Salem's first bank, Ladd & Bush Bank, first opened its doors on March 29, 1869. Asahel Bush, owner and publisher of the Oregon Statesman newspaper since 1851, partnered with Willam S. Ladd, a Portland merchant since 1851 and then in his second term as mayor of Portland, to open the first bank in this relatively young community. With statehood officially achieved just 10 years before, Salem was still a rough and tumble town. The telegraph had come to town just five years earlier in 1864, and railroad services wouldn't be available for another year. The telephone wasn't yet invented. The first phones would be displayed at the State Fair in 1877, but public service wouldn't be available until 1890. Both the telegraph and the telephone were brought west at the urging of the state's newspapers, with Mr. Bush being at the forefront of the effort. It wouldn't be until the 1880s that another bank would provide any local competition. What has this to do with the history of the Pioneer Trust Bank, you may ask. The world in the mid-1800s was indeed very small, and the circles of acquaintance very narrow.
Thus begins the long history of the Compton family with the venerable institution of Pioneer Trust and Bank. In fact, three generations of the Comptons - Henry V, son Stuart, and twin grandsons Randy & Michael - have overseen the operations of this business, continuing to this day. They have witnessed and endured the changes to banking following the Crash of 1927, the Great Depression of the 1930s, the war bond years of the 1940s, the economy booms after WWII, along with the recessions of more recent years. The business has changed over the years, adding commercial banking to their trust services, but not their commitment to great customer service and to the community as a whole. Institutions of such longevity and high respect are a priceless asset to any community, and we thank them for their service here in Salem.