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Kitsap Bank History

Beginnings

In August 1908 Kitsap Bank opened its doors in a small concrete building at the corner of Bay and Frederick Streets in downtown Port Orchard, WA. Six years later, while visiting the Puget Sound area from his home in North Dakota, Frank Langer fell in love with the Puget Sound area and vowed to return when he had completed his schooling. Langer was the son of a pioneer farmer, banker and legislator. After graduation from Harvard Law School, Frank Langer returned to enter the banking business under the tutelage of Otto Strizik, Kitsap Bank’s third president. Frank interrupted his banking career to serve our country during World War I. Arriving back from the war, Mr. Langer eventually purchased controlling interest from Strizik in both the Kitsap County Bank and the First National Bank of Poulsbo. At the same time, he married Hannah Norum, whose father was director of the Poulsbo bank. Frank Langer served as President of Kitsap Bank for 22 years from 1930 until his death in 1952. 

A History-Making Decision

Upon Frank’s death, Hannah Langer was faced with the crossroads for her future. Though she was encouraged by many to sell the bank, she decided not to sell and was elected by the directors as the fifth President of Kitsap bank, becoming the first female bank president west of the Mississippi River. 

                                               

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Kitsap County Bank Directors circa 1909.
 

Kitsap County Bank

Peter Nordby, 1st Kitsap County Bank President, pictured in front of original bank building.
 

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Frank E. Langer, Jr. and Roy Noyes inside Kitsap County Bank's original location in Port Orchard at the corner of Bay and Frederick Streets.

 

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Kitsap County Bank Office Christmas Party in 1957. 
               
 

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 Kitsap County Bank in the mid-1950s.
           
 

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 Hannah Langer, President; Helen Langer Smith, Board Member; and Clarence Largis, EVP, at the Bank's 50th anniversary in 1958.

                                    

The Legacy Continues

Hannah Langer remained as Kitsap Bank’s President for over 20 years, and then served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In 1986, Frank and Hannah’s daughter, Helen Langer Smith was elected Chairman of the Board, serving 25 years. Helen’s daughter, Cydly Langer Smith, was elected Chairwoman of Kitsap Bank’s Board of Directors March 31, 2011, and Helen now serves as Vice Chairman.                                             

"One might say we have banking in our blood,” says Helen Langer Smith, Kitsap Bank’s Chairman of the Board, of her family’s four generations of bankers. We strongly believe that continuity and long-term relationships are important to our customers. In many ways, we are a family, which extends to our employees and customers, alike. We have had the privilege of getting to know people over the years, and have shared in the joy of milestones reached, goals accomplished, and challenges faced.”

Kitsap Bank Today

The Bank now operates 20 locations in six Western Washington counties. With over $1 billion in assets, Kitsap Bank provides a full range of financial services to commercial and individual customers.

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