Our History

Four generations of the Andersen family have owned and operated Northwestern Bank. In 1915, First National Bank of Lockhart opened its doors in Lockhart, Minnesota. In 1923, the bank moved from Lockhart to Ulen and became Northwestern State Bank. Since then, we have become a national bank and have grown to six locations serving numerous communities and employing over 50 team members. We are grateful to the thousands of loyal customers and hundreds of devoted employees who, over the years, have helped make our bank a success.

Northwestern Bank began in 1915 as the First National Bank of Lockhart in Lockhart, Minnesota. The first of the Andersen generation, Arthur John Andersen, or AJ,  was recruited to run the bank with his son, Arthur "Art" Andersen, in 1921.

Pictured on the left is Arthur John Andersen at work in his office. 

Throughout the years, AJ Andersen worked hard and eventually gained ownership. In 1941, he made the decision to move from Lockhart, Minnesota, to Ulen, Minnesota, in the building where Ulen's Security State Bank used to be. Our Ulen location is still in this building today! 

The name was changed from First National Bank of Lockhart to Northwestern State Bank. Over time, Northwestern State Bank continued to grow and reached 1 million in deposits in 1958.

During the 1960s, ownership of AJ Andersen passed down leadership of Northwestern Bank to his son, Arthur Andersen. He was the second generation of Andersens to lead Northwestern Bank. 

Pictured on the left is Arthur "Art" Andersen. Pictured on the right is Ulen location's original building. Since the time this photo was taken, it has undergone many changes. 

1974 was an important year for Northwestern State Bank. They reached 4 million in deposits and the third generation of the Andersen family began working there. In 1979, Arthur Andersen passed down leadership of the bank to his son, James "Jim" Andersen.

In 1982, they switched over to a computerized system, and in 1987, Northwestern State Bank acquired our second location in Dilworth, MN. This bank was previously known as Clay County State Bank. Northwestern State Bank found themselves at home in Dilworth, much like Ulen, due to both towns being close-knit communities that cared deeply for one another.

Pictured on the left is James Andersen, and on the right is our Dilworth location. 

In 2002, Northwestern State Bank changed their name to Northwestern Bank. Two new locations were also acquired in Moorhead and Hendrum through a business previously known as Viking Bank. Much like its other two locations, Northwestern Bank engaged itself in these new communities and helped local customers and organizations with their needs. 

Pictured on the left is our Moorhead location, and on the right is our Hendrum location. 

In 2009, James Andersen passed leadership of Northwestern Bank to his daughter, Liz Andersen. She became the fourth Andersen to lead Northwestern Bank and continues to manage the bank to this day. She also led a celebration across all four locations in 2015 to celebrate Northwestern Bank's 100th anniversary of being in business. 

Northwestern Bank was further recognized for its service and connection to its communities when it won the Extraordinary Banking Banky awards in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and won an Extraordinary Banking Banky Award for Above and Beyond Customer Service in 2016. These awards recognize community banks around the United States for their commitment to strong community banking. 

Pictured on the left is Liz Andersen, and the right is Northwestern Bank's 2016  Extraordinary Banking Banky Award for customer service. 

2018 and 2019 brought further developments to Northwestern Bank's connection to its Minnesota communities and recognition as a family bank. In 2018, Northwestern Bank won the Edward Shorma Excellence in Family Business award. This is in recognition of its many years in business under four generations of the Andersen family, as well as its commitment to its communities and empowering the passion of others. 

In 2019, the newest Northwestern Bank locations opened their doors in Detroit Lakes, MN, and Fergus Falls, MN. Just like the other locations, they have committed themselves to serving its customers and organizations in their local communities. 

Pictured on the left is Northwestern Bank's Detroit Lakes location, and on the right is our Fergus Falls location.

Through Covid-19 and the development of banks going digital, Northwestern Bank has continued to be attentive to the needs of its customers and communities. Our goal is to empower your passion and help you accomplish what you desire by helping you with your financial means. We've accomplished this over the past 100 years, and will continue to help others for many more.