Overview of Chattanooga State Banks
1855 Lookout Savings Institute
The Lookout Savings Institute was opened for business in 1855. Joseph Ruohs, a prominent citizen of that period, was President, and Jonathan P. McMillin, Cashier. Upon the approach of the Federal army during the war, the assets of the bank were carried by Mr. McMillin to Alabama. When the war was over, he returned to Chattanooga and accounted for every dollar of the assets. Mr. McMillin was the grandfather of Colonel Douglass N. McMillin, United States Army, Retired, a well known resident of Lookout Mountain.
1866 Chattanooga Discount and Deposit Bank
In 1866 the Chattanooga Discount and Deposit Bank, with an authorized
capital of $500,000.00, was organized. This bank was located at 143 Market
Street. John King was President; Thomas Crutchfield, Vice President; and
Allen C. Burns, Cashier. Mr. Burns was the father of the late W. A. Burns,
long a prominent citizen of Chattanooga, and for many years a director
of the Hamilton National Bank. The Chattanooga Discount and Deposit Bank
suspended operation in 1881, paying all depositors dollar for dollar.
1871 Freedman's Savings and Trust Company
In 1871, E. 0. Tade established a branch of the Freedman's Savings & Trust
Company. This was a national organization with many branches throughout
the South. When the national organization went into receivership in 1875,
the local branch suspended business.
1878 Mechanics and Traders Bank
The Mechanics and Traders Bank was organized in 1878, being located at Seventh and Market Streets until 1881, when it was succeeded by the Third National Bank. This 1881 bank was located on the present site of the Third National fifteen-story office building of the Hamilton Bank National Bank. Joseph C. Vance was President, and C. T. Wilson was Cashier. Mr. Vance was a brother of the late John C. Vance, who established the John C. Vance Iron and Steel Company.
1885 City Savings Bank
The City Savings Bank was organized in 1885 with a capital of $200,000.00,
and was located at Seventh and Market Streets, where Liggett's Drug Store
is now located. G. W. Thompson was President; G. H. Jamagin, Secretary;
and C. E. Stivers, Cashier. Mr. Jamagin was an uncle of Miss Eula Jamagin,
illustrious retired headmistress of the Girls Preparatory School, and
of the distinguished McCallie family, so long prominent in the educational
and civic life of the community. In 1888, I. B. Merriam succeeded to the
Presidency. Mr. Merriam was the father of the late I. B. Merriam, of the
Chattanooga Boiler and Tank Company, long a director of the Hamilton National
Bank. He was also the father of Gamett Merriam, now in the coal business
in Chattanooga. Like many other banks at that time, it suspended operation
during the great real estate boom of the period. The depositors were paid
in full and it is believed that the stockholders also were eventually
paid for the full amount of their stock.
1887 The Peoples Bank
The Peoples Bank was organized in 1887 with a capital of $200,000.00. W. H. Hart was President; Colonel E. Watkins, Vice President; and I. Noa, Cashier. Mr. Noa was made President in 1890. At the same time, J. L. Devine was made Vice President, together with D. J. Chandler. J. B. Nicklin, father of J. B. Nicklin, Jr., and of the late Strang and Colonel Ben Nicklin, was made Cashier. This bank was later absorbed by the Chattanooga National Bank.
1888 Bank of Chattanooga
1900 The Bank of Chattanooga
Wiehl, Probasco & Company, a partnership composed of F. F. Wiehl, H. S. Probasco, William Probasco, and A. J. Wisdom, organized the Bank of Chattanooga in 1888, and in 1900 it was chartered under the name of The Bank of Chattanooga. H. S. Probasco was President; Z. C. Patten, Sr., Vice President; and F. A. Nelson, Cashier. Mr. Probasco was the father of S. L. Probasco, now Chairman of the Board of the American National Bank and Trust Company. The son has been very active in civic affairs and is one of the most active citizens of Chattanooga today. Mr. Patten was President of the Volunteer State Life Insurance Company and had other extensive interests. Mr. Nelson is at the present time the Secretary and Manager of the Chattanooga Clearing House Association. The Bank of Chattanooga was succeeded in 1905 by the American National Bank.
The Bank of Chattanooga did not surrender its charter, however, but continued to handle trust matters. No deposits have been accepted by it since the organization of the American National Bank. Present officers are Summerfield K. Johnston, President; Mrs. Elizabeth R. Nelson, Vice President; and F. A. Nelson, Cashier.
1888 The Trust and Banking Company
The Trust and Banking Company was incorporated in 1888 and was located at Eighth and Broad Streets. D. J. O'Connell was President; Henry Bond, Vice President; and J. J. Anthony, Cashier. This bank suspended operations in 1893.
1888 The Citizens Bank and Trust Company
The Citizens Bank and Trust Company was organized in 1888 with a capital of $200,000.00. G. N. Henson was President; C. E. Buek and M. P. Mason, Vice Presidents; and R. M. Chambliss, Cashier. Mr. Chambliss was a brother of the Honorable A. W. Chambliss, at the time of his death Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, formerly a director of the Hamilton National Bank, and three times Mayor of Chattanooga. His nephew is the Honorable John Chambliss, now a prominent attorney and civic leader in this city. In July, 1908, the Citizens became a National bank and adopted the name of Citizens National Bank.
1889 South Chattanooga Savings Bank
1903 Hamilton Trust and Savings Bank
The South Chattanooga Savings Bank, located on the northwest corner of Main and Market Streets (Main Street then being known as Montgomery Avenue), started as a small institution in 1889 with a paid-in capital of only $10,000.00. M. J. O'Brien was the first President and S. M. Fugette was Cashier. Late in 1889 Thomas Ross Preston came to Chattanooga and joined the force of the South Chattanooga Savings Bank as a runner. He had had a small amount of banking experience at Woodbury, Tennessee, and Tullahoma, Tennessee. He was advanced to the position of Cashier, and later assumed the Presidency.
In 1903 the South Chattanooga Savings Bank changed its name to the Hamilton
Trust and Savings Bank, with quarters on the opposite side of the comer
of Main and Market, which is still the location of the Main Street Branch
of the Hamilton National Bank. T. R. Preston was President; A. A. Stong,
Vice President; and C. M. Preston (brother of T. R. Preston, Cashier.
The bank grew from the original small $10,000.00 paid-in capital to a
bank with a capital of $250,000.00, surplus of over $160,000.00, and resources
of over $3,800,000.00, with branches in East Chattanooga and Rossville,
Georgia-Tennessee. In 1929 the Hamilton Trust and Savings Bank merged
with the Hamilton National Bank, having been since 1920 under common stock
ownership. Since the merger, this has been the Main Street Branch of the
Hamilton National Bank, occupying commodious quarters on the ground floor
of its own well appointed office building, giving complete banking service
to thousands of citizens of that section of Chattanooga and to many from
North Georgia and northeastern Alabama as well.
Southern Bank and Trust Company
The Southern Bank and Trust Company was also organized in 1889, with a capital of $50,000.00. F. M. Stafford was President, and G. E. Rix, Cashier. It was liquidated in 1903.
1889 Chattanooga Savings Bank
1925 Chattanooga Savings Bank and Trust Company
The Chattanooga Savings Bank was incorporated in 1889 and was first located
on the northeast corner of Seventh and Broad Streets, across the street
from where the Hamilton National Bank is now located. Organized with a
capital of $50,000,000, N. E. Barker was President; S. R. Read, Vice and
Trust President; W. J. Wildam, Cashier; and W. Company A. Sadd, Assistant
Cashier. Mr. Read was long a prominent citizen of Chattanooga and proprietor
of the Read House. Mr. Sadd later became President, and held that position
at the time the Chattanooga Savings Bank was consolidated with the First
National Bank. In 1928 this bank completed and moved into new offices
on the ground floor of its own office building at the corner of Market,
Eighth, and Broad Streets, the name having been changed in 1925 to the,
Chattanooga Savings Bank and Trust Company. In February 1929, this bank
was consolidated with the First National Bank, which moved into the quarters
of the Chattanooga Savings Bank and Trust Company.
1890 Chattanooga Clearing House Association
The Chattanooga Clearing House Association was formally organized in January
1890, with T. G. Montague as President and W. E. Baskette, Vice President.
The Board of Managers consisted of I. Noa, C. R. Gaskill, C. E. Stivers,
and the President and Vice President, ex-officio. The following banks
were represented at the organization meeting: First National, Third National,
Fourth National, City Savings, Peoples Bank, and Citizens Bank and Trust
company. Rules were modeled on those of the New Orleans Clearing House.
The object of the Clearing House Association, as stated in the Chattanooga
Times the morning following the first meeting, was to "have some place
to meet at stated intervals, and place all the checks each bank has against
the others, drawing out the amount the checks entitle them to. It is merely
a movement to facilitate business between the local banks."
Formal records of the association are not available prior to June 12, 1901,
at which meeting it was voted that the secretary buy a minute book for
the association and charge each bank with its share of the expense. At
this same meeting, officers for the following year were elected as follows:
Manager, Charles A. Lyerly, President of the Chattanooga National Bank;
Secretary, C. M. Preston, Cashier of the South Chattanooga Savings Bank.
There was also discussion of a proposal to close at 2 :00 P. M. on Saturdays,
if the agreement of the non-Clearing House banks could be obtained. The
next meeting, on June 20, disclosed that the two non-Clearing House banks
-Chattanooga Savings Bank and The Bank of Chattanooga had refused to agree
to the early closing, and the matter was dropped for the time being. The
Chattanooga Savings Bank joined the association just a few months later.
Mr. Frank A. Nelson, having been a representative of The Bank of Chattanooga and American National Bank to the Gearing House for some time, was first elected as full time manager in January 1911, and provision was made for costs of a room and a stenographer. Mr. Nelson is still the manager of the Gearing House, and through the years has performed a notable service in handling inter-bank affairs in Chattanooga.
1890 Phoenix Bank and Trust Company
The Phoenix Bank and Trust Company was organized in 1890. A. M. Monds, Jr., was President; W. S. Huffine, Vice President; Robert Hibbler, Cashier. Mr. Hibbler was a great-uncle of Robert Hibbler, Jr., of the Hibbler-Anderson Company, one of our citizens at the present time. This bank suspended operations in 1893.
1890 Chattanooga Warehouse and Banking Company
The Chattanooga Warehouse and Banking Company was organized in 1890. W. E. Ashcraft was President; W. H. Hackney, Vice President; and J. R. Wallace, Cashier. This bank was never successfully launched.
1890 The Continental Bank of Chattanooga
The Continental Bank was organized in 1890 and issued stock. The signitures on the stock apper to be D. C. McMillin, President; and J. D. Livingston, Cashier. This bank was probably never successfully launched.
1890 Penny Savings Bank
The first bank for colored people in Chattanooga was the Penny Savings Bank, organized with $50,000.00 capital in 1890. J. W. White was President; J. E. Erwin, Vice President; and H. N. Willis, Cashier. It suspended operations in 1893.
1892 Union Trust and Banking Company
The Union Trust and Banking Company was organized in 1892, with Samuel Precott as President; W. H. Fernald, Vice President; and F. F. Smith, Cashier. This bank discontinued business in 1907.
1903 Security Bank and Trust Company
The Security Bank and Trust Company was organized in 1903, with David E. Clark as President. In 1904, J. E. Eddington succeeded to the Presidency. In 1917 this bank was absorbed by the newly formed Union Bank and Trust Company.
1906 Avenue Bank and Trust Company
The Avenue Bank and Trust Company was organized in January, 1906, and was capitalized at $50,000.00. It was located on the west side of Market Street near the corner of Main Street, then called Montgomery Avenue. Charles A. Lyerly was President; Joe S. Head, Vice President and Cashier; A. L. Kirkpatrick, Assistant Cashier; and Morgan Douglas, Teller. In March, 1913, this bank was absorbed by the Hamilton Trust and Savings Bank. At the time of the merger, the Avenue Bank also operated a branch at Rossville, which was continued as a branch of the enlarged bank. In February, 1927, the Rossville Branch occupied its new building, across the street from the original location. In 1948, this building was enlarged and improved, providing for the branch, now an office of the Hamilton National Bank, banking quarters second to none for convenience and efficiency in serving its thousands of customers in the Rossville area.
1907 The Loveman Bank
The Loveman Bank was organized in January, 1907, with B. E. Loveman, President; D. B. Loveman, Vice President; John Marshall, Cashier. It had a paid-in capital of $10,000.00. The Loveman Bank performed a useful service for twenty-five years; occupying space in Loveman's department store, it provided a convenient banking center for many downtown workers. The bank was voluntarily liquidated early in 1932, paying all depositors in full. At that time F. W. Pike was Cashier, and had been in active management for several years. The final published statement of the Loveman Bank showed approximately $142,000.00 in deposits.
Bank of East Chattanooga
The Bank of East Chattanooga was organized in 1907. T. A. Clark was President; A. J. Henderson and J. M. Stephens, Vice Presidents; and I. M. Shiver, Cashier. In 1922 this bank was absorbed by the Hamilton Trust and Savings Bank and continued to make rapid progress, as the latter's East Chattanooga Branch. In 1929, when the Hamilton Trust and Savings Bank was consolidated with the Hamilton National Bank, the East Chattanooga Branch continued as an office of the larger institution. A new building was built at the corner of Glass Street and North Chamberlain Avenue, which was again remodeled in 1948, providing the best of banking facilities for the East Chattanooga section and the northeastern part of Hamilton County.
1908 Farmers and Merchants Bank
In 1908 the Farmers and Merchants Bank, located on Whiteside Street (now South Broad), was organized. This bank continued in business for only a short time, being liquidated soon after the local stock was purchased by Atlanta interests. C. R. Wallace was President; W. S. Weatherford, Vice President; and W. G. Fortson, Cashier.
1911 Commercial Bank and Trust Company
1911 Bank of Commerce and Savings Company
1915 Bank of Commerce
The Commercial Bank and Trust Company was organized in 1911 and was located in the Temple Court Building, now the Jackson Building. Its capital was $50,000.00.
The officers of this bank were C. S. Steward, President; W. E. Dyer, Vice President; L. G. Browne, Cashier; and W. G. Ward, Assistant Cashier. Mr. Steward is still actively engaged in business in our city, being now President of the D. M. Steward Manufacturing Company. This bank was absorbed in 1915 by the newly formed Bank of Commerce.
The Bank of Commerce and Savings Company was also organized in 1911 with a capital of $100,000.00. The officers were C. L. Knoedler, President; J. S. Bell, Vice President; Hugh Crumbliss, Cashier. In 1915 this bank and the Commercial Bank and Trust Company were consolidated and adopted the name, Bank of Commerce. The officers of the new institution were C. L. Knoedler, President; E. F. Hixson, Vice President; and L. G. Browne, Cashier. Mr. Knoedler was later President for many years of the First National Bank of Polk County, at Copperhill, Tennessee. In December 1918, the business of the Bank of Commerce was taken over by the Hamilton National Bank.
1912 American Trust and Banking Company
The American Trust and Banking Company was organized in 1912, occupying quarters at Eighth and Broad Streets, moving a short time later to 734 Market Street. Still later a handsome new building was erected at the corner of Eighth and Market Streets, and in 1947 an addition, carrying the bank lobby through to Cherry Street, was opened. H. S. Probasco was the first President; E. Y. Chapin, Vice President and Trust Officer; S. L. Probasco, Vice President; and D. H. Griswold, Cashier. This institution enjoyed a splendid growth from the beginning and occupies an important place in the community. Late in 1948 it was converted to a national bank under the name of American National Bank and Trust Company.
-- 1946 American Trust Bank Report
-- American NB 1987 75th Anniversary Booklet
1913 St. Elmo Bank and Trust Company
In 1913 the St. Elmo Bank and Trust Company was organized. Z. c. Patten, Jr., was President; G. H. Patten and J. R. Huff, Vice Presidents; and C. N. Woodworth, Cashier. It had a paid-in capital of $10,000.00. On November 1, 1948, the St. Elmo Bank, grown to an institution with $50,000.00 capital, was acquired by the American National Bank and Trust Company, and continues to operate as the latter's St. Elmo Branch.
1916 Morris Plan Bank
1938 Pioneer Bank
The Morris Plan Bank of Chattanooga was chartered February 9, 1916, with capital of $50,000.00. Gaston C. Raoul was elected temporary president, and W. E. Brock temporary secretary. At a meeting on February 12, 1916, the following officers were elected: Gaston C. Raoul, President; John Stagmaier, Vice President; and Z. C. Patten, Jr., Vice President.
On November " 1938, the charter of the Morris Plan Bank of Chattanooga was amended to allow changing the name to Pioneer Bank and the institution of a regular commercial banking business. The Pioneer Bank has shown steady progress and now has a capital of $200,000.00, with total resources of over thirteen million dollars. George M. Oark is President; J. E. Green, E. R. Cotter, F. B. Kesler, and T. G. Holt, Vice Presidents; Earl J. Platt, Vice President and Cashier; and Ernest B. Shadden, Comptroller.
Pioneers of Old Frontiers
1917 Union Bank and Trust Company
The Union Bank and Trust Company was organized in 1917, with W. V. Turley as President; D. S. Etheridge, Vice President; and I. P. Milligan, Cashier. This bank continued to operate on the southeast corner of Ninth Street and Georgia Avenue until November, 1928, when its business was taken over by the Hamilton National Bank.
1920 First Trust and Savings Bank
In 1920 the First Trust and Savings Bank was organized with a capital of $500,000.00, with the following officers: Z. C. Patten, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Z. C. Patten, Jr., Vice Chairman; Captain Charles A. Lyerly, President; E. D. Walter, J. T. Lupton, C. C. Nottingham, and J. F. Hoskins, Vice Presidents; J. H. McDowell, Cashier. This Bank had quarters in the Volunteer Building at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Ninth Street. In October, 1929, it was absorbed by the First National Bank, and operated for a while as the Volunteer branch of that bank.
1923 Highland Trust and Savings Bank
The Highland Trust and Savings Bank was organized in 1923, with Doctor J. L. Austin, President; 0. P. Worley and I. L. Bridgers, Vice Presidents; and W. E. Nants, Cashier, with a paid-in capital of $35,000.00, and was located on McCallie Avenue near Highland Park Avenue. The bank was acquired by the Hamilton National Bank in July, 1929. As the Highland Park Branch of the Hamilton, it continued in the same location until 1947, when it moved into its new building at the corner of McCallie and Highland Park Avenues, one of the finest branch banking structures in the country.
1928 Industrial Credit Union Bank
The Industrial Credit Union Bank was organized in 1928, with J. F. Holbert,
President; C. G. Walline, Vice President; C. T. Perry, Secretary Treasurer;
C. F. Smith, Cashier; and W. G. Smith, Assistant Cashier. It operated
successfully for several years, until early in 1937, when faced with higher
capitalization requirements than the directors wished to meet, its deposit
accounts were turned over to the Highland Park Branch of the Hamilton
National Bank. It continues to operate as the Industrial Credit Union,
not receiving deposits, but specializing in consumer credit, under the
management of W. G. (Billy) Smith.
The Industrial Credit Union was later reoganized into the Ridgedale Bank and Trust Company at 1500 Dodds Avenue. Ridgedale is the area near Missionaly Ridge.
1930 Hamilton National Associates, Inc.
The Hamilton National Associates, incorporated on January 20, 1930, is a bank holding company, owning substantial amounts of stock in seventeen banks, from Johnson City, Tennessee, to Cedartown and Cartersville, Georgia. The Hamilton National Bank of Chattanooga is the largest bank of the group and the hub around which it is built. The organization of the Associates was the result of the work of Thomas R. Preston, at that time President,. and now Chairman of the Board, of the Hamilton of Chattanooga, and Charles M. Preston of Chattanooga, later President and Chairman of the Board of the Hamilton National Bank of Knoxville. The advantages to all communities served by the group are many: there is possible a greater diversity of investments and loans; managerial experience of all units can be pooled to the gain of all; loan policies can be developed along sounder lines; trust services are made available to more communities; centralized purchasing of supplies and insurance is possible, with resultant savings ; bonds and investments receive more expert attention. The December 31, 1948, consolidated statement of all the group banks showed deposits of over two hundred seventy-five million dollars and resources over two hundred ninety-two million. Present officers of the Associates are: T. R. Preston, President; H. P. Preston, D. B. Harris, and Frank Morast, Vice Presidents; D. S. Zachry, Secretary Treasurer; and Misses Lula Strain and Mindel Damewood, Assistant Secretary Treasurers. During the 1930's, the period of the worst depression in our history, there was not a single failure among the member banks of the Hamilton National Associates.