Saturday, April 12, 2008

Corsicana--Then and Now: First National Bank

The photo on the right is the building today. It's being remodeled currently and I believe it is an apartment building. The following is taken from:

"The First National Bank was nationalized on July 1, 1886, becoming the first bank in Corsicana to be chartered as a national bank. The bank had a capital stock of $100,000 which was increased the following year to $125,000 and a surplus of $75.000.

Captain Garitty was a Czar banker but constantly concerned with the welfare of the people. He personally loaned money to those in need. In the early days of the bank his personal account was around $50,000, but by 1920 it was rumored at$75,000.

The Captain always walked home with his pockets full of quarters and half dollars to give to small boys who trailed him home. He always fulfilled a philosophy of his to give away money each day to the less fortunate. He once initialed a note for a twelve year old boy who needed to by a horse in order to get a newspaper route. The boy worked hard to keep the Captain's trust in him and paid the note out.

Garitty continued throughout his long banking career to loan money to people who would pay hi back, not to people who could put up security. His theory was if a man could put up security he was not in need of help and would not bother with such loans.

It is said that the Captain was the best judge of moral character, and as a result had very few loans to go bad. Of course, he did accept poor risks by standards of the bank examiners; however, if a loan was questioned by the examiners, he would write a check on his personal account and take over the loan himself. Never at any time, though, was his honesty questioned by the most suspicious examiners.

As business flourished in Corsicana the First national Band did likewise. To date it has outgrown four locations. When first established by Adams and Leonard, the bank was located in a boxed house known as the Fundt Building on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Beaton Street. Later it was moved further south and across Beaton Street, relocating in 1915 on the corner of Beaton Street and Sixth Avenue." (THIS IS THE BUILDING PICTURED ABOVE)

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