Smithfield First Security Bank, now Wells Fargo, opened in a historic trolley station in 1976. Now, 43 years later, that same bank is closing its doors for good.
Wells Fargo in Smithfield was the first bank in Smithfield to have a drive-thru window, but at noon on May 15, that window, along with the entire branch, will no longer be open for business.
District Manager Trevor Merrill states in an email to The Herald Journal that the branch will be consolidated on that date.
“Until May 15, customers can use the branch and bank with us as they always have,” Merrill states. “After that, they can visit us at additional branches in Logan.”
The new closure in Smithfield follows other Main Street business such as 7-Eleven and the Ye Olde Winn Mill, which both closed last year. Restaurant Jim’s Grill is currently closed for remodeling.
Wells Fargo has a notable presence in Cache Valley. Aside from occupying the former trolley station in Smithfield, Logan residents also recognize the Wells Fargo building towering in downtown Logan, which closed in 2015 and is now a Cache Valley Bank location.
Wells Fargo acquired many of the First Security banks started by George S. Eccles, including the historic Logan building and the Smithfield location.
Before moving to the bank’s current location in Smithfield, the First Security Bank began just down the street in 1912, in a historic building now occupied by florist Every Bloomin Thing. The bank’s Richmond location closed just over 30 years ago, and patrons started banking in Smithfield. Now, both cities will have the option to travel to Preston or Logan to do banking.
“This is not an easy decision or one that we take lightly,” said Tony Timmons, a representative for Wells Fargo. “We continually evaluate our branch network and make adjustments based on customer use, market factors, economic trends and competitor actions. This process leads to both expansion and consolidations. In the case of our Smithfield branch, we’ve seen a decrease in customer traffic over the last few years.”
Wells Fargo Bank was required to pay $575 million in a settlement this year. The settlement covered all 50 states and resolved numerous allegations of improper bank activity dating back to 2002.
Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo has offices in 36 countries.
According to a 1998 article published by the Lewiston-North Cache Valley Historical Board, the station was part of the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad Company line, sometimes called “the Galloping Goose” for its rough rides. David Eccles started the line in 1910 to utilize the hydroelectric power from the Logan River. Ceramic electrical insulators are still visible on the east side of the former Smithfield depot building.
The article identifies three other brick station houses still standing in Cache Valley: one in Richmond now housing The Studio by Pristine Photo; One serves as the offices of Legacy Dental in Wellsville; One was remodeled as a residence on Main Street in Lewiston.