Watch VideoWelcome1865 - 19001901 - 19201921 - 19401941 - 19601961 - 19801981 - 20002001 - PresentDownload BookDownload Timeline
Commerce Bank logo
 

Welcome

Welcome

Our timeline is set to play automatically. If you would like more time to view a milestone, use the “pause” icon on the right side of your screen. Press the “play” icon to continue or use the arrow icons to advance through the presentation at your own pace.

View these milestones by scrolling vertically or clicking the menu icon to choose a specific time period. Use the “up” arrow in the bottom corner to return to the top.

Visit Commerce Bank
 

1865

1865

Kansas City Savings Association is organized with $10,000 in capital. Francis Long is president.

Read More

 

1873

1873

Kansas City Savings Association takes offices above the Magnolia Saloon at 4th and Delaware.

 

1881

1881

Dr. William S. Woods buys control of the bank; becomes president; name change to Bank of Commerce.

Read More

 

1885

1885

Bank of Commerce moves its location to 6th and Delaware.

 

1887

1887

Bank of Commerce is granted national charter; becomes National Bank of Commerce.

 

1893

1893

National bank panic. Bank of Commerce remains open and strong while more than 500 banks in U.S. fail or suspend operations.

Read More

 

1900

1900

National Bank of Commerce is the 12th largest bank in the U.S., with more than $36 million in deposits. Arthur Stilwell organizes the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad, financed in part by Dr. Woods.

 

1903

1903

Future President Harry Truman starts work as clerk at Commerce. Housemate is another Commerce employee, Arthur Eisenhower, brother of future President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Read More

 

1906

1906

Commerce Trust Company is organized. Woods appoints William Thornton "W.T" Kemper vice president. Work starts on 15-story building at the corner of 10th and Walnut in Kansas City, one of the tallest buildings west of the Mississippi.

Read More

 

1907

1907

Monetary panic sparked by the failure of the Knickerbocker Trust Company of New York. National Bank of Commerce is placed into receivership by William Ridgely, Comptroller of the Currency, who resigns his post and is appointed receiver of Commerce along with his brother.

Read More

 

1908

1908

Dr. Woods regains control of the bank; recapitalizes and expunges the Ridgelys.

 

1912

1912

National Bank of Commerce merges with Southwest National Bank; takes name of Southwest National Bank until 1919.

 

1914

1914

Federal Reserve System is formed. With the urging of KC leaders, Missouri becomes only state with two Federal Reserve banks.

Read More

 

1915

1915

Commerce hosts first meeting of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

 

1916

1916

Commerce Trust combines with Southwest National Bank; operates separately until 1921.

 

1919

1919

“Southwest” is dropped from the company name.

 

1921

1921

W.T. Kemper becomes chairman of newly consolidated Commerce Trust. Women’s Department is established and overseen by Mrs. Ralph Beebe.

Read More

 

1922

1922

W.T. Kemper sells his interest in Commerce to Theodore Gary for more than $200 per share. James Kemper, Sr. begins working at Commerce.

 

1925

1925

James Kemper Sr. named president of Commerce Trust Company. W.T. Kemper buys Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad.

Read More

 

1928

1928

Commerce Trust opens first 24-hour check clearing operation in the country. W.T. Kemper sells Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad to the Santa Fe Railroad.

 

1932

1932

W.T. Kemper reacquires Commerce Bank for $86 per share.

 

1933

1933

Commerce Bank survives run during Great Depression. W.T. Kemper hands out apples to cheer up people waiting in line to withdraw their deposits. Banking Act of 1933 creates the FDIC system.

Read More

 

1938

1938

W.T. Kemper dies. James Kemper, Sr. becomes chairman of the board.

 

1944

1944

James Kemper, Sr. joins with other community leaders to found Midwest Research Institute, helping Kansas City develop new industries.

 

1946

1946

James Kemper, Jr. begins work at the First National Bank of Independence, controlled by the Kemper family. Later that year, he moves to Commerce Trust Company.

Read More

 

1953

1953

Commerce installs landmark clock at corner of 10th and Walnut. With a weight of approximately two tons, many terrified pedestrians refuse to walk under it.

 

1955

1955

Commerce leads financing for TWA overhaul base. (By 1972, TWA is Kansas City’s largest employer.) James Kemper, Jr. becomes president of the bank. James Kemper, Sr., and Arthur Eisenhower dedicate first “electric stairs” in Kansas City, installed in Commerce Trust Building.

Read More

 

1958

1958

Capital for Business is formed to make investments in small to midsize manufacturing and distribution companies.

 

1965

1965

Commerce Tower opens at 911 Main in Kansas City. Top of the Tower Restaurant occupies the 30th floor. Commerce purchases Midwestern license for BankAmericard – predecessor of VISA bank card.

Read More

 

1966

1966

Commerce organizes bank holding company, Commerce Bancshares. The next year, it starts acquiring banks in Missouri.

 

1971

1971

Commerce Trust Company changes name to Commerce Bank, NA. Commerce Bancshares begins publicly trading on NASDAQ. Assets pass $1 billion.

Read More

 

1978

1978

Commerce acquires first affiliate bank in St. Louis — Manchester Financial. David Kemper joins Commerce in Commercial Lending.

 

1979

1979

Installation of the first Commerce Bank ATM, located in Springfield, Missouri.

 

1982

1982

David Kemper becomes president and chief operating officer. Jonathan Kemper joins bank.

Read More

 

1983

1983

Commerce acquires County Tower Corp. in St. Louis.

Read More

 

1984

1984

Commerce Bank of Omaha is established for credit card business. Later that year, Commerce introduces “Special Connections” — first card having both credit and ATM functions.

 

1985

1985

Commerce acquires First National Bank of St. Joseph from the FDIC.

 

1986

1986

Construction completed on the Commerce Bank building at 1000 Walnut Street in Kansas City.

 

1990

1990

Commerce sells its interest in Commerce Tower.

 

1991

1991

President George H. W. Bush gives Commerce “E Star” Award for exports.

 

1992

1992

Commerce acquires First Peoria Corporation, which was originally founded in 1863.

Read More

 

1994

1994

President Bill Clinton announces welfare reform in a speech given in the Walnut lobby, at the Commerce Trust Company building in Kansas City.

 

2001

2001

The Commerce Trust Building added to the National Register of Historic Places; renovation completed.

 

2003

2003

David Kemper rings bell at NASDAQ. Commerce Bancshares was among the first companies listed on NASDAQ.

 

2007

2007

Commerce acquires banks in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Aurora, Colorado.

Read More

 

2009

2009

Following the 2008 banking crisis, Commerce chooses not to receive TARP Funds from the federal government.

Read More

 

2011

2011

David Kemper testifies before House subcommittee on effects of Interchange legislation.

Read More

 

2013

2013

Commerce acquires Summit Bank in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
John Woods Kemper named president and chief operating officer.

Read More

 

2014

2014

Next-generation, high-tech banking center opens in St. Louis, featuring innovative approach to customer service.

Read More

 

2015

2015

Commerce Bank commemorates 150th anniversary; has $24 billion in assets; operates in eight key markets, with more than 190 branches, plus three additional commercial offices in central U.S.; employs more than 4,800 people.