First Madison Valley Bank History

Peter T. Combs was the visionary behind establishing First Madison Valley Bank in Ennis, Montana.  Perceiving the need for a more localized means for area residents to obtain financial services, a state charter was applied for and granted in 1965.  The bank opened on Main Street Ennis in a small historic  single-story building with no indoor plumbing.  The vacant lot behind the building hosted an out-house.

Within a year the building was modernized and several years later was significantly expanded.  Following the opening of the bank in Ennis, an opportunity was recognized for affiliate benefits with another bank to share administrative expenses and partner on lending opportunities.  Boulder, Montana had twice the population of Ennis.  A state facility located there was providing a substantial payroll for the community and the closest banking facility for local customers was in Helena, 30 miles away.   In 1966 a separate charter was applied for and granted.  First Boulder Valley Bank opened in February of 1967.

Between 1987 and 1999 First Madison Valley Bank in Ennis leveraged their local identity and made banking more convenient for its customers.  In 1994 a downtown drive-through facility was opened and ATM Depositories were built in showcase buildings on the main streets of Ennis, Harrison, Sheridan and Virginia City during this period.

In 1994 permission was granted to establish a branch banking facility for First Boulder Valley Bank in Montana City, a fast growing suburb of Helena, the Capitol of Montana.  The Montana City Branch opened in 1995 attracting consumers, commercial customers and mortgage business driven by major population growth in this desirable area.

New opportunity was granted to expand the reach of First Madison Valley Bank to West Yellowstone    and its surrounding communities in 1998.  The town was experiencing rapid growth and there was only one other bank in the market.  Yellowstone Basin Bank was established as a branch on February 25, 1998 when the bank opened in temporary quarters.  In September of the same year a handsome new 2,400 square foot facility was completed.

A milestone was reached in 2007 when First Madison Valley Bank of Ennis moved into a new modern facility across the main street from the old bank.  The move enabled management to close the downtown drive-through facility and consolidate teller functions and data processing under one roof.  Benefits resulted from completing this ambitious project, foremost among them was added efficiency, higher levels of confidentiality and more space to better serve customers and the community.  The building and the beautifully maintained main street park host a multitude of community events throughout each year.

The main street facility also houses an office for Yellowstone Wealth Management that is independent of the bank, but helps to provide one-stop shopping for financial services for our customers.

In 2009 First Boulder Valley Bank and First Madison Valley Bank merged their separate state charters to take advantage of more efficiencies.  Local identification with each market has been retained.