The 1960’s – The Birth of a Credit Union
On July 19, 1964, twelve citizens of the town of Windthorst, Texas, received federal charter #16373 to form Windthorst Federal Credit Union. This was a community credit union whose field of membership included all persons who resided within the area extending five miles west, eight miles north, eight miles east and eight miles south from the Windthorst, TX Post Office; members of St. Mary’s Parish in Windthorst; employees of this credit union; members of their immediate families and organizations of such persons. The purpose of Windthorst Federal Credit Union was to promote thrift among its members by affording them an opportunity to accumulate their savings and to create for them a source of credit for provident or productive purposes.
The 1970’s – A Decade of Firsts
The seventies brought a dramatic growth to WFCU as well as several firsts. The number of members increased 200% due partially to an expansion in the field of membership in September, 1974. This expansion included daughers-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren living under the same roof in the same household and members of Knight of Columbus Council #1715 and Knights of Columbus Council #1824.
By the end of 1975, WFCU had reached its first $1,000,000 in shares and loans along with it’s first 1000 members.
Due to the rapid growth, the board of directors voted in 1977 to begin paying semi-annual dividends on share accounts and realized the need for a separate building to house the credit union office. Land was donated by a credit union member to the City of Windthorst and Windthorst Federal Credit Union on which to construct a building for the City Hall and the credit union offices. The majority of the work was done voluntarily, and on July 1, 1979, WFCU held an open house for its first building.
The 1980’s – A Decade of Growth
Growth in all areas of the credit union continued its phenomenal upward trend in the eighties. Assets, shares and loans each grew over 300% from December, 1979 to December, 1989. Membership also rose during the decade from 1260 in 1979 to 1648 in 1989. The credit union was paying a highly competitive dividend rate on shares and certificates of deposit, which stimulated much of this growth. The bulk of the loan growth was due to an increase in real estate and agricultural loans.
In October of that same year, the credit union made the technology advancement and purchased a computer system at a cost of $20,046. This first system consisted of one personal computer, one dummy terminal and three printers. All member records were kept on the data processing system, although the general ledger was still done manually.
Services included share accounts, six month certificates of deposit and share secured, signature, new and used auto, agriculture, real estate and commercial loans. American Express traveler’s checks were also offered at no additional cost to the members.
Because of the automation of the member accounts and records, the board voted to replace the semi-annual dividend paid on share accounts to a quarterly dividend effective January 1, 1988. Windthorst Federal Credit Union seemed to be headed in the right direction to becoming a full-service financial institution for its members.
Windthorst Federal Credit Union currently has nine employees and has worked diligently to assert itself as a full-service financial institution for its members. Services offered range from regular Share Accounts, Share Certificates, Individual Retirement Accounts and Checking Accounts to Signature, Auto, Real Estate and Agriculture Loans. The credit union also offers VISA Check Card and VISA Credit Cards, an Audio Response System and free online banking and billpay to allow access 24/7 to the membership. WFCU staff and board is reaching to obtain the goals set forth in the mission statement of providing our members with a safe, sound and competitive financial institution, that strives to provide innovative solutions to the present and future financial needs of its members.