Obituary of BEN S. SUMMERWILL, 1886 – 1968; Bank Head for 33 Years
BEN S. SUMMERWILL, 81, an organizer of the Iowa State Bank and Trust Co. in 1934, and its head for 33 years, died January 4, 1968 at his home in Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa.
Dean of bankers in the Iowa City area, he remained active until his final illness. Earlier business interests included lumber yards in South Dakota and Nebraska and cattle in South Dakota.
Mr. Summerwill came to Iowa City in 1928 after joining the Iowa Banking Department. He directed the liquidation of four state banks in the city as well as others in this area.
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Jack L. Zerwas officiating. Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery. Friends may call at the Beckman-Butherus Funeral Home.
Contributions may be made to the Ben S. Summerwill Memorial Fund of the First Presbyterian Church.
Born in Odebolt, Sac County, Iowa on March 17, 1886, he was the son of William J. and Florence Slemmons Summerwill. He attended schools at Newton, Jasper County, Iowa and Shattuck School at Faribault, Rice County, Minnesota.
He married Edna A. Weingart Nov. 20, 1907 at Mapleton, Monona County, Iowa. She died April 9, 1958.
Mr. Summerwill’s business career began at Mapleton, Iowa with a lumber concern. There he attracted the attention and the confidence of men of means and on this foundation launched the Ben S. Summerwill Lumber Co., of which he was president. The concern operated lumber yards in Nebraska and South Dakota.
In 1916, he went to Pierre, Stanley County, South Dakota, where he acquired substantial land and other interests and carried on an extensive cattle business. He closed out most of these holdings before coming to Iowa City 12 years later.
After his service with the state banking department, Mr. Summerwill became an organizer of the Iowa State Bank and Trust Co. which opened Oct. 11, 1934. He was president until January 1953 when he became chairman of the board.
Active in banking organizations, he was president of the State Banking Division of the American Bankers Association in 1954. Mr. Summerwill also has served on the Executive Council and the Executive Committee of the division as well as on the Federal Legislative Committee of the Iowa Bankers Association.
Treasurer of the Iowa State Medical Society Educational Fund, he received the John F. Stanford Award for valuable contributions to organized medicine in 1960. The award recognized his service in administering the fund, which has enabled many students to complete their medical education.
Mr. Summerwill’s civic activities included work in the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce and for the development of the Iowa City Airport.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Masonic Lodge and Shrine, Elks Club and the Union League Club of Chicago.
Survivors include two sons, W.W. Summerwill, Ben E. Summerwill and a daughter, Elizabeth Summerwill Koza (Mrs. Roy J. Koza), all of Iowa City. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Mrs. Robert Swaney of Cedar Rapids, W. Richard Summerwill of Iowa City, Ben E. Summerwill Jr. of Indianola, John S. Koza, Kristin and Suzie Summerwill, all of Iowa City. Five great-grandchildren and a sister, Mrs. Kate Fritz of Ottumwa, Wapello County, Iowa also survive.
One sister, as well as wife Mrs. Edna Weingart Summerwill, preceded him in death.
Pallbearers will be Carl F. Strub, Jr., James P. Scanlon, R.T. Feddersen, David Cannon, Frank T. Nash, and J.W. Felt.
Honorary pallbearers are James E. Stronks, B.L. Barnes, R.W. Vanderhoef, Omar Yoder, Chester A. Phillips, George Foerstner, Dr. George H. Scanlon, C.H. Anderson, Forest Evasbevski, W.T. Hageboeck, J. Bradley Rust, Clark Houghton, Dean Jones, Ralph H. Miller, and Frank Carideo.
(Transcribed from the Iowa City Press Citizen, Jan. 5, 1968, Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa)
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