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Midwest Bank's history is rooted through five generations of the Cooper family. Their philosophy, traditions, and the examples they set for others are the foundation that Midwest Bank is built upon.

Late 1800s

Clyde Cooper and his wife Elizabeth "Lizzy" Huntington Cooper, where both born in Ohio. After the Civil War, they migrated west to the banks of the Missouri River. There, Clyde operated a ferry, moving other settlers, goods, and supplies across the river near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Clyde wanted solid ground under his feet, so the couple moved on, looking for farmland in Iowa and then Nebraska. They found their home near Pilger, Nebraska, where they raised four sons and two daughters. 

The Coopers were a typical rural family of the day. The farm operations made the homestead primarily self-sufficient. Their crops fed the livestock that then fed the family. In the 1800s, rural families relied on few store-bought goods. Instead, they made the things they needed, including clothes, candles, and soap. They made do with that they had. All of the Cooper children attended school. 


In 1911, three years after graduation from Pilger High School, Clyde and Lizzy's son, Bob C. Cooper, married Hazel Bordner, a young lady whose family had moved to Nebraska from Pennsylvania. The couple decided to homestead in South Dakota. Their son, Jim, was born there in 1913.

After five difficult years, Bob and Hazel returned to Pilger where farmland was better and family was nearby. Their new farm grew to include crops, a dairy, and a few hogs. Bob started a hob and fat cattle buying business station in Pilger for Bowls Livestock Commission Company out of Omaha and discovered he was a trader at heart. He would trade just as hard for a watermelon as he would a train load of cattle. The family prospered and in 1923, Bob bought half interest in the company and moved the family to south Omaha. 


Jim picked up on the cattle marketing business from his father. After graduation from high school, he worked in the Omaha stockyards in the morning and in his father's office in the afternoon, where he realized he needed accounting skills. 

When he enrolled in a local business college, he met Lillian Aden, a farm girl from Gothenburg, Nebraska. They were married in 1932. They had two children, a son, Bob A., and a daughter, LuAnn. 

Several years later, Bob and Jim bought a farm near Ashland, Nebraska.

Working together, they invested in farmland and cattle feeding. Jim managed the group and cattle production while Bob did the buying and selling. 


In 1947, Jim moved his family to a farm in Iowa where Bob A. and his sister Lu grew up. The close business association of Bob and Jim continued as Bob A. learned cattle feeding and good business practices first hand from his father and grandfather.

After graduating from Iowa State and fulfilling his military obligation in the U.S. Navy, Bob A. moved to Texas to start his own farming and cattle feeding operation. He and his wife Ann have four daughters. Lu also graduated from Iowa State and became a homemaker, raising four sons and one daughter. 


Over time, Bob recognized a need to provide financing to good managers that wanted to integrate their farming operation and market their grain through livestock. 

In 1952, the Coopers moved into banking with the acquisition of the Farmers National Bank of Pilger, the town near Clyde and Lizzy's home place. 


In 1963, Plainview State Bank was sold to the Cooper Family and in 1998, Plainview National Bank merged with Midwest Bank. The bank was located on main street in Plainview until October 2012 when the new location was built on Highway 20. 

In 1972, First Security Bank in Deshler was purchased by the Cooper Family. 


In 1997, the Jim B. & Lillian F. Cooper Foundation was established to support the communities that Midwest Bank serves and further the family's spirit of giving.

In 1998, Midwest Bank acquired Cones State Bank which was founded in 1882 by Woods Cones in Pierce, Nebraska. In July 2000, Midwest Bank moved into a new building on Main Street in Pierce. 

On January 1, 1998, the Cooper family purchased The American National Bank of Creighton. The bank in Creighton was opened in 1897 and in 1932 was renamed The American National Bank of Creighton. 


In 1999, Midwest Bank was established with headquarters in Pierce, Nebraska. 

Over time, all previously purchased banks would change their name to Midwest Bank and growth would continue. 


In November 2003, Midwest Bank purchased the Wells Fargo Loan Production Office in York, Nebraska.

A new bank building was built in 2005 and Midwest Bank opened a full service branch to serve the community. 

In March of 2006, Midwest Bank opened a bank at 25th and Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk. 


In January 2008, Midwest Bank opened a Loan Production Office in Lincoln at 5700 Thompson Creek Blvd.

After growth, a new facility was built at 2655 Jamie Ln. in Lincoln and Midwest Bank opened a full service branch there in 2011. 


In March of 2009, Midwest Bank opens up our second location in Norfolk.

Located at 13th Street and Taylor Avenue is our Midtown Branch. 


On June 16, 2014, a storm with rare twin tornadoes, tore through the village of Pilger and destroyed Midwest Bank's Pilger branch. Our commitment to Pilger was unwavering and construction of a new bank began and was opening in June 2016.

In 2014, a branch was opened temporarily in nearby Wisner after the tornadoes hit. In February, 2015, Midwest Bank announced plans to keep the branch in Wisner open to serve the community. 


In May 2021, Midwest Bank opened their new headquarters in Norfolk at 2601 W. Cooper Dr. The facility brought together support staff, officers, and administration under one roof in addition to another bank location to serve our clients.