Our Bank Heritage
Founders & Family Owners
American Heritage National Bank is a historic tradition of family-owned banking over four generations with the heritage of more than just money, our business is to serve you:
Henry W. Schroeder began his banking career in 1906, after William E. Lee established the “Lee State Bank” in Long Prairie in 1881 with the bank's President, George R. Christie. Under Henry’s leadership, the bank was a foundation of the community through both World War I and World War II. During the Great Depression, Henry’s commitment to bank customers went so far as to extend his own personal assets to save homes, family farms, and local businesses until he passed away in 1975.
Roland A. Schroeder, Henry’s son, joined the bank in 1946 after returning from World War II. In the US Army, Roland was awarded the Bronze Star for his Signal Battalion's mission leading up to the D-Day invasion and joined the XV Corps advance through Europe to VE-Day. In 1963, the bank switched from a state charter to national charter and was renamed the “First National Bank of Long Prairie”. Roland served as the bank’s President and Chairman of the Board until 1986 and passed away in 1991.
Rodger J. Johnston, Roland’s son-in-law, joined the bank in 1978 after practicing law and establishing several successful businesses. In 1985, the Lee State Bank of Browerville was acquired to become a current branch of the bank. As CEO and Chairman, Rodger then orchestrated the expansion and construction of both log bank branches in St. Cloud that elevated it to one of the largest family-owned and operated banks in Minnesota. In 1995, the bank was renamed “American Heritage National Bank” to represent its family tradition and commitment to customers. Leonard (Len) Wohlman became the bank’s President in 1999 after years of dedicated banking service in the St. Cloud area and continues to serve on the bank’s Board of Directors.
J (Jay) Christopher Johnston, Rodger’s son, joined the bank in 2002 after practicing business and government law in Illinois and Minneapolis. Jay is the fourth generation as the great-grandson of H.W. Schroeder and continues the heritage of family bank owners dedicated to the local community and its people. After leading the bank’s credit and business banking departments, he was made the bank's President and Legal Counsel in 2008. With his continued leadership through the Great Recession, Jay became the CEO in 2011 and American Heritage National Bank celebrated its 130th Year Anniversary.
Local Community Memorials
American Heritage National Bank is proud to honor the heritage of the community and its people. The “Falls of Our Fallen” Memorial on St. Cloud’s east side along Highway 10 is a 2 ½ story high waterfall constructed with 220 tons of granite that circulates up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute. The Falls Memorial was designed and developed by Rodger Johnston CEO and dedicated by American Heritage National Bank to our military veterans, law enforcement officers, and fire fighters who have died for their community and country.
American Heritage National Bank has actively developed other memorials in the surrounding area, including the Veterans Memorial Park in Long Prairie. The Veterans Park has a 4 story high mural depicting the battle for Iwo Jima in World War II and celebrates the first flag raised over Mount Surabachi. Charles Lindberg, the last surviving first flag raiser, was present and honored at the dedication ceremony along with family members of the other flag raisers from all over the country. The site also honors all the other veterans of the United States, including the women of the armed services.
The "Log Bank"
American Heritage National Bank has constructed one of the largest log banks in the nation that spans over 30,000 square feet. The body of the first Log Bank was built with more than a linear mile of pines with some older than 150 years and cut at elevations above 9,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Each log was individually hand-peeled, notched, and assembled in Colorado; and then completely disassembled, the logs numbered, loaded on trucks, and transported to Minnesota to be rebuilt on St. Cloud’s west side.
The Log Banks are unique inside and out in architecture and culture. Opened in 1995, the first Log Bank hosts an entry-level split stone fireplace, loft areas like a mountain ski chalet, front porches with wooden swings, a 12,000 square foot grand ballroom and stage, an American history museum and artistic prints that create an atmosphere of warmth and inspiration for all our customers. The second Log Bank on St. Cloud’s east side opened in 2000 with its own unique log architecture and style including additional office space for commercial tenants and a surrounding natural landscape empowered by the “Falls of the Fallen” memorial.