Member Spotlight on
Oostburg State Bank- Now Celebrating 115 years!
OSB President and CEO, Eric Glewen
As Oostburg State Bank reflects back on its 115 years of business, a lot may have changed, but one thing remains the same: its commitment to serving the people, the businesses and the communities throughout the area.
Eric Glewen, President and CEO of this state-chartered, community bank says that after all these years, “We remain independent to ensure that we can serve customers, neighbors and friends better than anyone else.”
This commitment has been at the forefront of what OSB stands for from the very beginning, when 39 of Oostburg’s 400 residents met at Weiler’s Hall in Oostburg on September 23, 1907 to discuss the community’s need for a bank.
At this meeting, Peter Daane was selected as Chairman of the meeting, S.E. Huibregtse was elected secretary and three tellers were appointed to count votes: Jacub Fuhremann, E. Was and John Brethouwer. By the end of the night, the groundwork had been laid for the new organization. The name Oostburg State Bank won out over Holland State Bank, and it was determined that the bank would begin with $24,000 in capital stock (later increased to $25,000 before the bank opened).
OSB purchased property on the corner of 10 th Street and Center Avenue from Dirk Hartman for $675, and construction began. On March 2, 1908, Oostburg State Bank opened its doors.
OSB has weathered the challenges brought forth by both growth and meager times while still maintaining its values. During the Great Depression, the State Banking Commissioner encouraged OSB to consider not paying dividends and to begin charging service fees. While shareholder dividends were reduced, they were not eliminated and no service fees were imposed on customers.
By 1964, growth and progress brought forth the need for a larger and more modern facility, and a new 41’ x 63’ building was constructed on its current site on the corner of Center Avenue and South 9 th Street for $75,000.
Original OSB building. Note that the window detail is reflected in the current logo for OSB.
Current OSB building, completed in 1964.
1970s surveillance camera footage shows a typical day at the bank. As signs of the times, note the "premium" items on the tables- gifts for opening a CD, the ashtray, adding machines and typewriters. The copper face of the teller line was custom made by Herman Soerens and Earl Lammers. It was reused during the building renovation and addition project in 2003 and remains an attractive part of the bank's lobby today.
The bank completed additions in 1989 and again in 2003, when it more than doubled its square footage, and added two additional drive-thru lanes and the Community Room.
In 2011, a second OSB location opened in Cedar Grove. Together, the bank boasts 50 full time equivalent employees, employing more than 60 workers total.
Glewen says what makes OSB special is that “Our board and staff are local people, which means all of our decisions are made here locally. Unlike many other banks, we look at the whole picture and make decisions based on how they benefit our customers, their families and the community.”
He also cites OSB’s commitment to serving the community. The bank has awarded over $135,000 in scholarships to more than 100 students since the scholarship program began in 1997. Additionally, since 2021, OSB has invested over $207,000 back into the local communities, including $75,000 to Oostburg School District for a community fitness center and $11,000 to the Oostburg Athletic Association for a new scoreboard.
The Belgium Area Chamber is grateful for OSB’s continued sponsorships for events such as Summer Nights LIVE, (it has been the presenting sponsor for the past two years), European Christmas, and Brew & Chew.
“We believe in giving back to the community,” says Glewen. “It’s who we are.”
Former presidents of Oostburg State Bank, as appeared in the OSB 100th Anniversary booklet in 2008.
Old Oostburg State Bank advertising