Merchants Bank celebrates Mapleton office grand opening May 23

The new branch office is the sixth in the Merchants group, and gives the town's residents a convenient place to bank without heading into Fargo-Moorhead.

Merchants Bank will hold a grand opening party for its Mapleton, N.D., branch on Monday, May 23, 2022. Branch office staff, seen Monday, May 2, include: (Front row from left) teller Betsy Mears, Branch President Matt Johnson, and teller April Swandal. Back row: credit analyst Craig Johnson, and loan assistant and teller Philip Reeves.
Helmut Schmidt / The Forum
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MAPLETON, N.D. — Merchants Bank is ready to celebrate its move to Mapleton, with grand opening good times planned for 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 23.

There will be hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, yard games and a bounce house for the kids, live music and “some surprise giveaways,” Branch President Matt Johnson said Tuesday, May 10.

The bank at 649 Knutson St., in the Maple River Town Square, opened quietly in mid-March and has been building its business and making connections with residents and area farmers.

“It’s been good. I’ve really been enjoying meeting lots of people in the community. We’re really excited about the future here,” Johnson said. “A lot of people are excited about having the convenience of having a bank in town. They don’t necessarily have to go to Fargo if they don’t want to.”

Also at the mini-mall is Muddy Boots Coffee House and the recently opened ND Touch Gear & Lifestyles boutique and custom apparel printing business.


Bank hours are Monday and Wednesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Johnson said the quiet opening allowed the office’s personnel to get operations running smoothly.

“We’re just excited to be in Mapleton and we look forward to being here long term,” Johnson said.”

Merchants is a privately held banking firm that has more than $200 million in assets, Johnson said.

The latest Merchants Bank branch office, seen Monday, May 2, 2022, is in the Maple River Town Square at 649 Knutson St., Mapleton, N.D.
Helmut Schmidt / The Forum

The family owned bank, headquartered in Rugby, N.D., now has six locations in North Dakota and Montana. Other offices are in Towner, Granville and Upham, N.D., and Fairview, Mont.

The bank’s primary focus is on agricultural lending and agricultural customers, Johnson said in a previous interview with The Forum.

Johnson’s father, Craig Johnson, is a longtime banker who is doing credit analysis for the branch.

According to a short history on the bank’s website:


Merchants Bank of Rugby was chartered Aug. 4, 1897, by Henry Erickson and William D. McClintock of Towner and John W. Davis of Kalispell, Mont.

Erickson was the first president and McClintock was the cashier. McClintock’s descendants continue to own Merchants Bank to this day.

In 2011, Merchants Bank acquired the Fairview branch of First Security Bank-West.

In 2018, Merchants Bank acquired the Towner, Granville and Upham branches of Western State Bank.

The bank will celebrate its 125th anniversary this summer.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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