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History of The Comanche National Bank

On the evening of December 19, 1889, John B. Chilton and a group of local businessmen met in Mr. Chilton’s second-floor downtown living quarters to establish the bank and elect a Board of Directors. Minutes of the organizational meeting declared the name of the bank to be “The Comanche National Bank” with a capital stock of $50,000.

The bank was issued its Charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and opened its doors to the public on March 17, 1890. By the end of 1890, deposits had grown to $47,451 and total assets were $136,064.

On April 14, 1891, the bank purchased the lot on the west end of the south side of the square for a new banking house. At this time, extensive construction was taking place in Comanche. The first train arrived in 1891 and the handsome new county courthouse was nearing completion. Scottish stone cutters, imported to work on the construction of the courthouse, made the attractive cut stone trim that can still be seen on the building today. The bank occupied this building from January 1892 to June 1969.


The Comanche National Bank has survived frontier times, world wars, droughts and was one of the few banks in the nation which remained open during and after the Great Depression of the 1930’s. As the bank continued to prosper, it outgrew its facilities on the southwest corner of the square. On March 11, 1968, the bank purchased property from Higginbotham Bros. & Co. to build a new bank building. The new facility was opened on June 2, 1969.

As the bank continued to increase in size and to serve the needs of the Comanche trade area, the bank outgrew its quarters at 200 W. Central. The bank purchased the present location in late 1984 and completed extensive remodeling and opened the new facility in April 1987.

Strong leadership throughout the bank’s history has helped the financial institution weather economic downturns and prosper during periods of growth. The Comanche National Bank is proud of its heritage and its history of sound banking service to the Comanche area. Today it stands as one of the strongest banks in the State of Texas.

Comanche National Bank is committed not only to the community and its future, but to providing the highest quality of personal, friendly banking services to our customers in Comanche and surrounding areas.

History of First National Bank of Santo

Taken from assembly minutes March 1, 1906 in Santo, Palo Pinto County:  "Be it remembered that there was convened and held in the town of Santo in the County of Palo Pinto and the State of Texas a mass meeting of individuals called together for the purpose of organizing a Bank in the town of Santo in said county and State."

  

These minutes heralded the establishment of First National Bank of Santo. At this March organizational meeting the Board of Directors were elected. On April 25, 1906 the Board voted to take over the assets of the Merchants and Farmers Bank of Santo. The reigning Director resigned and the Board elected A.B. Gilbert to assume his position. This began an era of the Gilbert family involvement with First National Bank of Santo. A.B. (Bide) Gilbert and his son A.F. (Jake) Gilbert were original shareholders in 1906 and remained so their entire lives. Jake's son A.B. graduated high school in 1934. He had aspirations of attending Texas A&M University but his father was ill and he felt it his responsibility to stay in Santo and run the family ranch. He was encouraged by then bank President Claude Hatchet to work in the bank a while, assuring him it would equal a college education. A.B. agreed. He stayed home, worked at both the family ranch and the bank, as well as taking care of his folks. Under his rule the growth of the bank required a new building which opened in June 1980. During the next 18 years additional branches were opened to serve surrounding communities: Palo Pinto Banking Center, April 27, 1987; Mingus Banking Center, June 3, 1991; and Millsap Banking Center, October 6, 1998. Much of the bank's success was due to A.B.'s desire to "help people have a better life". A.B. passed away in June 2004 after devoting his life to First National Bank of Santo and his extended family, the citizens of Santo and the surrounding communities. His values remain with the current employees and it is still their desire to serve the customers of the bank with old-fashioned, honest and friendly service.

A New Era Begins 

On August 11, 2006, the opportunity arose to unify two very similar organizations into a strong, solid banking family. Both shared a dedication to local people, local decisions, and hometown banking as well as a commitment to investment back into their communities.  Combined, our staff has over 220 years of banking experience, sharing one united vision and mission.

Continuing the dedication to provide hometown banking services and the commitment to investing back into our communities, the decision was made to open a banking center in Cool, Texas.  The Cool Banking Center officially opened on July 11, 2011 and will serve customers in Cool, Garner, Mineral Wells and surrounding areas.

Vision

Help those we serve - community, customers, employees and shareowners - achieve their goals and dreams through our financial products and services.

Mission

Provide meaningful financial services for generations.

Guidance

Assure that the organization is in a continuing state of Safety and Soundness.

Provide:

  1. Integrity, honesty, fair dealing and diligence to assure quality financial services are available for our customers
  2. A professional work environment for our employees
  3. A fair return on investment for our shareowners
  4. A responsive and responsible financial partner for our community
  5. Continuing compliance with the letter and spirit of the laws, rules and regulations governing the financial services industry

Maintain the good reputation of the corporation, its subsidiaries, its people and the goodwill of the general public each and every day, as we help those we serve reach their goals and dreams.