As part of its 125th Anniversary celebration, WBA is digging deep into its archives to share a variety of historic gems. In this particular case, we’ve created a timeline of significant events related to Wisconsin’s banking industry that occurred between 1892 and 1909.

March 24, 1892:

WBA is formed in Milwaukee. Officers: President - N.B. Van Slyke, president, First National Bank of Madison; First Vice President - F.G. Bigelow, cashier, First National Bank, Milwaukee; Secretary – James K. Ilsley, cashier, Marshall & Ilsley Bank, Milwaukee; Treasurer – Frank J. Kipp, cashier, Merchants’ Exchange Bank, Milwaukee.


WBA convenes after the Panic of 1893 subsides. The major issue discussed: how to increase elasticity of currency.


Executive Council successfully lobbies the state to hire a bank examiner. WBA Treasurer Frederick Kasten reports that all 148 members have paid their dues of $5.00 each.


A.J. Frame is named WBA President. Frame, president of the Waukesha National Bank, remains at the forefront of various WBA activities and lobbying for another 40 years.


Outgoing WBA President W.K. Coffin, cashier of Eau Claire National Bank, reported the return of prosperity to Wisconsin’s 327 banks. Together they hold $4.6 million in deposits – less than a single Milwaukee bank will hold just 30 years later.


Growth marks the turn of the century. WBA convention delegates denounce the “free-silver” currency movement. Bank stock taxation issues arise for the first time and will linger for 20 years.


WBA membership exceeds 300 banks. Bankers form regional groups and hold annual meetings, paying $1 for their membership.


The state reports that savings deposits nearly doubled between 1900 and 1906, from $10 million to $19 million. Savings banks sprout up to take advantage of the opportunity.


WBA membership approaches 500 banks.