1936: Dain Employees Federal Credit Union
Community 1st Credit Union was established and officially started operation on June 23, 1936 in Ottumwa, IA as Dain Employees Federal Credit Union, when a group of Dain Manufacturing employees dropped their plant savings plan and came together to organize their own credit union. Services were granted to Dain Employees and their immediate families. Products were limited to savings accounts and loans. Those 12 individuals include: E.C. Moss, F.E. McClellen, T. Toms, W.V. Wonderly, H.C. Roths, C.O. Tollman, John Drenner, Jack Shipley Jr., Ed West, Albert Bowers, Ed Jennings and Carl Edmund.
1948: Deere Employees Federal Credit Union
In 1948, Dain was renamed to Deere Employees Federal Credit Union. The credit union had 300 members and $66,000 in assets. Transactions were conducted in a hallway of Dain Manufacturing consisting of one small table and one chair.
1951-1953: The First Office
By 1951, the company established a 9’x12’ corner room of the building near the front gate that became the credit union office. Business hours were one hour prior to the plant’s working hours, lunch time, and one hour after the work day was through. In November 1952, the credit union hired a full time manager and assets had grown to $250,000. In 1953, the credit union found a new home outside the plant when a new building was constructed on Vine Street in Ottumwa to specifically accommodate the engineering, personnel and other offices, including the credit union.
1961-1962: Our Own Building
In 1961, plans were started to construct the credit union’s first building. The building was 40’ x 60’ at the rear of the John Deere Ottumwa Works property. In 1962, the credit union moved into the new building.
1974: Growing Operations
With a staff of six and room to double in size, the credit union became a five million dollar organization. The famous slogan of the credit union was “Not for Profit, Not for Charity, but for Service.” The Federal Examiners based out of Toledo, Ohio, said that Deere Employees Federal Credit Union was the best credit union in the district. In 1978, good news came for credit unions, as permanent share draft legislation was passed, allowing credit unions to offer share draft "checking" services to members.
1988: Deere Community Federated Credit Union
As the years passed the credit union grew continually. We had grown to a 24 million dollar credit union with 4,300 members. As we neared the end of our lease with John Deere, a new location allowing for space to expand was built at 235 Richmond Ave. in Ottumwa. Membership was opened community wide and our name was changed to Deere Community Federated Credit Union. Our new slogan became “Down to Earth, Close to Home”. This office remains the main office of the credit union.
1994: Oskaloosa Branch
The first branch outside of Ottumwa was opened in 1994, in Oskaloosa, IA, in order to better meet the needs of the many current members who lived in the Oskaloosa area. With recent growth of the credit union, it was becoming necessary to expand into area communities to ensure continual long term growth.
1996: Centerville and Pella
This was a big year, with the grand opening of two additional branches - one located in Centerville, IA and the other located in Pella, IA. After several years of serving the Pella community, the need for a larger branch became imminent, and the branch was relocated to a larger building at 500 Main Street to allow for more space and room to expand.
1998 -1999: Grinnell & Bloomfield
The credit union expanded to its first location north of Interstate-80 in 1998, with a new branch located at 205 W. St. in Grinnell, IA. On Feb. 1, 1999 the doors opened at 301 Franklin St. in Bloomfield, IA, to better serve members who lived in this area. At the time, over 1,200 credit union members lived in Davis County.
2000: Cedar Rapids – SW
In 2000, Southwest Cedar Rapids Community Federal Credit Union merged with Deere Community Federated Credit Union. This merger allowed us to reach members in Cedar Rapids and expand into this market.
2002: Ottumwa – North
In March 2002, a second branch was established in Ottumwa located at 739 Pennsylvania Ave. In order to better serve the increasing amount of members, this building was equipped with a training facility for the growing number of employees.
Deere Community Federated Credit Union established an office at 2800 220th Trail in Middle, Amana on October 8, 2003, as a result of a merger with the Amana Employees Credit Union. The branch is open to all members of the community as well as being heavily utilized by the members who work at the Whirlpool Refrigeration plant.
2005: Cedar Rapids – NE
In July 2005, Deere Community Federated Credit Union added a branch at 1030 Sierra Dr. in Cedar Rapids, in a merger with Cedar Rapids Community Credit Union. This enabled the credit union to further expand into the Cedar Rapids market and establish another area for training purposes, as well as more space for credit processing, mortgage and business/agriculture lenders.
2006: Community 1st Credit Union, Fairfield & Washington
Effective January 1, 2006, Deere Community Federated Credit Union changed their name to Community 1st Credit Union to reflect the field of membership they served, the growth into many different communities and to send the message that membership is open to all of the community. With this, our current slogan of “Putting the Community 1st” was created. Also in 2006, Jefferson County Community Credit Union in Fairfield, IA and George Washington Credit Union in Washington, IA both merged with Community 1st Credit Union to provide members with expanded products and services. In July of 2007, the Washington branch celebrated the Grand Opening of its brand new building located at 303 S. 2nd Ave.
On May 31, 2007, official groundbreaking began to launch the construction of Community 1st Credit Union’s Albia branch. The branch was designed to provide service for, as well as expand upon, an already significant membership base in Albia and the surrounding communities. The 4,000 square foot facility opened in January.
2010 - HI-TEC Merger & Three Branch Locations Receive Updates
Three branch locations received remodeling updates in 2010. The Amana Branch located at the Whirlpool facility was completely remodeled and celebrated a Re-Grand Opening in February. The Richmond Branch in Ottumwa received an addition to the Administrative side, completed in the Summer, which allows for more Administrative office space, training and meeting rooms. The Centerville Branch also received updates in the fall to better serve members. In addition, HI-TEC Credit Union in Ottumwa merged with Community 1st in late October.
2011: 75th Anniversary, Chariton & Venture Dr.
2011 was a big year for Community 1st Credit Union. Our Member Relations Center (Call Center) was opened in April, located at the former HI-TEC building in Ottumwa. On June 1, doors opened at two new branch locations - one located at 1934 Court Ave. in Chariton, IA and the other located at inside the Walmart Supercenter in Ottumwa, IA. The credit union also proudly celebrated 75 years of service to its members with events held at each branch and specials throughout the summer months.
2012: Mount Pleasant
On February 10, 2012 official groundbreaking took place to launch the construction of the Mount Pleasant location. Community 1st joined the Mount Pleasant community in November 2011, through a merger with MHI Credit Union. The 2,000 square foot location opened on June 14, 2012.
2013: Two New Branch Facilities & Indianola
To better serve our members and the community, two C1st branches received new buildings in 2013. In May, our Oskaloosa branch moved to its new location at 1311 A. Ave West, and in December, our Fairfield branch also moved into its new building, which remained at the same location on Burlington Ave. The doors also opened to Community 1st Credit Union's 16th branch location, in Indianola, on December 2, 2013.
C1st is over 57,000 members strong with assets in excess of $615 million. True to the spirit that has helped us grow to where we are today, the planning continues for additional products, services and improvements. C1st is proud to be serving members in over 57 Iowa Counties and eight Counties in Missouri. Over the years, C1st has grown and changed, but we have always remained true to the ‘people helping people’ and ‘not-for-profit’ philosophy of credit unions, ensuring that all of our members get the best value for their membership.
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