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A Brief History of Citizen's Bank of Chatsworth:
Providing Innovative Solutions For More Than 100 Years

The year was 1903. While Chatsworth was still considered a “small” community, it was also thriving with a wide range of businesses, shops, entertainment venues and churches. It was also a one-stop destination for the farmers in outlying regions- whatever their needs, whether seed, fertilizer, implements or the necessities of everyday life, all could readily be found in Chatsworth.

However, there was something missing from this bustling community: a stable banking institution to provide a safe means of saving, a source of financing, credit and solutions to the ever-expanding needs of the growing business and agricultural communities.

One man, a successful farmer himself, recognized this need and in 1903 Stephen Herr founded the Citizen's Bank of Chatsworth. Using his own financial resources from years of hard work, Mr. Herr began what was to endure as an innovative financial institution that drove the success, growth and progress of the town and surrounding communities.

At a time when the security of bank deposits was a serious concern of banking clients everywhere, and long before the FDIC existed, Mr. Herr took a bold step to ensure his loyalty to his depositors. In 1915, he pledged his family's personal farm land and established the Stephen Herr Banking Fund, which insured his customer's deposits by backing them with his own personal assets.

Mr. Herr continued as Bank President until 1922, at which time he turned over operations to his five sons and one daughter. To this day, the Herr family and their descendants continue to be the sole owners of Citizen's Bank of Chatsworth; something that is very rare in the corporate-owned banking world that has evolved since Mr. Herr's vision of a solution for the needs of Chatsworth at the turn of the 20th Century.

Retaining family stewardship of Citizens Bank of Chatsworth has proven a very wise decision. The Herr Family's continued loyalty to their customers ensured guaranteed protection of depositor assets- most notably during the turbulent times of The Great Depression, when failed banks were an everyday occurrence. When the “dark days” began to arrive, the Herr's conveyed 2400 bank shares from their personal portfolios to a trustee and issued “deferred certificates of deposit”, which were later repaid by the Herr's. Even during the darkest days of America's Financial History, The Herr Family provided innovative solutions to their clients and not a single penny of their client's deposits was lost.

The Herr's and their descendants have, over the subsequent years, enjoyed continued success, growth and expansion with Citizens Bank of Chatsworth. While it may be a much larger and successful institution than even Stephen Herr could have envisioned when he first opened the doors, he would be proud that his original visions for the bank remain intact: a solid financial institution where “impossible” needs are made possible, a sincere loyalty to customers and employees and providing innovative solutions for individuals, families and businesses alike.

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