The small rural town of Tightwad, Missouri has a funny name and now a bank that’s looking to make a buck.

I didn’t know that ‘opening a bank’ was the kind of entrepreneurial endeavor that causes light bulbs to go off, but apparently it did in the case of Donald Higdon, from nearby Kansas.

I guess Missouri is fond of wacky town names because some other ones located nearby include : Peculiar, Racket, Blackjack, Wisdom and Fair Play.

People driving by the little town are always amused by the name and love taking pictures outside the small bank’s sign. But that’s where the curiosity stops I guess. The Washington Post did the king of all ‘folksy human interest’ pieces on this little bank (they even made a ‘cents of humor’ joke!) and explains their dilemma:

Higdon’s challenge is to convert curiosity into cash.

To supplement the take from deposits, which have grown from zero to about $1 million, the bank sells Tightwad gear — $14 hats, a $9 mug, a $30 polo shirt.

The next product will be a Tightwad Bank gift card, designed for “your favorite uncle, also known as Cheapskate Charlie.”

Not a bad idea, but I’m not sure I would call this little foray a brilliant business decision just yet. I do give them credit for trying to open and run a an FDIC insured fully operating bank on the premise of a silly pun joke, but is that really very business-savvy? It getting top billing in the Washington Post and on amazing sites like Wall Street Fighter, so that’s gotta count for something as far as marketing goes.

Well, they at least need to get the Google Maps guys out there ASAP:

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Washington Post: In Rural Missouri, The Place To Bring Your Cents Of Humor, August 18, 2008