One of downtown’s most notable buildings, State Bank of Waterford, has been home to a local attorney for nearly four decades.
Currently operating as Dubis Law Office, the cream-city brick building is the town’s oldest financial institution and still houses the original safe that kept the funds of Waterford’s earliest settlers secure.
Since 1984 Attorney Micheal F. Dubis has been practicing law from the historic, cream-city brick building at 208 E. Main St., specializing in bankruptcy (debtor, creditor and trustee), bank representation, municipal, real estate and other fields.
Under Dubis’ ownership, the business has come full circle, being that it was first opened by a local attorney following a fire at the turn of the 20th century.
Like a number of surrounding buildings, William Sanders constructed the building in a boom-town fashion, after a fire swept through town, burning down his grocery store housed in the frame building that was erected in 1885.
Just months after the fire, in 1898, Sanders replaced his store with the brick building that stands today.
Sanders, in addition to his commercial endeavors, engaged in banking and insurance on an informal basis until he chartered the State Bank of Waterford in 1903 and continued doing business inside until at least 1926.
Sanders was an attorney, admitted to the state BAR in 1892. Prior to that he was the postmaster for Waterford and returned to the duty in 1898 when he came home from college.
Prior to the bank’s establishment, farmers, merchants and villagers had to travel a great distance with cash in hand to make bank transactions.
On June 24, 1903 the commissioner of banking for Wisconsin issued a charter authorizing the State Bank of Waterford to commence a general banking business.
First officers of the bank, Walker Whitley, president; John T. Rice, Vice President; Wm Sanders, cashier. Villagers no longer had to hide money; the bank provided a large steel safe (which remains today) and checks provided for instant receipts.
Lead Researcher: Maureen Vander Sanden
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- Waterford: Stories of Our Village and its Busy Life, Waterford Post, 1923.
- Maureen Vander Sanden, In-person interview with Micheal Dubis, Nov. 2014.
- Some photos courtesy of Waterford Public Library Local History Collection. https://search.library.wisc.edu/search/digital?q=waterford+collection&view=thumb