During the early spring of 1957, Margaret Pilkington and John Marean, members of the Reno Classroom Teachers Credit Union, spoke to a small group of governmental employees gathered in the multipurpose room at West End School. Charlie York, the County Extension Agent and brother of Mrs. Pilkington, had asked them if they would come to Fallon to explain to us the advantages of forming a credit union in Churchill County. At the meeting were employees of the School District, the City, the County, the Telephone Company, and the Extension Office.
Margaret and John explained to those attending how a credit union worked and how to go about forming one. The idea of a credit union appealed to those in attendance so on May 15, 1957, another meeting was held to sign an Organizational Certificate for the Churchill County Federal Credit Union whose charter number would be 11824. This charter was approved by the proper authority on June 18, 1957.
The Reno Classroom Teachers Credit Union allowed us to temporarily affiliate with them since our assets would be insufficient to give loans. An organizational meeting was held on October 3, 1957, to elect officers and to begin functioning independently from the Reno Classroom Teachers Credit Union. Mae Lofthouse was elected as the first treasurer and was given a salary of $5 per month. The October statement showed a share balance of $90.00.
The annual report dated December 31, 1957, showed a total of 16 members which is quite a difference from the approximately 3,000 members today.
In January, 1958, a check was received from the Reno Teachers Classroom Credit Union in the amount of $1,528.66. This check transferred member shares to the Churchill County Federal Credit Union and from then on we were on our own.
As mentioned earlier, Mae Lofthouse was the first treasurer and served from October, 1957 to October, 1958. Frances Ham succeeded Mrs. Lofthouse and served until May, 1961. At that time the credit union was fortunate in employing Dawna Johnson as treasurer for a monthly salary of $15.00. Dawna remained the treasurer for over twenty-two years, eventually retiring June 30, 1983.
The share balance when Dawna became treasurer was $15,260.00 and during her tenure grew to $1,341,000. The office was in her home and during the later years the road leading to her house was very busy being used by the 872 members.
After Dawna’s retirement, Marcia Parrish accepted the position of treasurer. An office was opened in town in a small room behind Ray Regan’s C.P.A. business. The credit union continued to grow rapidly during Marcia’s tenure and the share accounts grew to over $15 million by the time she retired from the credit union in January of 2001. Through the years Marcia maintained the personal touch that was set forth by our originating officers.
When the credit union first began operating on its own, the maximum loan allowed was $150.00. This, of course, was to allow several members the opportunity to borrow. Without that limitation one person could easily have borrowed all available monies. Today there is no limit and with the proper security, loans in excess of $50,000 have been made.
A memorable day in the year 1985 was the changeover from manual bookkeeping to computer! Before computers, many midnight hours were spent running adding machines and trying to make totals balance. At statement time, the husbands of Dawna and Marcia were drafted to help out and many a New Year’s Eve was spent working instead of celebrating.
In April, 1989, credit union members celebrated the opening of their new office building located at 667 South Maine Street. This was a culmination of much dreaming and planning. When the few originators of our credit union gathered at that May meeting in 1957 to apply for a charter, none dreamed that what they were giving birth to would become what it is today.
From 1957 to the present Churchill County Federal Credit Union has been here to serve our members saving and loan needs with the same personal touch that our originating members set forth.
A debt of gratitude is due the many unpaid members who have given their time to serve on the Board of Directors, the Credit Committee, or the Supervisory Committee. All they have done is evidenced by the healthy condition of the Churchill County Federal Credit Union today.