First National Bank Plays a Major Role in Local History
First National Bank was chartered November 18, 1888 and started business January 12, 1889. F. E. Carr was the organizer and primary stockholder until 1893. Carr also served as cashier.
The first directors of the bank were , Henry P. Hildebrandt, J. J. Tucker, O. J. Miller, J. H. Donley, E. E. Kimball, F. E. Carr, R. R. Price, J. W. Sponable and M. T. January.
Wellington Barnes became cashier in the mid 1890's and served in that capacity until 1907. He started acquiring stock in 1893 and was the only person ever to own over 50% of the shares individually. He had 501 shares which he held until 1907.
E. E. Kimball served as the first president from 1889 until mid 1890. Hiram L. Tillotson became president in 1890 and served until his death in June 1902. Theodore Lacaff was then elected president and served until 1909. Wooddy Swearingen came to the bank in the late 1890's and started acquiring stock, he served as cashier after Wellington Barnes from 1907 until 1936. F. H. Glenn was president from 1909 to 1936. Wooddy Swearingen became president in 1936 and remained in that office until 1957. The Swearingen family gained control with over 50% ownership of the stock in 1963.
J. W. Swearingen took over as cashier in 1936 and remained as cashier until 1957 when he became president. He served as president until 1990. George Swearingen took over as cashier in 1957. He later became Vice President and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1975. For a list of current Officers and Directors click here.
The First National Bank has always been located on the northeast corner of the Nevada Square. The building started with the east 20 feet on the northeast corner of the square. In 1909 the bank added a 20-feet expansion to the west. In 1958 the bank was expanded to its present size with the acquisition of another 20 feet to the west. Another expansion occurred in 1973 when the bank expanded to the north and put in the present drive-through facility.
In 1998 First National Bank started another major renovation project which was completed the end of 1999. The exterior of the bank was returned to the 1909 façade and the entire interior was remodeled, with additional office space being added on the second floor.
First National Bank is currently owned by 1889 Bancshares, Inc.