Unadilla, also the Groundhog Capital of Nebraska, has a population of 342 people and is located 20 miles southeast of Lincoln. The Post Office was established on April 04, 1872 and the town was named by I.N. White for his former home in Unadilla, New York. Unadilla is an Iroquois Indian word, means ‘place of meeting.’ First National Bank of Unadilla was founded there as the Bank of Unadilla on January 26, 1888. The bank had a rough start. The opening day had to be delayed due to the “Blizzard of 1888,” which killed most of the livestock with its devastating force.
A 26-year old German immigrant named Henry A. Butt who came from his native province of Hanover, Germany arrived in Nebraska with his parents in 1881. He attended a business college in Burlington, IA, later becoming president of The Bank of Unadilla until his retirement in 1944. During his presidency Unadilla survived the terrible flooding of the Little Nemaha River in 1908 that wiped out one family of six and a devastating fire in 1911 that destroyed the entire business section except for the brick bank building and the general store. These buildings were built in 1908 and are the anchor buildings of the V’ed main street which is on the national historic
On a Sunday morning in 1911 the Unadilla community was shocked to find Main Street destroyed by fire. note the vault from the original bank still standing. Fortunately the bank had moved to it's present location in 1908
The bank was converted to a national charter as First National Bank on June 01, 1922. In September, 1926, it assumed the assets of Farmers State Bank of Unadilla. When Mr. Butt retired in 1944, he was succeeded as president by G.B. White, who served as president until 1948, at which time he was followed by George E. Brandt. George served as Cashier for many years before buying controlling interest and becoming president in 1948.
His son, William B. Brandt, who served in the United States Army with distinction in World War II, joined the bank in 1949 after graduation from the University of Nebraska Law School in Lincoln. Bill moved into the presidency of the First National Bank after his father’s death in 1981. Bill also served two terms in the Nebraska Unicameral, after which he became legislative representative for the Nebraska Bankers Association. Bill retired from banking in 1996. His son, Robert Brandt began working in the bank in 1976 and followed Bill Brandt as president and is currently president of the bank.
In 2004 there were some changes for The First National Bank of Unadilla. The American Bank of Burr, formally the German American Bank established in 1892, and the First National Bank of Unadilla were merged on September 27, 2004. The National Charter of Unadilla was forfeited and the assets combined with the American Bank at Burr. The name of the American Bank at Burr was changed to Countryside Bank and the main office was moved to Unadilla. The Countryside Bank now has full-service branches in Unadilla, Syracuse, Burr, and a Loan Production Office in Tecumseh.