Nodaway Valley Bank Celebrates 150 Years Of Service

Founded on the the principles of safety, dependability

At the corner of Third and Main in Maryville, buildings have come and gone in the last 150 years. The business occupying these buildings, however, hasn’t changed. 

For 150 years, the corner of Third and Main in Maryville has been home to Nodaway Valley Bank. The principles that guided the bank’s original founders in 1868 continue to influence the success of Nodaway Valley Bank 150 years later.

As the first bank in Maryville, Nodaway Valley Bank opened its doors Dec. 4, 1868, under the name of George S. Baker and Company Bankers. Baker, one of the bank’s original founders, and another associate sold their interest in the bank to Theodore L. Robinson and J.C. Waterman in 1873. With this change came a new name … Nodaway Valley Bank.

Robinson owned a general store and lumber yard in Maryville. He sold these businesses to buy into the bank, where he served as cashier. James B. Prather, the bank’s president, left the management of the bank to Robinson so he could pursue other interests. Sixteen years later in 1889, Robinson was named bank president, a position he held until his death in 1894.

At the bank, Robinson adhered to one principle — safety and dependability. A century and half later, it’s the same principle guiding his great-great grandson as he leads Nodaway Valley Bank.

“Our reputation precedes us,” says James G. Robinson, board chairman and CEO of Nodaway Valley Bank. “We know our customers and thrive on service.”

Robinson, who joined the bank in 1997, is the fifth generation to lead this family-owned community bank. He succeeded his father, Theodore G. “Ted” Robinson Jr., who now serves as the board’s chairman emeritus.

Ted, a former bank examiner, joined Nodaway Valley Bank in 1964 when his uncle, James B. Robinson Jr., asked Ted to join the family business following the unexpected death of James’ brother, Chilton Robinson. 

“We have always done what is best for our customers,” James G. Robinson said. “If we say we’re going to do a loan, we’ll do it. It’s always the way we’ve operated.”

Operating on the principles of safety and dependability is the core of the bank’s business, said Cort Hegarty, president of Nodaway Valley Bank.

“Sticking to areas we know and understand has allowed Nodaway Valley Bank to continue to grow and be what we are today,” Hegarty said. 

Nodaway Valley Bank has grown to $850 million, with eight locations in Maryville, Mound City, Savannah and St. Joseph. 

“We have expanded into markets and regions we know, which has grown our customer base and success,” Hegarty said.

Hegarty also attributes the bank’s success to its consistent financial performance.

“In 150 years, there have been lots of challenges and uncertainties,” he said. “Nodaway Valley Bank has been a reliable, dependable partner in all economic cycles for our customers and their families.”

Today, Nodaway Valley Bank provides financial services to third and fourth generations of its customers. The bank prides itself on building and maintaining these relationships.

The same notion of fostering relationships also is evident with the bank’s community endeavors. From its initial beginnings with Theodore L. Robinson, Nodaway Valley Bank has taken the role in promoting the growth and economic activity of Maryville. Today, Nodaway Valley Bank actively invests time, energy and resources in northwest Missouri markets.

“It’s important to have a community bank that is active, aggressive and has a vested interest in the market,” Hegarty said. “For our communities to grow, banks need to partner with community and business leaders with stable, reliable financing to take on new projects.

“Community banks are the heartbeat of these communities and are the major drivers in helping communities grow,” he said.

Just as Nodaway Valley Bank takes care of its communities and customers, that same sentiment is shown to its 170 employees. Just like the bank, employees have thrived in their careers at Nodaway Valley Bank. James G. Robison said his father and predecessors always felt it was their responsibility to always take care of employees.

“The bank has always had a strong culture of family,” Hegarty added. “The board and Robinson family have shared in the organization’s success with our staff.”

The success of the Nodaway Valley Bank began 150 years ago at the corner of Main and Third in Maryville. Theodore L. Robinson’s core principles of safety and dependability still apply to today’s banking relationships.

“The business is still straight forward — take care of customers and treat them fairly and with respect,” Hegarty said. “It all comes back to this.” 

 Nodaway Valley Bank original
Men gather outside the original banking house of Nodaway Valley Bank at the corner of Main and Third in Maryville. For the first 26 years of its existence, the bank operated as a private bank. It was incorporated April 7, 1894, as a state bank — making Nodaway Valley Bank the fifth oldest state bank charter in Missouri.
 Nodaway Valley Bank, Maryville
Nodaway Valley Bank still stands on the corner of Main and Third in Maryville today, where it has provided safety and dependability to its customers for 150 years. Five generations of the Robinson family have led this community bank.
 Nodaway Valley Bank original bank lobby
This is the lobby of Nodaway Valley Bank circa 1890. For security purposes, bank operations were separated from the public by tall teller counters. In some cases, tellers were locked in steel mesh cages.
 Nodaway Valley Bank original teller line
Also taken circa 1890, this is Nodaway Valley Bank behind teller lines. James B. Robinson is standing far left. Theodore L. Robinson is seated at the far right. In addition to ledgers and checks, bank recordkeeping used different types of tickets.
 Nodaway Valley Bank current lobby
The main bank lobby of Nodaway Valley Bank in Maryville features a 24-foot mural commissioned for the bank’s 100th anniversary in 1968. The mural depicts the history of Nodaway County.