Our History Banking since 1915

Wichita Family Roots

The Naftzger family’s prominence in the Wichita financial community began in 1886 when L. S. Naftzger sold his banking business in Warsaw, Missouri to come to Wichita, a booming "Cow Town". Heralded far and wide was the fact that from June 1886 to June 1887, ten million dollars had been spent on improvements in Wichita. Twenty-six hundred buildings had been erected and in that year the population jumped from 20,129 to 31,760. At the end of this year, there were six banks in Wichita. In this dramatic period of growth, L. S. Naftzger opened a law office at 414 East Douglas. Besides practicing law, Mr. Naftzger purchased shares in The Fourth National Bank (now Bank of America) and ultimately became President of The Fourth National Bank in 1892, a position he held for 18 years. In 1910 Mr. Naftzger and his sons M.C. (Clif) and Fred D. sold their banking interests at the Fourth, until in 1915 they organized and became the principal officers of the Southwest State Bank after being granted the original bank charter on March 15, 1915 to do business as Southwest State Bank. After eight years of operation, Southwest State Bank received authority to expand its operation as a national bank and Southwest National Bank came to be.

A Tradition of Firsts

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When the panic hit in 1929, there were 13 banks in Wichita. Only six banks reopened including Southwest National Bank. By 1936 another period of growth began in Wichita. By this time, M.C. (Clif) Naftzger had become President, following the death of his father. Keeping abreast with the rapidly expanding city and continuing a tradition of pioneering, Southwest became the first Wichita bank to heavily promote an Installment Loan Department for consumer and auto financing. In January 1957, Southwest was the first Wichita bank to raise interest paid on savings accounts to 3%. And in 1960, Southwest opened Wichita’s first downtown detached Motor Bank.

By this time Clif Naftzger’s son John was actively involved in the bank’s management. In 1960, John Naftzger announced plans to move his bank from its original facility at 326 East Douglas to a new banking house of traditional Williamsburg colonial architecture complimented by furnishings representative of the era. This unique building, which included a 10" think vault door weighing approximately ten tons, was completed in 1964 and is still in use today serving our customers. In 1975, when Wichita’s old City Library was converted to the Omnisphere, the historic 60-year-old mural by Arthur Sinclair Covey was rescued by the Naftzger family, restored and installed in the main lobby of the downtown bank. The Covey mural, which measures 7’ by 60’, depicts the "Spirit of Kansas". The bank invites all citizens of our community to enjoy this priceless piece of Wichita’s heritage.

Continued Expansion

To better serve the expanding city, Southwest built its first branch near Towne West at Tracy and Taft in 1980. This was quickly followed in 1984 by construction of a Towne East facility at 225 S. Towne East Drive (formerly Armour) in 1984.

In 1989, after three generations of Naftzger ownership and management, the Naftzger family sold Southwest National Bank to V. Jerry Blue, a Wichita Businessman who also owned the Twin Lakes Bank & Trust. With its two locations in the Twin Lakes and Indian Hills neighborhoods, the two banks operated separately for 15 years. Then in September 2004, Mr. Blue decided to merge Southwest National Bank and Twin Lakes National Bank under the Southwest name. This expanded Southwest National bank footprint into additional neighborhoods, bringing the number of locations up to 6. 

The bank continued to thrive while Wichita expanded. Recognizing this, Southwest National decided to open an additional location at 21st and Tyler in May of 2012. This was followed in March 2018 with an expansion to the south with a location at 31st and Seneca. 

Digital Expansion

In recent years, additional investment has been made in the digital space. While we continue to serve our customers and community in person throughout Wichita, we recognize the need to meet people in the digital space. Our recent partnerships with companies like Kasasa and Zelle, allow us to bring our customers products and services that they want and need. We recognize that banking and digital services are changing rapidly and we're ready to make those investments in the products and services that will elevate the digital experience for our customers.