Business of the Week – Legacy Bank

Legacy Bank Crew

You help your community thrive when you shop locally!

Be sure to read The Prowers Journal each week when the Lamar Chamber of Commerce
and The Prowers Journal highlight a featured Business of the Week.

This week we are proud to spotlight Legacy Bank
Give them a call at: 719.829-4811


Legacy Bank at 220 Main Street in Wiley

State Bank of Wiley and Bits of Wiley History

The State Bank of Wiley received its charter in May, 1907. One hundred and six years ago. Wiley underwent a rapid growth the first 20 years of the 20th century and the bank enjoyed that prosperity. The growth was fostered by the development of the Fort Lyon Canal, the Sugar Beet Industry, and bank Diary Cattle. The early stockholders of the bank included the Rowe, Lamson, Esgar and Tempel families. The bank employees in the 30’s included Ernest Tempel, Sr., William Carlin, James MacDonald, S. C. Zears, and Arthur Esgar. Ernest Tempel left to become President of the Colorado Bank & Trust in La Junta, Wm (Bill) Carlin became the Federal Land Bank representative and later James MacDonald traded jobs with Ernest Tempel and went to La Junta as Ernest returned to farm at Wiley. The longest term banker was Arthur Esgar who entered the bank at age 17 and terminated his work in the bank after 70 years.

Alfalfa has been the principal crop for the Wiley farmers with Wiley becoming the center of the alfalfa milling industry. The local mills include Kessee, National, Saunders, Ark Valley, Reyher, WHO and Colorado Mills. Dehydration was discontinued when natural gas prices rose. Alfalfa was then merchandised by the farmers directly to the consumer.

A turkey dressing plant under the direction of Fred Carlin, Guy Coffey, and Roy Fasnaught established the Wiley Turkey Association. The turkeys were dressed and shipped to New York. More recently the number of cattle from our community developed the need for commercial cattle feedyards. Herb Reyher, George Tempel, John Smartt, Ernest Hoffmeiser, Jimmy Ellenberger, Frederick Esgar and Ray Jamison were the local owners of Colorado Beef, Inc.

Wiley became the headquarters of Tempel and Esgar, Inc., a country grain elevator which grew over the 70’s and 80’s from one facility to eighteen locations and a grain terminal in Amarillo, Texas. George Tempel and Frederick Esgar, with the leadership of Gary Swanson, started Colorado Pork, LLC with facilities south of Lamar with feed preparation facilities in Lamar which became Colorado Mills, LLC. The mill was later to become a sunflower press with the Hume family from Walsh and the Uhland Family from Eads.


Legacy Bank at 210 E. Olive in Lamar

Legacy Bank Organized

All of the enterprises became a very important part of the State Bank of Wiley and the growth that these entities provided gave the bank the ability to grow. At the turn of the century Legacy Bank began under the leadership of David Esgar, son of Frederick and grandson of Arthur. The first branch was in Pueblo at the River Walk. The second, with a new building, was the branch in Canon City and following that was the purchase of Cheyenne Mountain Bank in Colorado Springs. Within a couple of years University Park Bank in Pueblo, Pueblo West and Lamar were added, offering a total of seven locations.

Legacy Bank wishes to thank all of our community members who made the growth of State Bank of Wiley and later Legacy Bank possible. We have enjoyed 106 years of partnering with you. The Esgar Family, in particular, appreciates the large number of fine folks that have been community builders. We could not have found better partners.

Legacy Bank Locations


Pueblo West, 7 E. Spaulding Ave. in Pueblo


University Park, 730 Desert Flower Blvd. in Pueblo


Riverwalk, 101 N. Main Street in Pueblo


Cheyenne Mountain, 1580 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. in Colorado Springs


Canon City, 1010 Royal Gorge Blvd. in Canon City

Filed Under: BusinessBusiness of the WeekcommunityCountyFeaturedLamarProwers CountyWiley


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.