Banking the Cowboy Way since 1912

Stepping Back in Time

Ranchester State Bank was founded in 1912 by Clyde C. Trader from Mountain Park, Colorado, who believed that Ranchester, Wyoming would be a good place to start a small country bank. The doors opened on May 22, 1912, in a small room in front of the Nevees building in Ranchester. From there, the bank continued to prosper and grow over the years.

A new bank building was constructed in Ranchester in 1977-78. The bank was sold to First National Bankshares of Sheridan in 1985 and sold again in 1989. A group of investors then purchased the bank in April 2000, and changed the name to Cowboy State Bank in 2001. In 2001, the bank also opened its branch in Sheridan.

There were other milestones along the way. In that first year, Frank Paulus, father of Vieva Jeffers and still a prominent area family today, was elected to the Board of Directors. On March 5, 1932, President Roosevelt declared a bank holiday and closed all the banks until they could be examined to determine if they could re-open with FDIC Insurance. Cowboy State Bank re-opened 21 days later, after it was declared sound. For the first time, deposits were now insured for $5,000 per person, and the bank became a member of the newly formed FDIC.

F. C. “Cap” Rawlings was elected Assistant Cashier in 1939, earning a salary of $70 per month. Total bank deposits that year were $118,000. And in 1959, H.C. Jeffers – who carried on the bank heritage of the Jeffers family – passed away after 36 years on the Board of Directors. Don Steadman, another well-remembered bank alumnus, was hired as President of the bank in 1982.

Growing to Meet the Needs of our Communities

Today there are two Cowboy State Bank locations in Sheridan County – on Grinnell Plaza in historic downtown Sheridan and on Hwy 14 (Dayton Street) in Ranchester – with 5,000 customers and total assets of approximately $47 million. Each location offers full-service banking (including online banking, online bill pay, and identity theft protection) and provides timely local decision-making on loan requests. Many of our 15 employees have been with the bank over 10 years.

The Cowboy State Bank slogan is “Banking the Cowboy Way” – which to us and our customers means banking with honesty, integrity, and diligence. And we’re a community bank, which is exactly what many of our customers want.

We have offered uninterrupted one-on-one personal service to our customers for 100 years, through many ups and downs of local, state, and national economies. At the same time, the bank continues to look forward. The primary focus is maintaining continued and sustained growth using the “Community Banking” approach to doing business and serving the community.

We continue our community involvement and sponsorships – in organizations like the Sheridan County Chamber, Sheridan WYO Rodeo, Sheridan College Rodeo events, Rotary Downtown Sheridan Association, Tongue River Valley Community Center, School District events, the Library, Boy Scouts, and the Keystone Awards. That’s what a “community bank” is all about.

Drop by either bank location for a visit, call 307-673-4456, 307-655-2291 (Sheridan) or 307-673-4456, 307-655-2291 (Ranchester), or browse this website learn more about the services offered by Cowboy State Bank – the oldest chartered bank in Sheridan County.