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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

First Security Bank

            There must be many people throughout Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming who own sets of Cherbourg French Lead Crystal glasses just like the beverage, champagne, and wine goblets that currently sit in my china cabinet. I use them for Sunday dinners and holiday meals when family and company gather. For many years, these glasses were stored in their original white cartons with black lettering the way they came boxed from First Security Bank. 
            During the 1970s, 13 banks and 153 branch offices comprised the First Security Corporation. It was the 59th largest bank in the nation. The tellers, bookkeepers, and secretaries of the Delta branch remember how much work was involved to balance their credits and debits, just like banks always have, but unlike more modern banks, they had to do it without relying on the aid of computers. Long-time employee, Anna Lee Hepworth says that when she worked at First Security Bank, it closed at 2:00 pm but employees labored with the cash and checks and 10-key machines until 5:00, accounting for every penny. There were many more checks to deal with in former days than there are now with today's electronic banking and credit card expenditures. The many checks had to be sorted alphabetically, all deductions and payments accounted for, and every deposit posted. Each transaction was verified and run through two systems of posts and statements, again with both obliged to come out perfectly balanced before employees could leave for the day. Yet, with all the time and toil required to do this job, Mrs. Hepworth says she found great joy in the work, the camaraderie of the employees, and staying busy all day.
            Former employees of the Delta branch boldly proclaim it was 'the best bank with the best people in the world'. Anna Lee found pleasure in her employment there, praised the fine managers she worked under, and loves the great friends she made and has maintained throughout the years. Several of these former employees continue to meet monthly for lunch.  The 'Bank Ladies' look forward to the chance to get together each month and preserve the friendship they formed back in the days at First Security Bank. While they eat, they visit about their families and activities; they also reminisce about things that happened while they were working together. Recently they recalled that when First Security moved to its new location in 1972, the big, heavy safe was placed on a wheeled cart and pushed and pulled along the sidewalk on Main Street to its new home. What a sight that must have been!
            I remember going with my mom to the bank with my passbook and a check or cash to deposit. The tellers were always friendly and kind no matter how small the amount or the customer. They would take the money and mark the new account total in my little blue book. I remember the vault where the safe deposit boxes were located and the numbered metal boxes, which required two keys to open. I remember those "premiums" offered during the late 1970s for savings account deposits. First Security Bank offered two china dishes or two crystal glasses for each $50.00 deposited in a savings account. Over the past 35 years my goblets and my memories of First Security Bank have remained sparkling clear. I now lift a glass in tribute to the Delta Branch of FSB and the wonderful people who served the community so well and made banking there such a pleasure. 


Dani Marie said...

I didn't know that's where you got those glasses!

Tina said...

Pretty cool!

Our family did our banking at the rival bank. . . oooooooo . . . . :) Zion's Bank!

My father "made" me go and get a job when I was 15 or 16, but wouldn't let me apply at any of the "regular" places that the teenagers worked. I went and applied for a job at Zion's Bank and GOT IT. Good heavens it still surprises me. I got to take care of the checks that passed through the bank and the
statements that came out at the end of the month. First, I checked to make sure that the signatures on the checks matched the signature cards. I soon knew all the signatures of their customers!!! I had to count the checks at the end of the month and make sure the count matched the statement, mark the checks "processed" put everything in envelopes and then weigh and put postage on all of them! I LOVED IT and got paid more than my peers at their jobs. My first "real" job.

I feel jipped though . . . . no glasses for me :)

Thanks for the memories!