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History of the First State Bank of Paint Rock

On October 18, 1909, a meeting of all the subscribers to the $25,000 capital stock of a proposed new state bank was held in the offices of W. C. Montgomery Co. in downtown Paint Rock, Texas. The stockholders, many of whom became directors in the bank, were area ranchers and businessmen whose desire for an independent community bank led them to form an organization that no single stockholder could dominate. None of the original stockholders owned more than 30% of the stock of the bank, and no one has ever owned a majority interest in the bank to this day. The bank opened for business in April 1910, as the Guaranty State Bank of Paint Rock.

The wisdom of the founders is reflected in the longevity and continued independence of the bank. An example of their forward-thinking leadership is seen in the area of privacy. Section No. 21 of the original By-Laws adopted in 1910 addresses the issue of customer privacy rather straightforwardly, and has provided clear guidance in this area for over 110 years. “All business of the bank shall be deemed confidential and the disclosure of any material fact in connection with the business of the Bank on the part of any officer or employee (except when duly required by legal authority, and except the necessary information to customers relating to their own affairs) shall be sufficient ground for removal or discharge.” With this kind of guidance from the start, and with a trade area that encompassed a wide variety of agricultural activities, including the production of cotton, wheat, and milo, as well as cattle, sheep, and goats, the bank grew steadily. By 1920 total assets had risen to more than $350,000.00, and capital had almost doubled.

In February 1925, the bank changed its name to the First State Bank of Paint Rock in reflection of a move by the state banking department to replace the old guaranty system of chartering and regulating state banks. In this time before the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the character of the bank’s officials had much to do with the confidence of the depositors and the strength of the bank. This bank was fortunate to have R. T. Trail, a well-respected area rancher, as its President from its organizational meeting until his death in December 1930, and J. M. Patton for the next thirty years. A banker friend from Big Lake remarked many years ago that they would close the U. S. Mint before they closed Patton’s bank. Nonetheless, the bank did become a member of the FDIC, and depositors’ accounts are currently insured by that organization. During the ‘40s the banks total assets passed the $1 million level, and during the ‘60s they rose through the $2 million level. By the early ‘80s total assets had reached $10 million, and in the early ‘90s $20 million was surpassed.

The bank opened a branch in San Angelo in May 1997, and with the growth enjoyed there, total assets have exceeded $135 million and the banks total capital has grown to over $15 million. The bank remains strongly capitalized and ready for future growth. The guiding philosophy of the bank remains that of its founders: to provide the best possible banking service to all of our customers, and in so doing, promote the welfare of communities in which we serve.