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Cottonwood’s Wells Fargo closes, takes with it 43 years of local hometown history


The iconic Cottonwood Wells Fargo entrance doors will be well-remembered by locals. The building has been looked at by interested parties, but it is not yet known what will be moving there.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
The iconic Cottonwood Wells Fargo entrance doors will be well-remembered by locals. The building has been looked at by interested parties, but it is not yet known what will be moving there.



— The Cottonwood Wells Fargo branch closed permanently Wednesday, Nov. 8.

It was 43 years ago in 1974 when First Security Bank built a building on Cottonwood’s Main Street and opened its doors to local patrons.

The 2,850 square-foot building cost $178,000 to build and consisted of brick walls, a mixture of carpet and quarry tile and three teller stations, as well as a vault/safety deposit box area, private workrooms and offices and basement. The contractor for the job was Construction Development Company out of Spokane, Wash., with many local people working on all aspects of the building.

Newspaper articles from the Cottonwood Chronicle and a First Security newsletter reads, “the entire structure will be air conditioned and heated by modern central heating and cooling equipment …. The new bank has been designed to take advantage of the latest technical advances in layout and banking machinery.”

The first manager was Reed Skinner of Salmon, and Cottonwood native Dennis Hackwith served as the first assistant manager.

In 1999, the bank (along with the Grangeville First Security) was bought out by Wells Fargo.

Stained glass door panes were added to the large main entrance doors which depict two steer heads. These were handcrafted by a member of the Kopczynski family.

To add more local flavor, boards from a Greencreek barn were added to some of the inside walls.

Throughout the years, computers replaced manual bookkeeping work, a drive-through was added, windows replaced and automated irrigation kept outside flowers, trees and shrubs brilliant.



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