Russian settler Peter Jansesn (Jansen) and a small group of 50 fellow Mennonites left Russia in 1873 and purchased 20,000 acres from the Burlington and Missouri Railroad where they established seven settlements. With word of the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad coming through the area, Jansen bought 80 more acres and on Aug 20, 1886, mapped out the town.
Railroad officials honored Jansen by naming the new town after him. Within one year, 13 businesses had been build, including a bank. Founded by Jansen, the bank ans operated continuously since that time, though it has changed leaders and names.