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 and learn about Commerce 150
Kansas City Savings Association is organized with $10,000 in capital. Francis Long is president.
Kansas City Savings Association takes offices above the Magnolia Saloon at 4th and Delaware.
Dr. William S. Woods buys control of the bank; becomes president; name change to Bank of Commerce.
Bank of Commerce moves its location to 6th and Delaware.
Bank of Commerce is granted national charter; becomes National Bank of Commerce.
National bank panic. Bank of Commerce remains open and strong while more than 500 banks in U.S. fail or suspend operations.
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.
Future President Harry Truman starts work as clerk at Commerce. Housemate is another Commerce employee, Arthur Eisenhower, brother of future President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
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.
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.
Dr. Woods regains control of the bank; recapitalizes and expunges the Ridgelys.
National Bank of Commerce merges with Southwest National Bank; takes name of Southwest National Bank until 1919.
Federal Reserve System is formed. With the urging of KC leaders, Missouri becomes only state with two Federal Reserve banks.
Commerce hosts first meeting of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Commerce Trust combines with Southwest National Bank; operates separately until 1921.
“Southwest” is dropped from the company name.
W.T. Kemper becomes chairman of newly consolidated Commerce Trust. Women’s Department is established and overseen by Mrs. Ralph Beebe.
W.T. Kemper sells his interest in Commerce to Theodore Gary for more than $200 per share. James Kemper, Sr. begins working at Commerce.
James Kemper Sr. named president of Commerce Trust Company. W.T. Kemper buys Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad.
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.
W.T. Kemper reacquires Commerce Bank for $86 per share.
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.
W.T. Kemper dies. James Kemper, Sr. becomes chairman of the board.
James Kemper, Sr. joins with other community leaders to found Midwest Research Institute, helping Kansas City develop new industries.
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.
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.
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.
Capital for Business is formed to make investments in small to midsize manufacturing and distribution companies.
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.
Commerce organizes bank holding company, Commerce Bancshares. The next year, it starts acquiring banks in Missouri.
Commerce Trust Company changes name to Commerce Bank, NA. Commerce Bancshares begins publicly trading on NASDAQ. Assets pass $1 billion.
Commerce acquires first affiliate bank in St. Louis — Manchester Financial. David Kemper joins Commerce in Commercial Lending.
Installation of the first Commerce Bank ATM, located in Springfield, Missouri.
David Kemper becomes president and chief operating officer. Jonathan Kemper joins the bank.
Commerce acquires County Tower Corp. in St. Louis.
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.
Commerce acquires First National Bank of St. Joseph from the FDIC.
Construction completed on the Commerce Bank building at 1000 Walnut Street in Kansas City.
Commerce sells its interest in Commerce Tower.
President George H. W. Bush gives Commerce “E Star” Award for exports.
Commerce acquires First Peoria Corporation, which was originally founded in 1863.
President Bill Clinton announces welfare reform in a speech given in the Walnut lobby, at the Commerce Trust Company building in Kansas City.
The Commerce Trust Building added to the National Register of Historic Places; renovation completed.
David Kemper rings bell at NASDAQ. Commerce Bancshares was among the first companies listed on NASDAQ.
Commerce acquires banks in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Aurora, Colorado.
Following the 2008 banking crisis, Commerce chooses not to receive TARP Funds from the federal government.
David Kemper testifies before House subcommittee on effects of Interchange legislation.
Commerce acquires Summit Bank in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
John Woods Kemper named president and chief operating officer.
Next-generation, high-tech banking center opens in St. Louis, featuring innovative approach to customer service.
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.