National Farmers' Bank (various renamings, recently Norwest Bank and now Wells Fargo)

Louis Sullivan (1856-1924)

SPECIAL THANKS to ROBERT ANTIBUS, my friend and colleague, who took some of these pictures specifically for this website.

Additional SPECIAL THANKS to TOM SHEARER, who sent additional pictures to me and who was raised in Owatonna Minnesota with an admiration for Sullivan.
Images are labelled as RA or TS. If you are interested in Robert Antibus's images, contact him at this address. If you are interested in Tom Shearer's images, contact him at

View from the southwest corner

During Sullivan's late career (about 1906-1919), he was commissioned to design a number of banks in small towns and rural areas. This commission for a prosperous farming community was the first of these . See also People's Savings and Loan Association Bank in Sidney, Ohio and Farmers and Merchants Union Bank in Columbus, Wisconsin. George Grant Elmslie, chief draftsman in Sullivan's firm, designed the floral ornament.
The bank interior was remodeled in the 1940's, which included dismantling tellers' counters and discarding terra cotta decoration. However, later restorations have been more respectful of Sullivan's masterpiece. TS RA

Details of terra-cotta bands and cartouche and metal sign


Details including stained glass window, designed by Louis J. Millet, interior mural painting by Oskar Gross, and cast-iron electrolier, designed by William Winslow

(Note also wall stencil around painting and behind the electrolier.)

Detail view of west window

See Sullivan in Index for additional works by him on this site.

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Click here to return to chronological index.

Click here to see the home page of Bluffton University.

© 2003 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.