To the editor:
We received an unexpected letter on May 1 that the Peoples Bank branch in Rippey will be closing effective July 31, 2023. This will end a long tradition of two banks in Rippey, with the First National Bank chartered in 1905 and the Rippey Savings Bank, now Rolling Hills, opening its doors the same year.
The First National Bank was the predecessor of Peoples Bank, with its history dating from the 1880s.
My father, Clark Bardole, was a dedicated, longtime employee of the First National Bank, serving the bank and community for almost 50 years, beginning in 1931. For me and many others in the community and those from away who have continued banking at Peoples Bank, this is a sad and depressing time.
The letter stated reasons, including the difficulty of finding staff, few customers banking in person, security reasons and the changing needs of the community. The Peoples Bank decision makers made this decision without a full understanding of how this will affect the people in the community.
I understand business decisions and the “bottom line,” with the need to make a profit. I understand the precarious position of small towns in rural Iowa. I hope that the Peoples Bank owners, with their other branches in Greene County, will continue to support community activities in Rippey in order to acknowledge the loyal customers and employees over the years.
This is the end of an era with the upcoming closing of the Rippey branch of Peoples Bank. We will move ahead, move to honor our community and all who care about this small town with a big heart.
Nancy Bardole Hanaman