It was the late 1800s. Kansas was a state still known for its rowdy, Old West image. Its vast, fertile resources were largely untapped. But progress had taken root. Men with vision recognized the potential of the land and the people who lived on it. As the new century began, Kansas began to flourish. And nurturing those early seeds of progress was one bank that had planted its roots in Kansas to stay. Over the century, it would become a bank that would literally help build the state. At the helm of that bank was C. Q. Chandler II. Chandler had come to Kansas as a young man with little more than solid principles – and the courage to dream. Over two decades he became one of the state's banking captains. And in 1900, he took the helm of the bank that eventually became known as INTRUST. Originally chartered as the Farmers & Merchants Bank in 1876 and later known as the First National Bank in Wichita, INTRUST is the oldest homegrown Wichita bank in continuous existence. Over the course of the 20th century, INTRUST has been instrumental to the businesses of Kansas and the region. Many companies have grown from mere dreams into industrial giants with the bank's assistance. And with its growth in to communities across Kansas and now, Oklahoma and Arkansas, INTRUST gives the people in the region it serves a bank that is continuously seeking ways to make banking more convenient and its customers successful.
This photo, from 1890, shows the interior of what would eventually become the original location of INTRUST Bank.
Kansas was his springtime of hope.
C. Q. Chandler's name became synonymous with Kansas banking. He knew the state, the people and their potential. He also understood that a bank's health was tied to the economic health of the communities it serves. So, with a keen eye for identifying unmet needs, and an unwillingness to sacrifice principles for revenue, Chandler's bank helped finance the needs of communities across the grass-swept Kansas plains. During this era, the cattle industry was Kansas' signature industry. Chandler recognized the importance of people succeeding in a business that could thrive in the state and he was aggressive in supporting cattle ranchers. "I have loaned money on cattle for 15 years, and I consider no security in the West better," he wrote near the turn of the century. Another one of Chandler's most notable traits was his genuine interest in people and building relationships. He always remembered: "You do business with people, not companies." When his business interests forced him to commute more and more, Chandler became the proud owner of the first automobile sold in Wichita. His car, the talk of the town, allowed the banker to continue doing business face to face. Chandler had a will and determination that also led to progress. He was instrumental in bringing southwestern Kansas its first telephone service. He founded the Wichita Orthopedic Clinic. He organized the Kansas Society for Crippled Children, an agency that helps children with disabilities reach their potential by providing financial assistance to their families. His work with KSCC has been continued by each generation of the Chandler family. Passing on his principles was important to Chandler. Throughout the century, the heritage established by this banking pioneer has been passed down to each generation in his family. While each new generation has upheld Chandler's principles and vision, each has also made their own mark on the Kansas landscape.
The bank grew as Kansas grew.
After earning his banking spurs at the First State Bank in Gage, Oklahoma, Charles J. Chandler, the second generation, came to his father's bank where he would soon help lead it into a new era in banking service for its customers. Over the two decades following World War II, a "Consumer Revolution" took place. People wanted installment credit so they could purchase new cars, refrigerators and air conditioners. Charlie helped create a consumer loan department. To further focus on consumer needs, he announced plans for Wichita's first drive-in bank in 1952. And during the 60s, he oversaw the bank's move to automation of services, a pioneering effort among Wichita banks. Charlie was also a leader in the community. He became the youngest person in the United States to head a Community Chest drive. He founded the Junior Achievement organization in Wichita. And in 1967, he was presented a commemorative medal by Congress in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the agricultural industry.
A leader in banking’s "consumer revolution”, INTRUST introduced the drive-up window to Kansas in 1953. Charles J. Chandler (left) receives congratulations from then Wichita mayor Walt Keeler.
A Willingness to Adapt to Change
With the appointment of C. Q. "Chuck" Chandler III to president of the bank in 1971, a third generation of Chandler leadership began. Chuck's career started in the bank's correspondent division, where he traveled to rural areas as a "bank scout." The year 2000 marked Chuck's 50th year with the bank. In his leadership roles, Chuck helped usher in electronic banking, cash management and instant credit. He also led the bank to adopt a more liberal approach in support of Small Business Administration ventures, making INTRUST one of the leading small business lenders in the nation. In 1975, Chuck announced a major expansion for the bank: two branch banks in east and west Wichita, the first step toward becoming the bank with the most locations in Wichita. And because he felt strongly that "a bank can have all the money and all the computers in the world and still be out of business," Chuck led a move to find and train the best people to provide personal banking.
The bank’s first computerized data entry system, installed in 1962, is a far cry from the sophisticated technology used today.
Bullish on the Region and its Future
The test of banking endurance has now been placed on the shoulders of the fourth generation of Chandlers. Under C. Q. "Charlie" Chandler IV, INTRUST has grown to become one of the largest independent banks headquartered in Kansas. Yet with its growth, the bank is still known for the high premium it places on customer service. Charlie has continued his father's dedication to providing personalized banking, building a network of more than 45 branch offices located in Kansas and Oklahoma, and more than 100 ATM locations. INTRUST is also recognized as a leader in banking technology, a mantle borne out with the bank's development of Internet banking services on its Web site, intrustbank.com. Charlie also represents the fourth generation of bank leadership that recognizes the value of his roots. Under his leadership, INTRUST has continued to place a strong emphasis on building relationships in communities they serve, and learning about the particular needs of their customers.
Almost 140 years. Four generations. One Bank was there.
Today, the name of Chandler's bank is INTRUST. It is a bank that has not only weathered every great business recession, but grown stronger from the adversity. It is a bank that has had the vision to recognize periods of change and adapt to them in positive, timely ways. It is a bank with its roots planted firmly in the region. And it is still operated by the same family who knows the people here, and is willing to put their faith in the people and their dreams.