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CitizensFirst Credit Union

By July 8, 2014 No Comments

In the late thirties, the United States was finally approaching the end of the country’s longest-lasting economic crisis. The Great Depression was a time when Americans struggled to find work and support their families. Hardworking Americans witnessed over half of the country’s banks fail in less than a ten-year time span. By 1937, seven employees of Wisconsin Axle had had enough. The seven founders each contributed $1.25 to cover the initial costs of forming a credit union to serve their fellow employees and their family members.

In the late thirties, the United States was finally approaching the end of the country’s longest-lasting economic crisis. The Great Depression was a time when Americans struggled to find work and support their families. Hardworking Americans witnessed over half of the country’s banks fail in less than a ten-year time span. By 1937, seven employees of Wisconsin Axle had had enough. The seven founders each contributed $1.25 to cover the initial costs of forming a credit union to serve their fellow employees and their family members.

Wisconsin Axle Credit Union’s first “branch” was actually a small office located inside the Rockwell Building near the Fox River in downtown Oshkosh. Like many other financial cooperatives at the time, the original founders worked hard to spread the word among their co-workers and build a strong cooperative base. Wisconsin Axle Credit Union began to grow, and with growth came exciting opportunities.

In 1962, the credit union erected its first branch outside of the Wisconsin Axle building but remained close on Rockwell Avenue. In 1969, the credit union added an additional branch (the first of several) on Sawyer Street. Wisconsin Axle Credit Union continued to thrive, and in 1976 it became one of Wisconsin’s first credit unions to earn Total Service designation by the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

In 1981, Wisconsin Axle Credit Union adopted a new charter and became community-based so that they could offer their products and services to many more people, providing much needed financial solutions to the community. In 1994, to reflect the new reach and direction of the credit union, Wisconsin Axle Credit Union became CitizensFirst Credit Union. Twelve years later, CitizensFirst built its first branch in Fond du Lac and began upgrading all of the other branch locations.

As of April 30, 2014, CitizensFirst operated five branches, served well over 30,000 members and amassed nearly $400 million in assets. As one of Wisconsin’s leading financial cooperatives, CitizensFirst has a proven track record of financial stability, strong capital reserves and 75+ years of prudent financial decision-making.