|Arndt began his banking career in Toronto, SD, on July 1, 1917 and worked over the next 14 years for banks in Toronto and Castlewood with an interruption for Naval duty during World War I. In 1931, he became a bank examiner, which eventually brought him to Rapid City where he was given the difficult task of liquidating the Pennington County Bank. On April 11, 1934, the Rapid City National Bank & Trust Co. (a successor to the liquidated bank) opened its door for the first time with Art Dahl as its managing officer.
Art was far ahead of his time as a banker in the faith and trust he placed in the people of Western South Dakota who had an idea and needed a bank loan. He was a pioneer in the banking philosophy that a customer was doing the bank a favor in requesting a loan, not vice-versa. He was an innovator in banking services, not for innovation sake alone, but only when it meant new and improved service for bank customers. Innovations included the first drive-in bank; a personal loan department (unheard of at the time); a trust department; and expanded service to the people of Rapid City through branch banks. <p>Arndt, for all his success as a banker, never forgot the importance of the values taught by his parents. His sole contribution to the building of the replica Norwegian Stave Church in memory of his parents is a tribute to those values. His building, an art center in Rapid City, the Dahl Fine Art Center, has acknowledged his gratitude to the people of the area and what they have done for him. <p>Dahl was the president of the South Dakota Bankers Association in 1947 and Regent at Augustana College from 1962 – 1971. In 1960, he was appointed by President Eisenhower to serve on Assay Comm. at U.S. Mint, Philadelphia.
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