The First National Bank of Eagle Lake
Organized Banking began in Eagle Lake in 1896 with the formation of a private Bank known as Vineyard, Walker & Co., private Bankers. Six years later, in 1903, the Eagle Lake Headlight carried the following article: “The Newsome corner lot where Abe Beakes’ barber shop now stands was sold yesterday to W. T. Eldridge for a consideration of $3,250.00, which is the highest price yet paid for Eagle Lake real estate. We are informed that a two-story brick building, which will be used for a Bank to be erected on the lot.” This is the earliest mention of what turned out to be The First National Bank of Eagle Lake. Organization plans were formulated late in 1903, the building was constructed and the charter issued as of December 30, 1904, to W. T. Eldridge, B.L. Vineyard, A. M. Waugh, G. W. Deaton, and Chas. Davis, who served as the first President. The Bank opened for business on January 3, 1905, with Capital of $25,000.00.
Mr. Charles Davis resigned after one day as President in order for William Green, a professional Banker from Shiner, Texas, to assume the leadership of the Bank. Since that time, only nine other men have served as President: namely, J. J. Whatley from October, 1906 to January, 1916, Fox Stephens from January, 1916 to March, 1918, Frank Stephens from May, 1918 to December, 1920, W. S. Strickland from December, 1920 to November, 1942, Wm. E. Lenhart from January, 1943 to January, 1960, G. H. Crane from January, 1960 to February, 1963, Wm. Harrison, Sr. from February 1963 to April, 1979, and Wm. H. Harrison, Jr. from April, 1979 to December, 2004. Sam Kana became CEO/President on January 1, 2005, and continues to this date.
The first Call Report by the Comptroller of the Currency came just after opening on January 11, 1905. It showed total loans of $31.00, total deposits of $7,348.00, and total assets of $35,872.00.
For over 110 years, our Bank has been a strong and friendly source of financial services. It is independently owned by some 85 plus shareholders, most of whom live right here in Eagle Lake.
Although we continue to occupy the same “Newsome corner lot” purchased in 1903, that original structure was replaced in 1958. Significant expansion in 1982 doubled the amount of work area and drive-up facilities. In April, 2000 we opened our East Bernard Banking Center. Our Columbus Banking Center opened August 2004. Throughout our history, we have continually upgraded facilities and equipment so that employees and customers may enjoy comfort, convenience and the efficiency of modern Bank technology.