Times were bad back in 1933. The Great Depression was at its height; jobs and money were scarce. Banks that had survived the crash of 1929 had little cash, and they were not lending it. To save their homes and farms, people were forced to do business with loan sharks at 36% interest.
It was into these historic and economic circumstances that Twin City Co-ops Credit Union (TCU), since renamed to SPIRE Credit Union (SPIRE), was born in 1934. In its founding, SPIRE embodied the credit union ideals of self-help, of people working together to save their money, lending to each other and paying back their earnings to each other in the form of dividends.
The idea of a credit union started with Edgar Archer. Archer was an employee of what was then called Midland Cooperative Oil Association. Before starting at Midland, Archer had been out of work for some time, resulting in a number of unpaid bills. Now that Edgar was employed, he applied for loans all over…one by one he was turned down. He wanted to “do the right thing” and pay his debts. Edgar did not give up. He had been hearing about an employee credit union, so he thought, why not start one at the Midland?
By February 1934, enough of his fellow workers agreed, and seven of them applied for a certificate of organization. Through the foresight of the original founders, the credit union escaped the narrow confines of an employee credit union and has grown significantly because of the doors that were opened back in 1934.
The credit union organizers incorporated on March 13, 1934. The loan maximum was set at $50, with interest at 1% monthly on the unpaid balance. Edgar Archer was the first to apply for and receive a loan.
Since 1934 we have proudly served the residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin. SPIRE currently has sixteen branch locations in the Twin Cities area, including a branch in Princeton, Minnesota. Whether you are just starting out in life, own your own business, or are close to retirement, SPIRE would like to be your total financial solution.
Our Core Purpose
To improve the financial well-being of our member-owners.
To be Minnesota's best financial institution
So what does an early-model Ford work truck have to do with a credit union, you might ask? To us, Archie – named for our founder, Edgar Archer – symbolizes the Midwestern values that drive us. Trust. Honesty. Integrity. Hard work. Compassion. Humility. Promises made and promises kept.
A lot has changed since the 1934, and in many ways, we’ve changed right along with it. However, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed – the friendly, personal, genuine service you’ll get at SPIRE. That isn’t quaint, or something that used to happen back in “the good old days.” At SPIRE, it’s happening here, and it’s happening now.
Archie and SPIRE. Both driven by Midwestern values. And both here to get you where you want to go.
Meet A FEW of our members
“The values have never changed. That's important to me. I've been with SPIRE for so long it's like second nature”
-Michael Taylor, SPIRE Member