From 1857 to 1895, brick production was a major industry in Chaska, with up to eleven individual brickyards making Chaska their home. However, the severe depression in 1893 placed all of the yards in financial jeopardy. One of them borrowed $3,800 from George Klein, a German immigrant farmer who owned 80 acres of land in Benton township. Later, insolvent and without working capital, the brickyard was acquired by George Klein’s 23 year old son, Charles H. Klein. Surviving on credit, and with the help of his brother, Christian P. Klein, the company eventually became the only brickyard in Chaska.
The brickyard operation provided the means for C.H. Klein, an entrepreneur, school teacher and State Senator, to envision a new family enterprise. C.H. Klein and C.P. Klein purchased controlling shares of stock of the First National Bank of Chaska.
After requests from Victoria businessmen, C.H. Klein pioneered the construction of Victoria State Bank, creating the first bank in the nearby town of Victoria. During the Depression years of the 1930's when many banks failed, Victoria State Bank continued to provide banking services to the community without interruption to its customers.
Eight years later, C.H. Klein continued the westward route of the railroad and helped form the First National Bank of Waconia. In 1926, he acquired controlling interest of the Bank. It was the only bank in Waconia to survive the Depression. In the early 1960s, a new building was constructed on Main Street to meet the growing needs of the bank. The new building design came from the legendary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who had recently died in 1959.
In 1926, envisioning a network of family-owned community banks, C.H. Klein acquired controlling shares of The State Bank of Young America (established in 1900) and The State Bank of Cologne (established in 1903).
In 1927, the town of Montevideo had endured seven bank closings and was without a bank at all. The Montevideo local Merchants Association Committee turned to Charles H. Klein with the hope that he would start a new bank. Banking authorities tried to discourage the plan, citing the many previous bank failures Montevideo had witnessed. Undaunted, seven stockholders, having faith in the community and C.H. Klein's ability as a banker, opened Security National Bank. The name later changed to First National Bank in Montevideo.
During the Great Depression in 1931, nearly 10,000 banks failed in the United States, including the banks in Madison, MN. In spite of this fact, prompted by Madison city officials, C.H. Klein and C.P. Klein agreed to open a bank. Upon its opening, the newspaper reported, "We feel like celebrating. The bank will be known as the Klein National Bank of Madison. The Klein name is well-known throughout Minnesota and is a symbol of strength and square dealings. This is one of the few National Banks in the nation that bears the name of its founder. The confidence of the people who have lost money in banks will be strengthened by the name and the resources behind that name.” During the years of the Great Depression, not one of the Klein banks failed.
The year 1942 marked the time that the second generation of the Klein family joined the banking business. Soon after graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College, George Klein, the son of Christian P. Klein and nephew of Charles H. Klein, began his career at the State Bank of Cologne.
After C.H. Klein passed away in 1961 at the age of 89 and his brother, C.P. Klein, passed away in 1962 at the age of 86, George Klein owned controlling interest in all of the Klein banks. George's wife, Marcella, also became an active participant in the family banking business, serving as a Board Director for many of the banks.
Klein Bancorporation, Inc., was formed to facilitate the management and supervision of all the banks, make adequate financial provisions for the George Klein family in the event of his death or disability, and assure an orderly succession of management.
First National Bank of Waconia opened a new branch in neighboring St. Bonifacius. The current St. Bonifacius office opened in 2007 during the 100th Anniversary of KleinBank.
George Klein died in 1979 shortly after the holding company was in place, allowing his son, Dan Klein, to take the reins as Chairman and President. Eventually, George’s two other sons, Alan and Jim, became part of KBI as Senior Vice Presidents.
Klein Bancorporation acquired Oakley National Bank, another community bank with a long local history. It was first established in 1886 by C.E. Oakley.
Klein Bancorporation expanded eastward with the purchase of The State Bank of Chanhassen (established in 1919).
First National Bank of Chaska expands into neighboring Scott County, building a new facility in Shakopee.
Klein Bancorporation, Inc., now named Klein Financial, purchases the assets of Preferred Bank (established as Citizens Bank in 1925) with locations in Big Lake and Coon Rapids. Klein Financial also finalizes the purchase of Home Town Mortgage, an independent mortgage company. Klein Financial launches a comprehensive website with links to all of the member banks, offering Online Banking and Online Bill Pay.
Klein Financial consolidates their nine affiliate banks and Home Town Mortgage into a single bank charter named KleinBank. Home Town Mortgage took the name KleinMortgage.
KleinBank celebrated 100 Grand Years of banking. New banking facilities were opened in Maple Grove and St. Bonifacius.
KleinBank acquires the First Community Bank in Savage (established in 1906).
KleinBank expands into Wright County, building a new, earth-friendly facility in Otsego. Doug Hile is named President/CEO.
KleinBank grows its network of banking facilities with the acquisition of Community Bank Plymouth (established in 2000).
KleinBank receives the 2011 Minnesota Business Ethics Award for mid-sized businesses.
KleinBank receives a 2012 Minnesota Family Business Award.