The Bank of Advance is recognized as the oldest bank in Stoddard County and is the only existing banking institution in the county to have survived the Great Depression. The bank was chartered on January 30, 1902 and has been investing in local area communities for 113 years. Our high level of personal service and dedication is evident as we strive to satisfy our customersí financial needs and promote our communities.
The bankís first home was a small frame building on the northwest corner of Gabriel and Ash streets. Shortly thereafter, the bank moved to the corner of Gabriel and Cypress and relocated again in 1906 to a two-story building on the corner of Sturdivant and Ash. Years later, a red brick building was constructed on the corner of Ash and Gabriel and on December 18, 1972, the Bank of Advance main bank facility opened for business at its current location.
The following years brought significant growth and development. On the bankís 75th anniversary in 1977, its asset size was less than $20 million and today it is over $300 million. To accommodate this growth, the bank has experienced a number of expansions. In 1973 a deposit facility was opened in Bell City, Missouri and in 1998 a full service banking center opened in Dexter, Missouri. In 2001 the Lending Center was established next to the main facility in Advance in order to house loan offices, board rooms and training facilities. On January 1, 2005, the bank merged with Bowen State Bank and the First National Bank of Lerna, both of Illinois. Today, they are known as Bowen Banking Center and Lerna Banking Center. Most recently, the Bank of Advance expanded in to Chaffee, Missouri. On January 25th, 2013 the Chaffee Banking Center, a full service bank, opened for business.
The Miles family has owned the bank for over half of its existence. 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. Milesí children have followed their fatherís lead as they manage the bank today. Harold Miles, Jr. currently serves as the Bankís President, Neil Miles as Executive Vice President, and Melinda Miles Rainey as Senior Vice President. Their mother, Ruth Millington, serves as Chairman of the Board. Other directors include: Mark Becker of Dexter; Wayne Millington, Jim Rainey, Leslie Rainey Thompson and Adam Rainey, all of Advance; and Lyle Paben of Bowen.
The Bank of Advance is 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. The experienced staff of this family owned and operated bank makes your banking experience easy and enjoyable. We value our relationships with our customers and pride ourselves on being a hard working bank for hard working people.