SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
                           Washington, D.C.  20549
                                       
                                       
                                   FORM 8-K
                                       
                                       
                                CURRENT REPORT
                                       
Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934


Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported):     October 18, 1996  


                       FIRST MIDWEST FINANCIAL, INC.                 
         (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)


  Delaware                       0-22140               42-1406262        
(State or other jurisdiction (Commission File No.)    (IRS Employer     
     of incorporation)                                 Identification No.)
                                       
Fifth at Erie, Storm Lake, Iowa                                   50588  
(Address of principal executive offices)                       (Zip Code)


Registrant's telephone number, including area code:  (712) 732-4117  


                               N/A                                   
(Former name or former address, if changed since last report)


Item 5.    Other Events

     On October 18, 1996, the Registrant issued the attached press release.

Item 7.    Financial Statements and Exhibits

     (a)  Exhibits

          99   Additional Exhibits
               
               Press release, dated October 18, 1996.

SIGNATURES                             

     Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
the Registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on its behalf by
the undersigned thereunto duly authorized.

                                   FIRST MIDWEST FINANCIAL, INC.




Date: October 18, 1996             By:  /s/ Donald J. Winchell            
                                   Donald J. Winchell, Vice President,
                                   Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and
                                   Principal Accounting Officer


                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                   Contact:  Kristi L. Frey
                                   Telephone:  712-732-4117



                     FIRST MIDWEST FINANCIAL, INC.       
                   REPORTS FISCAL YEAR EARNINGS AND
                  ANNOUNCES STOCK REPURCHASE PROGRAM

                     
(Storm Lake, Iowa - October 18, 1996)  First Midwest Financial,
Inc. today reported net income of $3,209,000, or $1.78 per share,
for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1996, excluding a one-
time special assessment from the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (FDIC) to recapitalize the Savings Association
Insurance Fund (SAIF).  This represents a 10.2% increase over the
previous fiscal year, when net income was $2,912,000, or $1.64
per share, excluding a one-time after-tax gain of $632,000, or
$.35 per share, on the sale of securities resulting from the
restructure of the Company's portfolio of mortgage-backed
securities.  

For the 1996 fourth quarter, First Midwest had net income of
$813,000, or $.45 per share, excluding the special assessment. 
Fourth quarter net income represents an 11.1% increase over the
same period in 1995, when net income was $732,000, or $.41 per
share.

During the 1996 fourth quarter, First Midwest recognized a
$1,266,000 pre-tax charge as a result of federal legislation
passed and signed into law on September 30, 1996, which requires
all SAIF insured thrift institutions to pay a one-time special
assessment to restore the SAIF to its statutory reserve level. 
The legislation also provides for a reduction in SAIF deposit
insurance premiums in subsequent periods.  On an after-tax basis,
the charge was $795,000, or $.44 per share, which reduced First
Midwest's per share net income for the 1996 fourth quarter and
fiscal year to $.01 and $1.34, respectively.

In other news, First Midwest announced today that its Board of
Directors has authorized the repurchase by the Company of up to
150,000 shares of its outstanding common stock.  The Company
intends to repurchase the shares, depending upon market
conditions, from time to time over a twelve month period.

James S. Haahr, President and Chief Executive Officer of First
Midwest, indicated that the Board of Directors authorized the
repurchase program in view of the strong capital position of the
Company's subsidiaries, First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest
and Security State Bank.  The repurchased shares will become
treasury shares and will be used for general corporate purposes,
including the issuance of shares in connection with grants and
awards under the Company's stock-based benefit plans.

At September 30, 1996, First Midwest had assets of $388.0 million
and stockholders' equity of $43.2 million, or $22.21 per common
share outstanding.  Total assets reflect the previously announced
acquisition of Central West Bancorporation, the holding company
for Security State Bank, Stuart, Iowa, which was completed on
September 30, 1996.  Central West had total assets of $32.6
million at the date of acquisition.

During the 1996 fourth quarter, First Midwest shares traded
between $21.75 and $24.75.  The stock of First Midwest Financial,
Inc. is traded on the Nasdaq National Market System under the
symbol "CASH".  At September 30, 1996, First Midwest had
1,945,735 common shares outstanding.  

CORPORATE PROFILE:

First Midwest Financial, Inc. was formed in 1993 as a unitary
savings and loan holding company in conjunction with the
conversion of  First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest from
mutual to stock form on September 20, 1993.  In conjunction with
the acquisition of Security State Bank on September 30, 1996,
First Midwest became a bank holding company.  The Company's
primary business is marketing financial deposit and loan products
to meet the needs of its customers.  First Federal currently has
seven offices in a four-county area in Iowa, the two offices of
Brookings Federal Bank Division of First Federal in Brookings,
South Dakota, and the one office of Iowa Savings Bank Division of
First Federal in Des Moines, Iowa.   Security State Bank has
three offices in west central Iowa.