Founded as a bank in 1899 and Incorporated in 1926, Weyburn Security has always been invested in the betterment of the community, the surrounding area, and it's people throughout it's long history.
Canadian Investment Company
Six Americans – Alex Simpson, Joseph Mergens, John Erickson, O.H. Hellekson, W.F. Murphy, S.E. Oscarson buy 50,000 acres of land to sell to settlers in S.E Saskatchewan.
In 1899 six American businessmen bought 50,000 acres of land in the Weyburn District to capitalize on settlement activity generated by the new Soo Line Railway. Most of the 6 investors came from banking positions in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. Alex Simpson (grain merchant), O.H. Hellekson (merchant), W.F. Murphy (lawyer), Joe Mergens (Weyburn Resident-local realtor), John Erickson (merchant), S.E. Oscarson (merchant). The land would be sold through both Weyburn Security Company and eventually, The Weyburn Security Bank.
Weyburn Security Company
Weyburn Security Company is formed as a partnership after seeing a need for private banking and land development.
In 1902 The 6 businessmen formed Weyburn Security Company partnership whose business was in lumber sales, insurance, mortgages, private banking. Many of the American businessmen had previous banking experience which foreshadowed what was to come.
Weyburn Security hires Harvey Powell
H.O. Powell is hired as first to manage the growing company and expands branches of Weyburn Security Company.
By 1906 Weyburn Security Company had branches in Midale, Yellow Grass, McTaggart, and Halbrite. Harvey or H.O. Powell was hired to manage and expand the business in SE Saskatchewan. Powell was very well-liked and respected in the community. They say he had a way of putting confidence into the residents of the area. During 1908 WSC added the branches of Colgate, Griffin, and Radville, and by 1910 more branches were added. 4 of the branches fell to the Weyburn Security Bank from the Bank of Commerce and 3 others from the Standard Bank.
Weyburn Security Bank Building
Weyburn Security has enough confidence in the surrounding area to build an impressive head office building in Weyburn.
At a meeting in 1910 the Company had enough confidence in the surrounding area to commission the building of the head office of Weyburn Security Company which would later become the Weyburn Security Bank.
Weyburn Security Bank Charter
The Weyburn Security Bank was held separately from Weyburn Security Company with each doing their own business but helping each other. Ownership structure was identical to the company, but Bank shares were given to employees in later years. The Bank was granted its bank charter in May of 1910, and bank notes were granted on Dec 19th of 1910, with actual operations beginning Jan 3, 1911, to coincide with the availability of the printed bills arriving. It was the first chartered bank based in Saskatchewan, and originally applied as the “Bank of Saskatchewan”. In its first year the Bank took over 9 offices of the company. The company continued to conduct business from these locations using the bank employees as agents. The only assets transferred to the bank were its premises including the head office. Powell conducted a highly personalized style of banking in the district, measuring credit-worthiness of his customers from criteria other than net-worth statements. An amendment to the Bank Act of 1923 allowed the Weyburn Bank to sell hail insurance, (they called it the Weyburn Amendment). No other bank in Canada fit that criteria that was put into the act. Other insurance agents lobbied to have the amendment deleted. By 1925 there was $725,000 of Weyburn Security bank notes in circulation.
Weyburn Security is granted a bank charter on May 4, 1910, bank notes granted Dec 19, 1910, with actual operations beginning Jan 3, 1911.
Weyburn Security Company Limited
Weyburn Security becomes an incorporated business on May 5, 1926.
In 1926 H.O. Powell wanted to separate the company from the Bank to protect the company’s future, so he filed for incorporation papers for the company to create our company today – Weyburn Security Company Limited. Weyburn Security Company were primarily dealing with land sales and longer-term mortgages when the bank was operating. The bank would act as an agent for land sales. The Bank continued to prosper and would provide $2M annually in the mid 20’s to primarily develop agriculture and provide a safe-haven for customer deposits. (** in 1927 & 28, the bank practiced paying 4% on its deposits compared to other banks who commonly paid 3%). The peak of prosperity for the bank would come between 1927 and 1928. The bank would grow to 30 branches by 1929. Then, there was the stock market crash of 1929, and the 30’s hit with multiple crop failures and poor prices causing financial harm to the farmers and Bank alike.
Weyburn Security Bank is Sold
to Imperial Bank
The smallest of Canada’s chartered Canadian banks and last to have its head office in the west is sold to the Imperial Bank.
On Jan 22, 1931, there was an announcement from government and bank officials that the smallest of Canada’s chartered banks and last to have its head office in the west, had been acquired by the Imperial Bank of Canada. During 1931 alone, 1326 American banks failed, (10 in Canada between 1921 and 1930 and 6,171 in the United States during the same period) Between 1916 and 1931 Canada’s chartered banks went from 22 to 10.
The company remained in considerable debt to the Bank of Commerce until 1946 because of a previous arrangement on a loan to keep the company afloat. The company reported losses from 1931 to 1948 due to this association and debt. If it wasn’t for this association with the bank, the company, most likely, would not have survived the depression.
Weyburn Security Company Limited diversification into present day business.
Weyburn Security today offers financial services including Investments, financial planning, insurance, and mineral management. The company also is the owner of residential and commercial rentals.