About Us

the History of our Bank

(Taken from the announcement of the building of the new bank building, 85th Anniversary, 1979)

In April of 1894, the Commercial Bank opened for business in the Opera House located where the REA building now stands.

Henry Wehrman, F.W. Lawson, Robert Greenwood, and Henry Fox, Jr. signed the articles of incorporation. The Officers elected were Henry Wehrman, President; F.W. Lawson, Vice President; and R.M. Gourley, Cashier.

Pictured is Henry Wehrman, President, 1894.

Henry Wehrman, president 1894

In August of 1898, our present building was constructed at the cost of $3865.67. Through the years, it has undergone several remodel projects.

Commercial Bank

We continue to grow year by year, providing the capital for land, equipment and livestock for area farmers and serving the people as well as old and new businesses in the community.

In the early 1920’s, almost every small town could boast of one or two banks. In 1928, there were eleven financial institutions in Nuckolls County. The list reads: Commercial Bank, Nelson; Farmers State Bank, Nelson; Cadams State Bank; Citizens State Bank, Superior; Farmers State Bank, Superior; Farmers State Bank, Hardy; Farmers State Bank, Ruskin; Nora State Bank; Ruskin State Bank; Security State Bank, Lawrence; Scroggin and Company, Oak. Mt. Clare, Angus and Bostwick also had banks in an earlier day. The severe depression of the late 1920s caused many small banks to liquidate.

The Wehrman family played a prominent part in the growth of the Commercial Bank, the first president was Henry Wehrman. He was succeeded in 1911  by his son J.B. Wehrman. I.J. Wehrman was elected Assistant Cashier in 1894, became Cashier in 1897 and served the bank until his death in 1943. Lawson Wehrman was elected President in 1954  and held that position until 1968.

James Murphy began his banking career as a bookkeeper in 1917. He served as Cashier and Executive Vice President after the death of I.J. Wehrman, giving over 50 years of service to the bank and community.

Lee Clabaugh began work at the bank in April of 1946. In November, 1968, Lee and Charlotte purchased the outstanding stock of the Commercial Bank. Lee Clabaugh was elected President and Cashier; W.E. Garrison, Vice President; and Charlotte Clabaugh, Vice President. They also serve as directors. In June 1972, Donald Biltoft, Cashier, was elected to the board, as was Steve Clabaugh in January of 1978.

Steve Clabaugh was elected President in April of 1997. Lee Clabaugh was also elected CEO in 1997 and continued in that position until his retirement in December 2011 after more than 60 years of service. Lee remained on the board of directors as a member emeritus until his death on November 11, 2015.

In 2012, David Ochsner was elected President and Steve Clabaugh CEO. Steve remained CEO until his death on January 2, 2022.