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Banking on the Hi-Line

for 50 Years

Independence Bank is celebrating 50 years of serving the Hi-Line
and growing with our communities. We don’t just see 50 years of community banking,
we see 50 years of our customers taking new roads, doing big things and succeeding. 
We can’t wait to see where you’ll grow from here.


  • Independence Bank, formerly known as First Security Bank, was founded in 1972 by a group of Havre business owners who saw a need for a community bank.
  • The doors opened on March 12, 1973, at the present Fifth Avenue location in Havre, MT.
  • Gerald Tucker became the first President of the bank in February of 1972.
  • In April 1979, John Caven became the second President.

50th 1970s Pics


  • In 1982, Interest Rates rose to combat inflation, resulting in a 21.5% Prime Interest Rate in June.
  • In 1983, First Security Bank celebrated its 10th Anniversary with an Art Show & Open House.
  • In its 10th year, the bank had an asset size of $28 Million.
50th 90s bank building


  • In June 1991 Chuck Celania became president/CEO.
  • In 1993, First Security Bank celebrated its 20th Anniversary. 38 new shareholders and 16 existing shareholders purchased 55% of the stock from the 12 Member Control Group.  This was the beginning of broader diversification of the shareholder group. 
  • In its 20th year, the bank had an asset size of $40 Million.
  • In 1998, the bank acquired Citizens State Bank (Opened 1916) in Scobey and Trader State Bank (Opened 1909) in Poplar.




  • In 2000, the bank purchased Western Security Federal Banks in Glasgow and Malta.  On July 5th, the name was changed to Independence Bank across five branches.
  • Independence Bank began KOA Campground Lending in 2002.
  • In 2003, the bank celebrated its 30th Anniversary and surpassed $250 Million.
  • Miles Hamilton became President/CEO in April 2004.

50th New Bank


  • In 2012, Independence Bank rebranded with a new logo.
  • The Conrad Branch was added in 2014.  In this year, the bank reached assets of over $500 Million.
  • In June 2017, Independence Bank reached over 100+ full time employees.
  • The Great Falls LPO/DPO opened in 2019. The bank also surpassed assets of over $750 Million.

50th 2010s 2


  • In April 2021, Independence Bank opened an LPO/DPO in Plentywood.
  • Bill Keller became President/CEO in April 2021. In this year, the bank surpassed $1 Billion in assets.
  • In May 2022, the Shelby Branch opened with the Great Falls Branch to follow in August 2022.
  • KOA Lending also celebrated its 20th year.
  • Independence Bank celebrates its 50th in March of 2023.

50th Board Members 2


A Video History

IB Leadership Shares Our History

Enjoy our history and celebrate our 50th Anniversary through video.
Our IB Leadership shares their experience through the years at the
bank and talk about how we've grown.

Check out our YouTube channel for more IB videos!



IB - President and CEO Bill Keller's 26th Anniversary

IB 50th Anniversary - Celebrating the Shelby Branch

IB 50th Anniversary - The History of the Shelby Branch

IB 50th Anniversary - The Future of Shelby


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