Emporia State Federal Credit Union, originally known as the Emporia Consumers Federal Credit Union, was granted a charter to serve a “field of membership” on July 26, 1937 under the provisions of an act established by the 73rd Congress. At that time, the field of membership was limited to employees of two Emporia cooperatives (the Emporia Consumers Grocery Cooperative and the Lyon County Oil Cooperative). There were 28 original members whose assets totaled $28.88 and the credit union was located in the Coop Grocery Store at the corner of 7th and Commercial in Emporia.
In the early 1950’s the grocery store burned down. Kay Wolff Heaney was the Treasurer at the time and it was decided that the credit union would be temporarily moved to her home on Arundel.
In June of 1957, the Emporia State College employees were added to the field of membership and the name was changed to Emporia State College Employees and Consumers Federal Credit Union. So began a long and fruitful relationship with what is now known as Emporia State University.
In 1962, when Charles Tucker took over as Treasurer for Kay Heaney, the credit union moved to Room 136 in the new Science Hall on the Kansas State Teachers College campus – which was next door to his office.
With time comes change. And, while the credit union philosophy flourished, a final name change came in August, 1974 to what we know today – Emporia State Federal Credit Union. In that same year, Don Cravens, the Personnel Manager at the college, was hired as a paid, part-time manager and the credit union moved to a small room next to his office in Plumb Hall.
In 1976, assets reached one million dollars.
In 1981, Wilma Cravens was hired as the manager and the credit union moved to the 1st floor in the ESU Memorial Union.
The credit union continued to grow, adding the school districts of Greenwood, Coffey, Chase, Osage and Morris counties in 1982.
In 1985, checking accounts were added and the credit union moved off campus to 116 W. 12th.
In 1988, a merger with Lyon County Teachers Credit Union complemented our educational bond. In that same year, we added members of the ESU Alumni Association that live in Lyon and the surrounding five counties.
In 1990, the credit union purchased the former American Legion Building at 310 W. 12th and the credit union moved for the last time after renovations were finished in June of 1991.
In 2000, assets reached over $20,000,000. At the end of 2001, assets were at $23,000,000, the credit union had 3,666 members and Wilma Cravens retired. Angie Miller began as the new manager on January 1, 2002.
In 2004, we added students attending Emporia State University to our field of membership.
In 2008, building began at a 2nd location at 24th and Industrial. The new branch opened on December 8, 2009. In that same year, employees of the Flint Hills Technical College along with students attending FHTC were added to our field of membership.
In 2010, we were able to include employees of Newman Regional Health as part of our membership.
In 2011, students of USD 253 became eligible to join Emporia State Federal Credit Union.
ESFCU continues to grow and change, adding new products and services to serve our membership. And, in 2020, we reached a new milestone - over $100,000,000 in assets!
No matter how far we have come, we have never forgotten where we came from. We take this moment to harken back to those beginnings:
On January 18, 1938 the credit union held it’s first Annual Meeting at the Whitney Hotel. 25 members were present. From the minutes of the first annual report, George C. Johnson, President of the Board of Directors writes:
“The past six months have shown that the principle of democratic control of savings and credit is both sound and wise. As a group and as individuals your board wishes for you, as they wish for themselves, a new year in which, through your credit union, you may work steadily toward a more equitable and secure hold on the good things of life.”
Those words are as true today as they were then. Emporia State Federal Credit Union continues to be a financially sound, member owned institution. We have a solid foundation upon which we are continually building to improve our members with the financial tools they need for today, tomorrow and for their future.