KleinBank is the largest family-owned state bank in Minnesota with assets worth over $1.4 billion in 2012. There are nineteen locations throughout Minnesota, including: Buffalo, Chanhassen, Cologne, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, Norwood Young America, Otsego, St. Bonifacius, and Victoria.
In the mid-1890s, George Klein purchased a Chaska brickyard, and put his sons Charles H. and Christian P. Klein in charge. In 1907, the brickyard was doing well, and so Charles and Christian used proceeds from brick sales to purchase controlling interest in the First National Bank of Chaska. By 1929, the brothers' success allowed for a new building on what would eventually be known as the Klein Block on the west side of Chestnut Street in Chaska. By 1997, Chaska would have four branches, with the newest branch located on the north side of town.
The Klein brothers expanded their banking enterprise beyond Chaska in 1911 to nearby Victoria, with a 750-square foot building valued then at $2,900. It would move to a new location in 1979. During the Great Depression, when banks all over Carver County were failing due to money shortages, Victoria State Bank would remain solid and was one of the few banks to remain open.
In 1919, the Kleins helped form the First National Bank of Waconia. It would be the only bank in Waconia that survived the Depression. The Waconia bank opened a new branch in the 1960s, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This building has since been expanded, but small sections of Wright's design are still visible.
The Kleins gained control, in 1926, of The State Bank of Young America and the State Bank of Cologne, further expanding their banking business.
Charles and Christian passed away in 1961 and 1962, respectively. George Klein, Christian's son, then gained ownership of the controlling interest in the Klein family banks. He became the company's President. His wife Marcella was a member of the Board of Directors at many of the branches. In 1975, growth of the family business reached new heights. Klein Bancorporation, Inc. (KBI) was formed to manage all Klein family-owned banks. In 1979, George's son, Dan Klein, became President and Chairman after the death of his father. The bank then expanded to St. Bonifacius in 1977 and Chanhassen in 1993.
KBI became Klein Financial, Inc. in 1997. Three years later, its online banking website, kleinet.com was launched. In 2005 all Klein Financial, Inc. banks combined into one banking entity: KleinBank, the largest family-owned and family-run state bank in Minnesota.
Barac, LaVonne. "State Bank of Chanhassen May Join Klein Fold." Chaska Herald, April 29, 1993.
Francisco, Mollee. "Following the Yellow Brick Road: Family Bank Marks 100 Years." Chaska Herald, January 11, 2007.
"Hon. C.H. Klein and Others To Establish a Bank." Norwood Times, July 28, 1911.
"John G. Lund of Minneapolis Sold His Stock in the First National Bank to Charles H. and C.P. Klein." Weekly Valley Herald, January 31, 1907.
KleinBank. KleinBank: 100 Grand Years, 1907-2007. 100th Anniversary calendar, 2007.
"KleinBank." Norwood Times, January 11, 2007.
KleinBank. About Us.
Klein Family Banks. Carver County Historical Society Research Library subject files: Klein Family Banks. Klein Financial, 2000. A brochure.
"Klein National Bank Was Robbed Saturday Morning." Weekly Valley Herald, February 2, 1933.
Orsen, Sue. "100 Grand Years!" Victoria Gazette, September 1, 2007.
Uecker, Erwin A. "The Descendents of Johann Jakob Klein and Anna Ottilia Trautmann." A Klein-
Trautmann family history. Carver County Historical Society Research
Library collection. June 2000. Family genealogical record.
Financial success in the brick industry in 1907 allows the Klein family to establish a family banking tradition that continues into the twenty-first century.