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Our History

With more than 100 years of banking history behind it, Vantage Bank brings a diverse wealth of experience to its customers. Now in two great locations and with eleven employees, Vantage Bank continues to provide personal customer service while modernizing aspects of the bank to benefit its customers’ needs.


Kent State Bank was first opened on July 14, 1902 by nine original stockholders with a total capital investment of $10,000. Of those original stockholders, F.E. Kenaston was the first president and E.B. Kennific was the first cashier. Kent State Bank has been in continuous operation for 121 years – even remaining open during the Bank Holiday of 1933 when most banks in the U.S. closed due to economic reasons.

The original bank was located on Main Street in the middle of the business district. It was in a two-story wooden building. The main level of the building was a bank and the upper level was living quarters.

Vintage Photo Inside Kent State Bank

Vintage Photo of the outside of Kent State Bank with Hotel on 2nd Floor

The interior was typical of a 1900s bank, with a large L-shape oak counter in the front and a teller window at the slanted corner. There was also a small private office in back and a vault made out of brick with thick steel doors and a time lock.
In 1906, Oscar Olson joined Kent State Bank as a cashier; he stayed at the bank for 63 years during which time he became the sole owner of the bank. In 1969, he sold the bank to Dean, Cleo and Virgil Hegeholz. After purchasing the bank, they began construction of a one-story brick building at the south end of Main Street. The bank is housed in this same building today.
Dean Hegeholz managed the bank until 1975 when Franz Gerber of Wisconsin bought it and hired Curt Ask to be the managing officer. In July of 1976 ownership again transferred to Virgil Hegeholz, Michael Parker and Curt Ask. On May 8, 2012, Kent State Bank was purchased by Jeff Montgomery, James Williams III, Jim Wallace and Erik Hendrikson. To incorporate the addition of a loan production office in Alexandria, MN, the name was changed to Vantage Bank.

In April 2015, the Loan Production office in Alexandria became a full service branch.Vantage Bank logo made of metal

Vantage Bank is served by President Jeff Montgomery, along with eleven staff members. Jeff and staff bring a combined 100+ years of banking experience to Vantage Bank along with local ties to both Kent and Alexandria.

With 122 years of history of banking behind it, Vantage Bank remembers how banking used to be. Because of this history, they uphold personalized customer service to every aspect of traditional banking, and continue to apply that level of service to new technologies and services that modern banking now offers.