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 has been serving the community for over 116 years. Its high level of personal service and dedication is evident as it strives to satisfy customer financial needs and promote its communities.
The bank’s first location was a small frame building on the northwest corner of Gabriel and Ash streets in Advance. Shortly thereafter, the bank 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, the bank moved into its 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 the bank’s 75th anniversary in 1977, its 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 at 1428 W Business Hwy 60 in Dexter, Missouri. In 2001 the Lending Center location was established next to the main facility in Advance where the loan department, board room and training facilities are located. On January 1, 2005, the bank acquired the Bowen State Bank in Bowen, Illinois, which became the Bowen Banking Center. In 2007, it moved into a newly constructed bank building located at, 415 W 5th, Bowen. On January 25th, 2013, the bank expanded into Chaffee, Missouri, by establishing the Chaffee Banking Center, a full service branch located at 102 E. Yoakum.
The Bank of Advance is 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 the bank’s President and CEO since 1992, Neil Miles serves as Executive Vice President and Melinda Miles Rainey as Senior Vice President. Their mother, Ruth Millington, serves as Chairman of the Board. Other board directors are Jim Rainey, Adam Rainey, Leslie Rainey Thompson and Wayne Millington, all of Advance; Mark Becker of Dexter and Lyle Paben of Bowen.
The Bank of Advance is 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 this family owned and operated bank makes your banking experience easy and enjoyable. It values customer relationships and prides itself on being a hard working bank for hard working people.