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Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota printed this article on Cambridge State Bank in their December 2014 newsletter:
Bank Beginnings: The Tale of an Immigrant
(This is the fourth in a series of occasional articles on Minnesota community bank startups.)
Mora missed out.
That's where today's Cambridge State Bank started in 1914--as the State Bank of Dalbo--all because the bank's founder, Erick Erickson, thought Mora already had too many banks.
Erick was born in Venjan, Sweden, in 1864. When he was 19 he and his parents left Sweden and came to America. They settled in Comfort Township near Mora, MN. Eight years later he reunited with Alice, a childhood friend from a neighboring farm in Sweden. They married in 1891. Family lore has it that when Alice left Sweden, she said she was going to America to find Erick and marry him.
Erick was a hard worker. During the 1880s he was a logger during the winter and a river driver in the summer, coming down the river with the timber. In the early 1890s he bought a homestead near Mora which he farmed for 20 years.
Life was good until the Hinckley fire in 1894. Erick and Alice lost their home and barns. They rebuilt using charred tree trunks that were standing at the edge of the major burn area.
Erick was 50 years old when he started the bank, and for the first few years things were pretty quiet even considering an attempted bank robbery. The Great Depression brought hardship and closed banks, and Erick took the opportunity to move his successful bank to Cambridge in 1933. Along with the new location came a new name: Cambridge State Bank.
Four generations of Ericksons have led the bank: Erick, 1914-1939; Elmer, 1939-1967; George, 1967-2002; and Kim, who started in 2002 and is the current President/CEO.