The late 1800s found Port Washington, and most of Ozaukee
County, without proper banking services and with many previously
failed ventures. Two partners, Clarence Hill and Dr. George
Henry, both of Manitowoc, got together Sept. 11, 1899, to
purchase a site and organize what was to become Port Washington
State Bank. Hill, one of the organizers of the First National
Bank of Manitowoc in 1895, and Henry, a local dentist with Port
Washington ties, capitalized the bank with $25,000 in personal
and investor monies.
venture, however, was not without problems. What became known as
the Great Wisconsin Chair Factory Fire leveled most of the
business district – just two days after their land purchase!
With determination and the support of the city and its
residents, the bank pushed forward, survived world wars, the
Great Depression, dozens of up-and-down economic cycles and now
has six full-service locations throughout Ozaukee County.
years later, Port Washington State Bank is still principally
owned and actively managed by the third-, fourth- and
fifth-generation descendants of Clarence Hill, and also retains
its independence and strong community ties. Ozaukee Economic
Development announced earlier this year that Port Washington
State Bank was named one of its 2015 Business of the Year Award
recipients – Large Business of the Year.
Ozaukee County Historical Society to hear the stories and
details of how this bank survived, grew and helped write the
history of the county.
quarterly meeting will be held Monday at the Cedarburg Cultural
Center, W62 N546 Washington Ave., in downtown Cedarburg. The
business meeting begins at 7 p.m., with the presentation
starting at 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served and free, on-site parking is