The Vermillion Bank was incorporated on September 8, 1917 when several local men decided that the Vermillion area needed a bank. The building was constructed for $2,500 in 1918 with furniture costing an additional $1,500. Local builders used brick on the outside with a pressed tin alloy on the inside. The 25’ x 40’ building weighs 150 tons. The interior of the building is divided into a lobby, president’s office, head cashier/ teller operations area and a walk-in vault with a safe. The building was originally heated by a pipeless coal furnace in the basement with the heat rising through a floor register.
The bank opened for business on August 10, 1918 and it could accept deposits up to $150,000. In 1933, a steel wall called a “bandit barrier” was added. Tellers stood behind the barrier with bulletproof glass and steel grid covers in the barrier windows. The tellers accepted customer deposits through circular slots next to the windows. The steel door was locked during business hours and access was granted by the president or the head cashier using a “buzzer” door release. The buzzer is still visible in the president’s office behind the desk.
The building was used as a bank until 1975 and then it was used as a real estate office and a lawyer’s office. It was donated to Dakota City in 1984 and moved to the Fairgrounds on July 31, 1985.
This was a very safe bank to keep your money; it was never robbed.