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 lead 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. One example of their prescience is seen in the area of privacy, recently
a great concern of the federal government, which is requiring new policies and procedures
to implement the privacy guarantees of recent legislation. 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 90 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
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 risen as high as $71 million. With $7.3 million in capital
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 the entire community,
including deposit customers, loan customers, and stockholders. It is in this spirit
that we have entered the age of electronic banking.