Jerry Kigin Oral History
Jerry Kigin was born in Lake Crystal, Minnesota, on February 7, 1921. After graduating from high school in Mankato, he originally intended to become an educator, attending the Mankato Teacher’s College from 1938 to 1940, but switched his profession to banking that same year (interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps that lasted from 1942 to 1946). Kigin originally “worked his way up from the bottom” at the Mankato National Citizen’s Bank before moving to St. Cloud in 1948. Here he ultimately achieved the position of Northwestern Bank and Trust Company president. In addition to his activities as a banker, Kigin volunteered much of his spare time to various civic organizations within the St. Cloud area. Here he assisted groups like St. Cloud Opportunities in purchasing and renovating properties for use as public parks and helping the Downtown Association facilitate the construction of the Crossroads Center Mall, among other endeavors. Kigin passed away at the age of 76 on August 6, 1997, and was survived by his wife Marjorie, their seven children (five sons and two daughters), and their fifteen grandchildren. He was buried at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.
In an interview conducted on March 24, 1977, Jerry Kigin discussed his life in Minnesota, particularly his profession as a banker and his role as a community volunteer with multiple organizations in St. Cloud. Kigin noted that he never originally expected to become a banker, as he previously studied to become an educator and served as a Marine during World War II and worked in finance to fund his college education. However, he realized quickly that he enjoyed working in finance. He started as a messenger at the Mankato National Citizen’s Bank and worked his way up to become the Northwestern Bank and Trust Company president in St. Cloud. He held this position between 1955 and 1979. Additionally, Kigin also discussed his work as a volunteer with a myriad of organizations throughout St. Cloud, including the local school board and the Civic Music Association, along with numerous other initiatives to benefit the city of St. Cloud and its people.
Interview conducted by James Robak.
St. Cloud State University, "Jerry Kigin Oral History" (1977). General. 20.