LODI — Bank of Stockton opened its first branch on El Dorado Street in Stockton, shortly after the end of the Civil War.
Now, 150 years later, 19 branches throughout the Central Valley, like the one in Lodi, are celebrating its anniversary.
“I’ve been with a few other banks, but there’s not one that’s had the storied history Bank of Stockton has had,” said Lodi Branch Manager Walter Bozich. He and his crew had been celebrating all week, culminating in an anniversary celebration to share goodie bags with customers on August 12. “We’ll continue to celebrate for the rest of the year.”
The bank was founded on August 12, 1867, as Stockton Savings and Loan Society. It shared its original location with Union Copper Mining at 179 El Dorado Street.
In its time, Bank of Stockton has weathered plenty of financial and historical storms, such as the Great Depression, world wars and the recession of the early 2000s. Throughout that time its focused on the communities it serves.
“It’s a blessing to celebrate 150 years of a service they provide to the community,” said Marina Navarte, director of membership for the Lodi Chamber of Commerce. “Kudos to them. Not everyone can do that. It’s a family bank.”
Employees of Bank of Stockton recall the changes that have occurred in the banking world, seeing those changes first-hand within their own branches, from hand-written ledgers to record transactions to innovations in mobile banking.
But it’s always been about the people and surrounding communities Bank of Stockton works with.
Customers were invited at the day’s celebration to partake of a birthday cake emblazoned with “150 Years,” and were given items such as commemorative photo books and glossy books detailing the bank’s history.
“We’ve very much involved in the community,” said Eric Daegling, vice president and business banking manager of Bank of Stockton’s Lodi Business Banking Center. “We focus on those long-term relationships.”
Part of the success can be measured by the success of its employees who live and work in the communities they serve.
“I’m very proud to be associated with them,” Bozich said.