The First State Bank of Shelby first opened its doors for business on April 9, 1910 when Joseph T. Berthelote, Henry Guth, Matt A. Johnson and Chas. D Kicker organized the bank, having purchased the assets and assumed the liabilities. The bank was originally located directly west of where the Elks Lodge is today. In 1912 the bank moved across the street where the city parking lot is located, where the bank stayed until it moved in 1923 just east of where the Roxy Cinema shows movies today. The bank remained there until we opened our doors at our current location on Saturday, June 29th, 1968.
The bank building itself is a beautiful and unique architectural design. The bank was designed by Oswald Berg Jr, an architect from Bozeman, MT. The bank was built in the round design to allow us to develop all of the functions of bank operations around a central focal point. The focal point being a circular fireplace with a native stone hearth and a black massive, yet delicate metal hood over-extending into the high center of the roof supported by sweeping glulam structural members extending upwards. Native stone and natural finished wood enclose the exterior of the building. The use of these products ties the bank to the surrounding community. The entire bank has a friendly and intimate feeling due to bank tellers and officers being in a circle, all relatively close to the banking public.
H. M. Kluth, a native of Minnesota, came to Montana in 1916 and began wheat farming in the Conrad area. He later purchased interest in several theatres in this area and was a pioneer in the oil industry, starting in Glacier County, and also launched a flying service in Shelby with the Lynches. In 1942, he became associated with the First State Bank as a director. He served as president of the bank from 1947 until his death in 1950. The Kluth family has continued to run the bank since then. The Kluths and The First State Bank have always been very community oriented and have been actively involved in community activities, and intensely interested in the progress and future of this area.