In the early days, bankers were viewed as a figure of some power and prestige, and, frequently, even communities of but a few hundred people had at least one.
Carl A. Button began his banking career in one such small place, La Center. He later moved to Woodland, where customers were more plentiful.
He was born in Albion, Neb., in 1886, and started work in stores in Nebraska.
Later he lived in Portland a short time, and in 1913 entered the banking business at La Center with an uncle, W.C. Mansfield. Button was cashier of the La Center State Bank, which was capitalized at $10,000, and also sold real estate. Mansfield was bank president for several years, and F.F. Myers was president in the 1920s.
The timber industry had provided a big economic impetus for north county but had declined by the ’20s.
In 1931 Button moved to Woodland, where his business was known as Securities State Bank. He was the president and largest stockholder until his retirement in 1952 because of ill health.
Button and his wife, Daisy, moved from La Center in 1941 to Cardai Hill in Clark County, across the old Lewis River bridge from Woodland. They moved in 1956 to Woodland.
In 1961, the Columbia River Presbytery purchased the land and buildings at Cardai Hill for a retreat and campground. Button died in January 1966.