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Our History

Security BankUSA was chartered in 1910 and opened it doors in February of 1911. Originally the bank was located on Third Street in downtown Bemidji. Homer Baer moved to Bemidji in 1910 to work at Security State Bank. In 1915 he purchased the bank. Homer served on many civic organizations, including the original committee that worked to get the state normal school, now Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji. Isabelle, Homers wife, lobbied to the Carnegie Foundation to have the first Public Library built in Bemidji. Between Homer and Isabelle, they were involved in virtually every civic and charitable enterprise within the city.

On January 24, 1935, the bank burned in a fire that consumed several buildings, nine businesses and apartments. When the bank's vault was entered, all books and records had been preserved intact and were not damaged by the fire. The bank took up temporary residence in the gas office on Third Street where a vault remained from the time it housed the old Bemidji State Bank. Security State Bank then rebuilt in the same location on 323 Beltrami Avenue.


Image of old bank building
Image of old bank building

The deep commitment to Bemidji shared by Homer and Isabelle was continued by their son HC (Bill) and his wife Jessie. Bill and Jessie returned to Bemidji in 1946 and immediately became involved with the bank and the community. Bill became president of the bank in 1959. At one time, Bill was asked, "why banking?" Bill replied: "My father once told me, "There is no greater feeling than knowing you helped someone start a business or have a home for their family." That's "why" banking.

Security State Bank opened its drive-up facility in 1975. Four years later, John W. Baer, Bill and Jessie's son, became president of the bank. In 1982, the bank opened their mall facility. In the following 15 years, the bank saw considerable success. In order to keep up with its expansion, Security Bank decided to build a new facility along Paul Bunyan Drive N.W. With the new bank, the main bank in downtown Bemidji was closed, along with the bank near the mall.


During a Founders’ Walk ceremony in 1997, Bemidji State University honored three generations (Homer C. and Isabelle S. Baer, H.C. "Bill" and Jessie Baer, John Baer, and Carl Baer) of the Baer family for their commitment to the University and to the community.

In 1999, Security State Bank changed the bank name to Security BankUSA. Along with the name change, came a new logo.

2007 saw the 12,000 square foot expansion of the main bank. Additional officers were added in the real estate and business banking areas. The entire bank was also remodeled and the lower level reconfigured.

In 2008, the bank changed their logo to the present one we use today.

In 2013 Security BankUSA purchased Insurance Service North in Blackduck from Jim Wolden and added Security InsuranceUSA to the team. 2017 brought the completion of the Insurance department at the main bank to have two full service locations for our customers, Blackduck and Bemidji.

In 2014 John Baer retired. The 4th generation started a management partnership with Tiffany Baer Paine as President / Co-CEO and Ryan Baer as the Chairman of the Board / Co-CEO / CCO.

We are proud to be your community bank, with a past and a future of service and promise.

Image of current bank building