The Bank of Advance is the oldest bank in Stoddard County and is the only existing bank headquartered in the county to have survived the Great Depression. The bank was chartered on January 30, 1902 and we have been serving the community for over 118 years. Our high level of personal service and dedication is evident as we strive to satisfy customer financial needs and promote our communities.
Our first location was a small frame building on the northwest corner of Gabriel and Ash streets in Advance. Shortly thereafter, we moved to the corner of Gabriel and Cypress and relocated again in 1906 to a two-story, white block building on the corner of Sturdivant and Ash. On December 18, 1972, we moved into our current location after a newly constructed building on the corner of Ash and Gabriel was completed.
The following years brought significant growth and development. On our 75th anniversary in 1977, our asset size was less than $20 million and today it is over $310 million. A number of building expansions occurred to accommodate this growth. In 1973, a deposit facility was opened in Bell City, Missouri, and in 1998, the Dexter Banking Center was opened. A Lending Center location was established next to our main facility in Advance in 2001. This location houses our loan department, board room and training facilities. On January 1, 2005, we acquired the Bowen State Bank in Bowen, Illinois, which became the Bowen Banking Center. In 2007, the Bowen Banking Center moved into a newly constructed building at its current location. On January 25, 2013, we expanded into Chaffee, Missouri, by establishing the Chaffee Banking Center.
We are a family-owned and operated business. In October of 1950, Harold M. Miles, Sr. purchased the bank stock from Charley S. Prather. Mr. Miles served as President from that time until his death in July, 1969. Since then, his family has owned and operated the bank with a commitment to providing the best in banking and customer service. Mr. Miles’ children have followed their father’s lead as they manage the bank today. Harold M. Miles, Jr. has served as our President and CEO since 1992, Neil Miles serves as Executive Vice President and Melinda Miles Rainey as Senior Vice President. Their mother, Ruth Millington, served as Chairman of the Board. Other board directors are Jim Rainey, Adam Rainey and Leslie Rainey Thompson, all of Advance; Mark Becker of Dexter and Lyle Paben of Bowen.
We are a community bank proud to provide a wide array of financial services to individuals, businesses, farmers, municipalities, school districts, churches and other not-for-profit organizations, while actively supporting charitable and civic causes. From traditional banking services to internet and mobile banking products, the experienced staff of our family-owned and operated bank makes your banking experience easy and enjoyable. We value customer relationships and prides ourselves on being a hard working bank for hard working people.