History of The Roberts County National Bank of Sisseton
The Roberts County National Bank was originally established in White
Rock, South Dakota on September 15, 1896 as the White Rock State Bank,
and has operated without interruption for over 100 years. The original
bank organizers were Newell N. Powell, Harvey O. Powell and S.E.
Oscarson. The White Rock State Bank received its national charter in
1902, becoming the First National Bank of White Rock.
The First National Bank of White Rock was purchased July 27, 1918 by
John L. Caldwell and his son-in-law, A.W. Powell. A.W. Powell was not
related to the previous owners.
Of the 21 banks existing in Roberts County in 1933, The First National
Bank of White Rock was the only bank allowed to remain open after the
Bank Holiday was declared in March 1933. Following the closure of all
four banks in the county seat of Sisseton, the Comptroller of the
Currency authorized the transfer of the charter to Sisseton and the
change of the bank’s name to The Roberts County National Bank of
Sisseton on August 12, 1933. The bank’s assets were transported from
White Rock by employee F.H. Kouba. Traveling to Sisseton in a Ford
Model A Coupe, Kouba was escorted by the White Rock town marshal and
The Roberts County National Bank began operating at 411 First Avenue
East (now Veterans Avenue) in Sisseton in a building previously
occupied by a bank that had gone out of business. It survived without
reorganization during the years of the Great Depression. The bank
moved to its current location at 5 East Maple Street in Sisseton in
1960 and continues to operate there today.
In 1956, A.W. Powell sold the controlling interest in the Roberts
County National Bank to his son-in-law, Harold L. Torness, who served
as bank president from 1970 until his death in 1999 at the age of 80.
Torness’ son-in-law, John S. Rasmussen, and his son, William H.
Torness, serve as the bank’s C.E.O. and President respectively. The
Roberts County National Bank of Sisseton continues to be the only
independently-owned hometown bank in Sisseton and is proud to have
served the community for over 100 years.