Part IV – Ballard Savings & Washington Federal Become One

by Washington Federal Team on April 12, 2012

Harold C. Kean, whose father had founded Ballard Savings, continued at the helm of the pioneer thrift.  The Thirties came and went with rumors and anxieties of war beginning to drift to our shores from Europe.  By the end of 1941, the U.S. was in full-scale war effort both in Europe and in the Pacific.  To support our troops abroad, various collection drives were mounted across the land to collect everything from scrap paper to tin foil.  In Seattle, the little Ballard thrift was busy helping its neighbors with their various drives and with the selling of War Bonds in support of the war effort.

With the onset of peace in 1945, however, the nation began heading along a much deserved track toward prosperity.  The association felt secure enough to build a new headquarters building at 2020 Market Street.  Harold Kean officially succeeded his father, W.C. as president and chief executive officer, although Harold had been effectively guiding day-to-day operations for years.  Assets in 1950 stood at $5.6 million.

But wars, and rumors of war, always seem to persist.  Peace was broken as the Korean War began that year.  At its conclusion, America began to pick up steam again.  In 1958, the nation took its first major step into the heavens with the launch of the first orbiting U.S. satellite.

Back on earth, Ballard Savings was developing a carefully weighed strategy for expansion.  That same year, it joined with nearby Washington Federal Savings and Loan Association of Bothell and adopted its name for wider geographic potential.  It was now serving not only the Ballard community, but also nearby Bothell.  Soon other locations would follow, like the three offices of Seattle Federal Savings and Loan Association, which joined Washington Federal in 1971.

Check back on our blog for the final part of the story!

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