History of Ipava

A rich historical foundation…

Jumping Mule — Ipava Corn and Horse Show — 1912

Early History

On September 19, 1846, Ipava—called Pleasantville at the time—was plotted by John Easley across eighteen lots of land. It was not until 1853—following the incorporation of the village that January—that the town name was changed to Ipava, possibly after a lake in South America by the same name. The town was later re-incorporated under new laws on July 17, 1872.

The first building in Ipava was erected in 1836, and soon a linseed oil mill was established. Later, around 1840, the linseed mill was converted into a woolen mill that remained in operation until 1905.

Ipava Woolen Mill, 1868

Banking History in Ipava

Ipava grew to be a well-known center of business, and by the late nineteenth century, the town was bustling, having two drugstores, two wagon shops, two blacksmiths, two hotels, two furniture stores, four doctors, a dress-making shop, a flour mill, and a bank.

That first bank, the Bank of Ipava, opened in 1875. Within six months of opening, it was sold, then sold again in November of 1902, eventually filing for bankruptcy in 1908.

Ipava was not left without a bank, however. In 1902, Ipava State Bank was organized, opening on September 11, 1902. We remain in operation to this day.

A photo of the original ISB location taken in 1909 with officers and stockholders standing out front, left to right: Charles Barrows, Charles B. Robinson, C.B. Hagans, Job Marshall, D.W. Carithers, Carl Marshall, and Chockley Robinson. This photograph hangs in each of our banking centers. It’s there to remind us where we came from, and to remind us of the high standards of customer service that got us to where we are today.

Camp Ellis


Due to US involvement in World War II, the Camp Ellis United States Army base was established near Ipava. The camp consisted of 17,750 acres and construction of the camp began in September of 1942. Soldiers were trained in a number of units, including Quartermaster, Engineering, and Medical. The Hospital Unit was activated on the first of June, 1943,
opening to train troops for various medical duties. It is also noted for developing the movement of Surgical Army Hospitals by air. The first airstrip was constructed in just twenty-three hours in November of 1943, and another strip was added soon after.

A prison-of-war camp opened at Camp Ellis in September of 1943, housing, at first, 6272 German prisoners-of-war. The number of those held at the camp later neared 5000. Prisoners who condemned the Nazi regime were allowed to work at various locations both on and off the campsite.

Camp Ellis remained open until 1945,
having trained a total of 125,000 men involving 456 separate units of training. A portion of the Camp continued to be used by the Illinois National Guard until 1950. After that point, the land was sold back to private owners,
who reclaimed most of the tillable acres of farmland.

Interior — Enlisted Men’s Barrack — Camp Ellis