Wood River: The Value of Friendship

The couple lived in Grand Island in June, 1952. Chick was working for the State of Nebraska as a bank examiner and had just completed examining the Bank of Wood River on June 24. He was then assigned to a crew examining the McDonald State Bank in North Platte the following week, and stayed in the Pawnee Hotel. After finishing his paperwork on Monday evening, he stopped at the White Horse Saloon in the hotel at which time he encountered a friend of Donna’s family, Pete Hedgecock a real estate broker. Chick says “To those of you who were fortunate to know and love Pete, you will understand that Pete always had a deal for everyone.” After buying Chick a beer, Pete said “What are you doing in North Platte?” When he told him he was working as a bank examiner, Pete said “Why don’t you buy that Bank of Wood River?” Chick told Pete that he knew the Dean family as he had just been in the bank last week and nothing was said about a pending sale. Pete said “I know the man that has the contract on the Bank and I can get it for you.” Chick immediately told Pete he was interested.

En route home, Chick stopped to see his friend Lyman Stuckey, who owned and operated the Lexington State Bank. Lyman introduced him to Lyle Stoneman, Vice President of the First National Bank of Lincoln, who was in Lexington on a correspondent bank call. Chick told his story to Lyman and Lyle, after which time Lyle told him how much cash he had to raise for First National to handle the deal. Donna’s parents, Dr. E.E. Bilon (a Grand Island Optometrist) and Peg Bilon loaned them the “seed money” and they used their own $12,500 in savings to complete the down payment. First National loaned them $42,500 on a six-month note. Pete Hedgecock delivered on his promise and the deal was closed for Chick to take over July 1, 1952. Chick and Donna moved into the house that came with the bank package by the end of the month. The purchase price for 95% of the bank stock, 100% of the insurance agency, and an old two-story house was… $87,500. Amazing how times have changed since 1952! Jim Dean agreed to stay involved for 30 days to assist in the transition, since Chick had no experience operating a bank or insurance agency. After a week Jim and his father, Will, departed Wood River with one comment to Chick: “You can handle it.”

The Heritage Story
Then and Now
Chick Moyer: The Early Years
Chick’s War Years
Chick Moyer: College & First Career
Wood River: The Value of Friendship
From Steel Country to Corn Country
Building the Team in Wood River
The Stromsburg Opportunity
Opportunity in Aurora
Heading North to Neligh
Growing into Grand Island
Three Became One
City National Bank in Hastings
Kearney Completes Tri-City Operations
Acquisition of Sherman County and Howard County Bank
Heading Northwest into the Sandhills
Peoples-Webster County Bank Acquisition
Leading the Company Forward
$100 Million Reasons to Invest with Heritage Bank
Technology’s Influence on the Industry
More Than Just a Bank
“The Best is Yet to Come”