Four photos of the original Union State Building in Arkansas City KS, ranging from the early 1900's to present.

Union State Bank Celebrates 115 Years

Union State Bank (USB) celebrated the 115th anniversary of the bank’s charter issuance on December 29th.

Bill Docking, Union State Bank Board of Directors Chairman Emeritus, wrote in a message to staff, “Along with almost everything else, community banking has changed over the last 115 years. However, the mission to which all of us at USB are committed endures.”

Like most long-lasting financial institutions, Union State Bank didn’t grow overnight. Beginning in 1908, Union State Bank served customers out of their only location in downtown Ark City. USB focused on deposit and loan products for individuals, businesses and agricultural producers in the area. With the exception of several remodels of the original building, including one Kansas’s earliest versions of drive thru banking that featured a teller lane for vehicles to drive inside of the building, Union State Bank remained relatively unchanged for almost seventy-five years.

In 1956 the Docking Family purchased Union State Bank through the holding company, Docking Bancshares, Inc. Former Kansas Governor, Robert Docking, held the position of Chief Executive Officer from 1957-1983. Robert’s son, Bill Docking, took over the position that same year. Bill continued as CEO until 2014. Today, he is Chairman Emeritus and Bill’s nephew, Brian Docking, is Chairman for Union State Bank’s Board of Directors.

Union State Bank first expanded in 1983 with a second location in Arkansas City and remained with the two branches for the next twenty-three years. In 2006, Union State Bank and The State Bank of Winfield merged to form a larger and more diverse financial institution. The merger added Union State Bank branches in Winfield and Udall.

The bank continued to expand over the next several years, adding additional locations in Winfield (2007), Wichita (2011), Arkansas City (2012) and Bartlesville, Oklahoma (2014). In 2014, Bill Docking handed the CEO position over to Eric Kurtz. Kurtz had joined Union State Bank in 2009 as Chief Lending Officer and Executive Vice-President and in January 2011 was promoted to Corporate President. It was the first time since 1957 someone other than a Docking family member had held the CEO position.

At the time Kurtz commented, ““I look forward to serving our banking communities here in south central Kansas and continue the strong banking tradition the Docking family has instilled at Union State Bank. With our local ownership and management, we are committed to maintaining our deep Cowley County roots and feel we have great opportunities to grow the bank in the future.”

Under Kurtz’s leadership, Union State Bank has completed two bank mergers and continued the organization’s expansion into Oklahoma. In July 2015, Union State Bank merged with RelianzBank, a single-location ‘boutique’ bank located on the Westside of Wichita. USB opened a Loan Production / Deposit Production Office in Edmond in September of 2019. And on January 1, 2020, USB merged with Newton based Midland National Bank. The merger brought Union State Bank’s total asset size to approximately $475 million and added three additional banking locations. Today, that number has grown to over $600 million in total assets.

Union State Bank’s most recent expansion was completed early last year with the construction of a corporate support office in downtown Wichita.

“We at Union State Bank are proud to continue the community bank philosophy which began when we were founded in 1908. From our smallest branch in Udall, to our metro locations in Wichita and Edmond, we have made it a priority to be a good community partner in all our markets,” said Kurtz.

About Union State Bank: Union State Bank offers a full range of electronic, deposit and cash management services, as well as business and agriculture, commercial real estate, construction, mortgage, residential and consumer loans. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender, NMLS# 412388