Our History

Commerce State Bank branch

CoreFirst Bank & Trust: Our History 

Thursday, April 27th is National Tell a Story Day – a time to share our stories with our friends, neighbors, and communities. Here at CoreFirst Bank & Trust we’re proud of our story, and of the history we share with the communities we serve.

CoreFirst, originally Commerce State Bank, started as a dream in the minds of several Topeka businessmen. The group was developing a new shopping center in town - and in order to create an exemplary shopping experience, they wanted to include a bank in the same area.

The venture was off to a slow start until Emery Fager was persuaded to leave his position with the Kansas State Bank at Overbrook, Kansas, and come to Topeka as the Chief Executive Officer of the proposed Commerce State Bank. He accepted immediately, and Commerce State Bank was chartered by the State Banking Department on August 4, 1959, and officially opened December 3rd of the same year.

From the very beginning, Emery dreamed of Commerce as a progressive, innovative, and highly competitive bank. A bank that served the needs of all people, with special emphasis on friendly, helpful, personal attention.  

Over the next five decades, those guiding principles led Commerce to build an impressive list of customer service “firsts,” including:

  • The region’s first 24-hour ATMs
  • First grocery store branches
  • First extended and weekend hours
  • A host of technological innovations.

As the demand for Commerce’s legendary service grew, leadership decided it was time to expand. However, growth was stymied because another area bank was already using the “Commerce” name. The bank needed an expansion identity – and thus the CoreFirst Bank & Trust brand was born.

Now, CoreFirst has locations in Topeka, Olathe, Lenexa, and Denver. Our commitment to helping our customers with all their financial needs through innovation and responsiveness continues to guide our path.  We believe that supporting our communities is just as important as helping our customers. CoreFirst lends time, resources, and people to give back and aid the betterment of the communities in which we live and serve.

CoreFirst has always been, and will continue to be, a people-oriented bank. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to our customers and our communities for being a part of our story – and for allowing us be a part of yours, now and into the future.