butts, Executive Vice President.
The original Board of Directors was: Dr. Benson, Doyle Butts, Elmer Ellingsen, Ted George, Andrew Hartmann, Peter McGinn, Rex Peters, and Everett Rogers. The bank's first employees were Jon Billhorn, Cashier; Donna Lacey, Wilma Schellhase, and Judy Birney.
On August 13, 1970, the new motor bank opened for business at 915 6th Avenue, directly across the street from the main bank. In September, 1972, the board members met with Ed Tubbs and John Fagerland to discuss the possibility of their becoming involved in the management of First Central State Bank. On October 3, 1972, Ed Tubbs, John Fagerland, and Al Tubbs acquired slightly over 50% of bank stock and reorganized the board to formally join the organization.
In November of 1991, First Central opened a Loan Production Office in Eldridge, Iowa and by May of 1992, made application to the State Department of Banking to open a full service office in Long Grove. First Central received approval from the State Department of Banking and opened the facility directly north of the Post Office on February 22, 1993.
On April 16, 2002, First Central opened a full service branch in LeClaire in the end unit of a new strip mall overlooking the Mississippi River. After taking a year to digest and assimilate the new office, First Central continued its geographic expansion by opening a new office similar to LeClaire, in the community of Eldridge. This office opened on December 15, 2003.
Ohnward Bancshares, Inc. was formed in 1967 by John W. Fagerland and Edward L. Tubbs. John and Ed had personally purchased controlling interest in Maquoketa State Bank in 1966. A year later, for tax reasons, they formed a bank holding company and transferred their stock ownership of MSB into the new company.
They selected the unusual spelling of “Ohnward” by combining the latter portions of each of their first names. Through the years, Ohnward has grown, but it has always maintained its local ownership and operation. The principal shareholders are members of the Tubbs and Fagerland families and participants of the Ohnward Bancshares, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
The remaining 200 Ohnward stockholders reside in Eastern Iowa, primarily in Jackson, Clinton, Scott and Jones counties. Al Tubbs, Brig Tubbs, Abe Tubbs, and Kendra Beck, all members of the Tubbs and Fagerland families, are active participants in the management of Ohnward and its subsidiaries. Today Ohnward owns 100% of Maquoketa State Bank, First Central State Bank, Gateway State Bank, Ohnward Bank and Trust, and other financial offices including the Central Insurance Agency, Maquoketa Insurance Agency, Midwest Management Services, and the Maquoketa Auction Service. Other affiliated offices include LPL Financial offices in DeWitt and Maquoketa and the real estate agency Central Realty.