Welcome to the Northland, Home of Border State Bank.
Life is different here. The pace is slower and there’s time to savor each moment.
Here at Border State Bank we promise to provide service beyond expectations to the people and communities of this great Northland.
Border State Bank began as Greenbush State Bank in 1935. Established during the midst of the Great Depression by a group of optimistic Greenbush citizens, the bank flourished under the direction of Ingvald Folland until he sold his shares in 1981. Bank assets at the time were 16 million. K.B. Trangsrud served as the new President of Greenbush State Bank until his retirement in 1985. Robert J. Hager was hired to succeed him as president and continues to serve the organization as CEO. Under Hager’s leadership the bank has seen tremendous growth. In the early 90’s, the bank’s ownership group purchased the Badger State Bank and in 1993 the two banks were merged under the common name of Border State Bank and the common ownership of the newly incorporated Border Bancshares.
Changes in demographics, economic factors and the direction of the banking industry led to a decision to expand. The group opened a bank in Roseau in 1995. To further diversify its economic base, additional banks were opened in Baudette, Minnesota in 1998 and International Falls, Minnesota in 2000. First National Bank, with locations in Thief River Falls and Middle River Minnesota, was purchased in 2002.
Currently Border State Bank operates seven banking locations: Greenbush, Badger, Roseau, Baudette, International Falls, Thief River Falls and Middle River. These, along with affiliations with several other Minnesota banks, Border Insurance Network and the Investment Centers of America, provide a complete line of financial services to northern Minnesota. Border State Bank assets currently stand at approximately $351 million.
The city of Badger began in 1895 when Henry Reed purchased a small plot of land. The stable he built there attracted other businesses, and by 1906, it became a township. The name of Badger, the Mallard Capital of Minnesota, comes from the nearby Badger Creek.
Natural beauty is one of Badger’s most attractive aspects. Four wildlife areas and Agassiz Natural Wildlife Refuge are nearby, and a wide variety of recreational outdoor activities take place at them. Miles of groomed trails beckon snowmobile riders every winter.
The residents of Badger stay busy with festivities throughout the year. In February the Antique Snowmobile Derby is held. Art in the Park, an annual event, has been held every summer since 1988. Autumn is welcomed by the Badger Fall Festival.
Though the majority of Badger’s residents are employed by Polaris Industries and Marvin Windows in nearby Roseau and Warroad, the school and other education programs are the largest local employers.
Originally located on a ridge on the shores of ancient, glacial Lake Agassiz, the entire city of Greenbush was forced to move two miles when the railroad stopped short. The name Greenbush was inspired by the stands of spruce trees that travelers from the Red River Valley encountered in their journey west.
Opportunities for outdoor recreation are plentiful in and around Greenbush. Beltrami Island State Forest, Thief Lake Wildlife Refuge, and both Lake Bronson and Hayes Lake State Parks are all an easy drive away. At the Greenbush Race Park, weekly stock car races are held in the summer.
With the annual Northland Threshing Bee and Sheep Days, Greenbush celebrates its pioneer past. The Threshing Bee, held in September, is a re-enactment of pioneer living. Sheep Days continues to be held each June, a reminder of the once prominent sheep industry.
Greenbush’s economy relies mostly upon agriculture, with major local employers being Central Boiler/ Central Fireplace and Greenbush Community Nursing Home, a branch of Roseau Area Hospital & Homes. Many employees of Polaris and Arctic Cat make their homes in Greenbush as well.
The earliest settlers of this region were the famed French fur trading voyageurs, and it is from one of their number, Joe Beaudette, that Baudette draws its name. Years later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Scandinavian immigrants arrived in droves, searching for the cheap land promised by the Homestead Act. Many of these immigrants’ descendants still live in the surrounding country if not in Baudette itself.
Like the rest of the Northwestern Minnesota, Baudette is proud of its natural beauty. Two state parks, Zippel Bay and Franz Jevne, and berry and mushroom picking and wildlife watching possibilities are only a half-hour’s drive away. The massive Lake of the Woods is highly popular among local fishermen and swimmers.
Local events like Willie Walleye Day and Oktoberfest are eagerly anticipated every year, and Baudette is proud to boast one of the greatest 4th of July fireworks displays in miles.
Today, adventurers looking for four seasons of fishing and hunting drive the economy of Baudette, the Walleye Capital of the World. Two international companies have found a home along the Rainy River, as well. A Bosch vehicle testing track operates in and around the city.
Though only incorporated as a township in 1901, International Falls and the surrounding region were well known by voyageurs and missionaries as early as the 1600’s. Originally named Koochiching, an Ojibwa word for water fall, the original town was renamed International Falls to reflect its identity as an American City on the Canadian border.
This region is rich in both natural resources and history as showcased by the variety of local parks and museums. The expansive Voyageurs National Park is a major attraction, and Smokey Bear Park pays tribute to the legendary protector of the forest. The Koochiching County Historical Museum celebrates nature and the past while the Bronco Nagurski Museum focuses on the life of one of NFL’s greatest players and International Falls most famous residents.
International Falls is proud of its four distinct seasons and celebrates them with year-round activities. The city has twice hosted the Governor's Fishing Opener, and each winter the nationally renowned Icebox Days festivities pay tribute to International Falls fame as the "Ice Box of the Nation."
In 1904, a town site was laid along the banks of the Middle River, the source of the budding city’s name. Aided by an extension of the Great Northern Railroad, Middle River grew in spite of rough conditions that would have otherwise slowed the construction of homes and businesses to a trickle.
Today, Middle River is very proud of all its local hunting possibilities. Everything from bear to geese to deer can be found in the nearby forests and fields. The three government protected areas of Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge and the Thief Lake and East Park Wildlife Management Areas are all a short drive away and available for all manner of outdoor activities.
Every fall, Middle River celebrates its status as “The Goose Hunting Capital of Minnesota,” with the three day Goose Festival, “when a town of 300 residents plays host to over 3000 visitors.” The festivities include a beauty pageant, a theater production, tournaments and races, live music, and a multitude of other activities.
Agriculture lies at the heart of Middle River’s economy. Grain and animal farms dominate the area, and Natural Way Mills, the producer of Gold N White Flour, is a major local employer.
Thief River Falls
The city of Thief River Falls began as a lumber mill serving all of northern Minnesota but later found prosperity as a hub for wheat shipping on the Great Northern and Soo Line Railroads. The city’s name derives from two sources, Thief River being a translation of the Ojibwa and Dakota name of the river which runs through the city, and Falls being added to the name when the construction of a dam created a small waterfall.
Over 20 parks and recreational facilities offer a host of year-round outdoor recreational activities in the immediately surrounding area. In the winter, locals especially enjoy playing and watching hockey in the world class Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Thief River Falls is a highly active community. Annual highlights include the Triathlon, Model Railroad Show, and Olde World Christmas Faire. It has also attracted international entertainment like the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats and the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
An entrepreneurial spirit thrives in Thief River Falls. The two largest area employers, Arctic Cat and Digi-Key, were both conceived by local residents, and Thief River Falls remains their center of operations as they continue to expand.
Roseau’s voyageur history is evident in its name, the French translation of Reed River. This area was once a common stopping point for voyageurs as they paddled to the Hudson Bay Post at the end now extinct Roseau Lake.
Opportunities to enjoy the outdoors abound in Roseau. The Roseau River Wildlife Management Area, Bemis Hill, and Hayes Lake State Park are available for activities as diverse as fishing, hiking, bird watching, and sledding all year. The city maintains three gardens and parks. The Roseau County Historical Museum is a wonderful repository of detailed information on the pasts of all the surrounding cities.
Roseau is a community that remains active all year. Frostbite Days is celebrated with snowmobile races in February. In June, the community’s heritage comes to the forefront with the three day Scandinavian Festival. The end of summer is met by the Roseau River Fishing Contest and Pioneer Farm Festival in August.
The largest employer in Roseau is homegrown Polaris Industries, an international producer of snowmobiles and other outdoor recreational vehicles. Agriculture, especially dairy, beef, and wheat, is another major industry in Roseau.
To learn what makes us so proud of Border State Bank, please browse our web site, and when you’re ready to bank with the best, give us a call, we’re expecting you!
To our Customers who are our most valuable asset, we will provide the highest quality of service and benefits designed around your needs and wants. We will do this through our highly skilled and motivated employees.
To our Employees we will provide a superior, team based work environment and will be a responsible employer dedicated to your well being.
To our Communities we will be responsible civic citizens and business leaders and will do all we can to support the best interests of the communities in which we live and work.