In 1879, the La Crosse area boasted a population of 15,000 people. It stood as the eastern terminus of the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota Railroads. There were two established banks in the community at the time of the founding of the "Holley and Borresen" firm. Situated at 227 Main Street, with a beginning capital of $5,000, the new bank was dedicated to the small businesses of the community.
The La Crosse community was eager to use the Holley and Borresen facilities, for assets grew rapidly to nearly $50,000 by the year 1883. In that year, the firm obtained a charter within the new State Bank System and was renamed "State Bank of La Crosse" by the Board of Directors. In 1885, State Bank relocated to 311 Main Street. The city and financial institution continued to grow. In 1913, needing more space, State Bank negotiated the purchase of the stately McMillan Building on the corner of Fourth and Main Streets.
With a continuing desire to serve the community, State Bank opened the area's first branch bank in 1972 at 5501 Mormon Coulee Road in the Town of Shelby. In November 1978, the Auto Bank, located at Fifth and State Streets, was opened to serve customers faster and more efficiently. In keeping with the bank's tradition of continually improving service to its customers, the bank's second full service branch was opened in November 1990 at 1836 East Main Street in Onalaska.
In 1990, the shareholders of State Bank of La Crosse voted to create a one-bank holding company. First Bancorporation, Inc. was formed and became the sole owner of State Bank of La Crosse. In 1996, First Bank of Sparta, the oldest bank in Western Wisconsin, was acquired. With two locations in Sparta and one in Wilton, it has served the needs of Monroe County residents for 140 years.
First Bancorporation, Inc, became a two bank holding company in 1998 when it opened First National Bank in La Crescent, Minnesota. In 2001, a second First National Bank branch was opened in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
With the goal of providing its customers and its communities with the best convenience and service possible, First National Bank was merged into State Bank of La Crosse in April of 2003. Customers of both banks were now able to enjoy the convenience of multiple locations and the robust product offerings of a regional banking leader along with the personalized service of a community bank.
Over the years State Bank of La Crosse has grown in both the products and services it offers and in the communities it serves. To better represent its growing structure, in August of 2006, State Bank of La Crosse changed its legal name to State Bank Financial. To reinforce their commitment to the communities they serve, each branch was named for their respective community. The name State Bank La Crosse continues to represent the downtown La Crosse and Shelby locations, while the other branches have taken on the name of their community.
Today, State Bank Financial has six branches including its newest full service branch in Marshfield, Wisconsin and nearly $300 million in assets. The bank remains committed to the businesses and individuals of the communities it serves.