85 years ago today, Edgar Archer’s dream to open a credit union to help people do the right thing became reality. As an employee of Midland Cooperative Oil Association in Minneapolis, Edgar found it hard to pay off his bills with banks either not lending out money, or doing so at high rates after the Great Depression of 1929. He wanted to do the right thing by paying off his debts and wanted to help others do the same.
Midland Oil Cooperative Headquarters, Minneapolis
In 1934, Edgar Archer, along with six co-workers, opened Twin City Oil Co-ops Credit Union with Archer opening the first account. One year later, the credit union boasted 52 members, $601.72 in savings deposits, and $1,275 in loans.
Twin City Oil Co-op Credit Union's first employee
The credit union started allowing members who didn't work for Midland in 1943 and changed its name to Twin City Co-ops Credit Union (TCU). TCU would go on to achieve many firsts for credit unions in Minnesota. In 1952, TCU was the first to own its own building, which still stands as SPIRE's Minneapolis branch. TCU was also the first to merge with another credit union in Minnesota when it merged with Ellerbe Company Employees Credit Union in the 1960s. In 1996, TCU was one of the first credit unions to offer online banking with TCU Connect.
First building owned by a credit union - today's Minneapolis branch
Finding that consumers were misunderstanding and confusing its name with other institutions, Twin City Co-ops Federal Credit Union changed its name to SPIRE Federal Credit Union in 2008. "SPIRE" reflected the goal to reach the top and be Minnesota's best financial institution.
Today, Edgar Archer's dream to help people do the right thing is still alive at SPIRE. Over 85 years, SPIRE has grown to over 280 employees, 108,000 members, and $1 billion in assets. Along with our core value, to care and core purpose to improve lives, we have added a core action, to give back to reflect our commitment in bettering the communities we serve. We are proud to have been recognized nationally for our work in fraud prevention, lending excellence, and business ethics. We feel it is our duty to provide financial education to all so that anyone can feel empowered to achieve their financial wishes, hopes, and dreams.
SPIRE staff photo taken at 2019 Annual Meeting
As we celebrate our 85th anniversary, historical photos and trivia will be shared on SPIRE's social media platforms throughout the week. For more information about SPIRE's history, please visit www.myspire.com/about.