A financier out of England had a loan go bad in the late 1880s. The collateral for his loan were cattle located in Texas. The financier hired a man by the name of Reuben Lisco to collect the collateral. Reuben Lisco collected the cattle and drove them up the Ogallala Cattle Trail, and eventually landed in the Panhandle of Nebraska. Reuben, employed by the financier, hired ranch hands to take care of the cattle. He and the ranch hands homesteaded in the area. One of those ranch hands was Harold Olson. This was the beginning of what once was the largest ranch in the country.
Reuben Lisco established the town of Lisco, NE in 1909, and in the same year started Lisco State Bank. Harold Olson and Reuben Lisco were good friends, and Harold went to work in the Lisco State Bank in 1924. In 1939, Harold Olson purchased the bank from Reuben. Harold remained in Lisco, NE, his entire life. One of his sons, Thomas H. Olson, returned to Lisco after college to run and eventually purchased the bank. Chairman Tom Olson had plans of expansion, and purchased a bank in Dalton, NE in 1966. The next purchase was a mortgage company in Sidney, NE, in 1984. This mortgage company was converted to a bank. This bank was, and continues to be, run by Bruce Batt, another Lisco native. Tom Olson, Jr. returned to the company in 1993 and is President of Points West Community Bank.
The origin of Points West Community Bank in Wyoming dates back to October 18, 1919 when State Bank charter No. 161 was issued to the Farmers’ State Bank of Jay Em, Wyoming.
In the early 1920’s, prior to the disaster of 1924, there were nine banks operating in Goshen County, but by the 1930’s only two were left – one of which was Farmers’ State Bank.
In 1933 Farmers’ State Bank of Jay Em claimed to be the only bank in the Nation to have been open continuously from its inception date. It did not close during the bank holiday in 1933 because the official notice to close was mislaid until after the holiday had passed.
On April 30, 1945 the bank received permission to change the bank’s name to Farmers’ National Bank of Torrington and moved to the enterprise of Torrington. On June 27, 1958 the Farmers’ National Bank again secured permission to change its name and became First National Bank of Torrington.
TWO STATES, ONE CHARTER
After over a 100 years of operation in Nebraska and over 90 years in Wyoming, First National Bank changed name to Points West Community Bank on December 20, 2010. The primary reason for the name change was to provide clarity. First National Bank is a very common name among banks throughout the country and as the institution grew, situations arose where two First National Banks of different ownership were operating in the same towns, and service areas which created a great confusion for customers and non customers alike. Along with the name change in 2010, Points West Community Bank became a State Chartered Bank in the State of Nebraska.