The following is excerpted from the Bonham Daily Favorite, December 16, 1960
First National Has 77-Year Record of Service to Community
It was a cold and bleak December afternoon 77 years ago that 24 Bonham businessmen named the first board of directors and set of officers for the First National bank of Bonham, now in its new and modern home just across the street from where it has done business since its organization.
W. A. Nunnelee was elected president of the bank in that meeting and A. B. Scarborough, who later served as president on two occasions, was named cashier and John A. Barnard was elected assistant cashier.
Immediately after organization, the directors forwarded their Articles of Association with an application for a charter to the Comptroller of Currency, Washington, D.C.
John J. Knox, Comptroleer of Currency for the United States, approved the Articles of Association and application for a charter on Dec. 12, 1883 - just 12 days after the application had been filled.
On Jan. 28, 1884 - just a bit over a month after the board had been organized and the charter granted - the First National Bank opened its doors for business and hasn't missed a day of business since except for legal holidays and the period in 1933 when banks were closed by order of President F. D. Roosevelt.
Many of the original 24 stockholders of the First national bank were fathers and grandfathers of present Bonham businessmen, who also are stockholders and in some instances director in the banking institution.
The 24 original stockholders were John Barnard, A. B. Scarborough, Dr. J. S. Saunders, M. W. Halsell, H. E. Taylor, B. F. Dyer, M. Rosenbaum, J. B. Shortridge, W. A. Nunnelee, Smith Lipscomb, David Waggoner, J. S. Haden, A. W. Wilson, E. D. McClellan, S. B. Howard, J. N. Hughes, John A. Agnew, C. W. T. Weldon, Judge William A. Bramlette, Joshua L. Smith, M. H. Turner, Henry J. Levine, D. J. Evans and J. H. Nail.
When organized Dec. 8, 1883, the bank had a capital stock of $60,000 with all shares of $100 per value subscribed.
The number of shares held by the original stockholders ranged from 102 owned by Scarborough and 100 by Halsell down to one by J. L. Smith of Dodd City.
Haden and Nail were from Ladonia, Wilson and Smith from Dodd City and Turner was from Wolfe City. The remaining 19 stockholders all lived in Bonham.
W. A. Nunnelee was elected president of the bank at its organization in 1883 and served until his death when Capt. S. B. Allen, for whom the now closed S. B. Allen Memorial hospital was named, was elected president.
On Capt. Allen's death, A. B. Scarborough was elected president of the institution and served until 1921 when he was named chairman of the board and D. W. Sweeney was elected president and served in that capacity until his death in 1944.
Dick Saunders, who has been associated with the bank for the past 54 years, was elected president Jan. 9. 1945, and is serving in that capacity at the present time.
. . . .
An early location of the
First National Bank
Oldest bank in Fannin County, chartered December 12, 1883.
At that time, County had 25,000 people; farming and industry prospered; a new railroad was being built; seven schools and colleges and three newspapers were in operation. Growth of the bank has paralleled and contributed to Bonham's growth. Many descendants of the 24 original stockholders remain affiliated with its interests. Presidents have been: W. A. Nunnelee, 1883-1897; S. B. Allen, 1897 - 1902; A. B. Scarborough, 1902-1921/1925-1944; D. W. Sweeney, 1921-1925; Dick Saunders, 1944-
Location: 120 W. Sam Rayburn, Bonham