History & Mission
Kinderhook Bank was established in 1853 to serve the financial needs of the community, its businesses, and its citizens. Kinderhook Bank, an independent community bank, will deliver a fair return to shareholders over time by marketing quality financial products through personal service that no competitor can match. We will employ top-notch people who are properly trained and fairly compensated for their efforts but who remain involved in our local communities. To continue our strong tradition of success in the future, we intend to maintain our reputation for integrity and pursue prudent business practices. By doing so, we will provide a firm foundation for promoting technological innovation in customer service and creating long-term career opportunities for our employees.
The bank is a member of the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Independent Community Bankers of America, Federal Home Loan Bank, and the NYS Bankers Association.
Kinderhook Bank opened for business on October 1, 1853. The banking facility is believed to have been located in the north end of the frame building that housed Lathrop and Reynolds Hardware store in Kinderhook, New York. The building was leased from General Charles Whiting and stood on the southwest corner Broad Street and Albany Avenue
On December 28, 1858, President William H. Tobey purchased the Van Vleck property for $5,250. The bank occupied the property on May 1, 1859.
The first president of the bank was William H. Tobey, the first vice-president was John Bain, and the cashier was William H. Rainey. At the time of the organization of the bank, the nearest banks outside the village of Kinderhook were those in Albany to the north, Pittsfield to the east, Hudson to the south, and Coxsackie to the west and at that time the wide extent of country from which business could legitimately be drawn furnished a sufficient demand to employ all the banking facilities then in existence in this field.
The bank continued business without special incident until the great panic of 1857, which placed a severe strain on the financial institutions of the time. In the following year, on the 15th of September, the bank was robbed by burglars, who succeeded in blowing open the outer and inner safes with powder and securing about ninety-five hundred dollars in cash, which the bank subsequently recovered.
Immediately after the robbery, the bank purchased the premises on the corner of Chatham and Hudson streets and proceeded to fit up the brick building thereon for the use of the bank, constructing a very substantial vault of the then best known materials, with the best doors and inner safes that could then be procured. The bank occupied this building in the spring of 1859.
In March of 1865, the bank was converted into a National bank under the Laws of the United States, under the title of the National Union Bank of Kinderhook, and continued, as provided by law, for twenty years until 1885, when its corporate existence was extended for another twenty years, until 1905. The number of shareholders of the bank on the first of October, 1853, was fifty-three, and on the first of October, 1903, was one hundred and six.
William H. Tobey , the first president of the bank, held that office until his decease, in May, 1878, a period of twenty-five years. He was a lawyer eminent in his profession, a man of unsullied character and reputation, great dignity of manner and unquestioned integrity. He had been Surrogate of Columbia County, a member of Assembly, and afterward a member of the Senate of the State of New York.
Stephen H. Wendover , the second president, was elected in January, 1879, and continued in office until his decease, in March, 1889. He was a man of extensive experience in business affairs, of wide acquaintance, clear-headed and sagacious, and enjoyed the highest reputation for integrity and uprightness. He, too, has been a member of both the Assembly and Senate of the State of New York. His tenure with the bank spanned over 36 years.
James Bain , the third president, was elected in June, 1889, and continued in office until his decease, in February, 1892. He was a farmer, universally respected for his very high character and standing in the community. His tenure with the bank spanned over 39 years.
Gerrit S. Collier , the fourth president, was elected in February, 1892, and continued in office until his retirement due to illness in 1923. He was a lawyer by profession with unquestioned integrity. His tenure with the bank spanned over 40 years.
James Adger Reynolds , the fifth president, was elected in April, 1923, and continued in office until his decease in 1937. He entered the service of the bank in April 1868. From that time, he served the bank in every capacity - as clerk, teller, cashier, director, and, from 1923, as president. He was president and mayor of the village for ten years. For many years, he took upon himself the duty of seeing that Van Buren's grave was cared for and that the American flag always marked it. His tenure with the bank spanned over 69 years.
Walter S. Crandell , the sixth president, was elected in 1937, and continued in office until his health forced him to resign in 1949. He was a member of the New York Stock Exchange and for 16 years was a director of the Columbia County Agricultural Society and its president from 1935-1939. In 1926, he built the theatre that bears his name on Main Street in Chatham, New York. His tenure with the bank spanned over 19 years.
Harold Birckmayer , the seventh president, was elected in 1949, and continued in office until his decease in 1952. He entered the service of the bank in 1906. From that time, he served the bank in every capacity - as bookkeeper, teller, assistant-cashier, cashier, director, executive vice-president and, from 1949, as president. For many years, he was treasurer of the school district and a trustee of the village; and, from 1937 to 1941, he served the village of Kinderhook as mayor. His tenure with the bank spanned over 46 years.
Charles Frisbee , the eighth president, was elected in 1952, and continued in office until his decease in 1959. He entered the service of the bank in 1929, where he was chosen as director to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of his father Charles P. Frisbee, who, at the time of his death, had served the bank as vice-president for eleven years. His tenure with the bank spanned over 30 years.
Allen J. Thomas, Jr. , the ninth president, was elected in 1959, and continued in office until his decease in 1995. Mr. Thomas was employed by the bank for over 61 years. His years of service, including 36 years as president, is unparalleled in the history of the bank. He began as a clerk in 1934 and served as an Assistant-Cashier from 1949 until 1952 when he became executive vice-president. He served in this capacity until 1959 when he was elected president and chairman of the board.
Robert A. Sherwood, the tenth and current president, was elected in 1995. Mr. Sherwood began employment with the bank in 1976 where he was employed as a teller and was soon promoted to assistant-cashier in 1977. He then served in the capacity of executive vice-president from 1983 until 1995. He has served on the board of directors since 1986. In 1995, Mr. Sherwood was elected president and chief executive officer. He is affiliated with the Northern Columbia County Rotary Club, and serves as a director on the boards of Columbia Economic Development Corporation, and the Center for Disability Services. Mr. Sherwood holds a graduate banking degree from the University of Texas.
In October 2013, Mr. Sherwood turned over the day-to-day operations of Kinderhook Bank to new Chief Executive Officer, John Balli. Mr. Sherwood will continue to serve on the Bank's board of directors and work on strategies for enhancing community and shareholder relations for the future.
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