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The Nine Founders of First National Bank

In September, 1905 nine leaders of Camden County Missouri established First National Bank of Linn Creek - the predecessor of First National Bank. Those founders included farmers, stockmen, businessmen, a physician, and political leaders of the County. The founders were active not only in the formation of the new bank in 1905, but also in the business operation of the bank. They invested time as well as dollars to ensure the success of First National Bank. Three of the nine original founders served as presidents of First National (A. J. Watson - 1905 to 1911; W. F. Claiborne - 1911 to 1937; Charles Anderson - 1937 to 1945). One of the nine founders, John M. Farmer, served as the first Cashier of the bank and remained Head Cashier from the founding of the bank in 1905 until his death in 1932.

The nine original founders were:

Andrew Jackson Watson (A.J. Watson), a Linn Creek businessman, who served as the first president of First National Bank of Linn Creek from the first day of business on September 5, 1905 until his death in 1911. Charles Anderson, a Montreal farmer and businessman, who served as vice president from 1911 until 1937 and president from 1937 until his death in 1945.
   
W.F. Claiborne, a Decaturville businessman, farmer and stockman, former postmaster, and Presiding Judge of Camden County, who served as vice president of the Bank from 1906 to 1911, and president of First National from 1911 until his death in 1937. John M. Farmer, a businessman and Camden County judge, who served as cashier from the day the bank first opened for business in 1905 until his death in 1932.
   
Benjamin Franklin Kendrick, a farmer who served as the Bank’s first vice president from Sept. 1905 to March 1906. (picture not available) Luke Valentine Moulder, and George W. Byler, who were both Camden County farm owners.(pictures not available)
   
   
Cyrus Garrett, a farmer and stockman, who was not only a founder of First National Bank, but also was the president of the Macks Creek Bank at the time of his death in 1947. Thomas Jefferson Feaster (T. J. Feaster), a physician in Camden County from 1890 until he moved his practice to Warsaw, Mo. in 1910. He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives for two terms representing Camden County from 1896-1900, and elected a state senator in 1910 representing Benton County.

Presidents of First National Bank

1905 – 1911
Andrew Jackson Watson

Andrew Jackson Watson (A.J. Watson) was a Linn Creek stockman, farmer owner, and businessman owning a clothing store in old Linn Creek, Missouri.  He was born in 1857 in Camden County and lived there his entire life.  He served as the president of First National Bank of Linn Creek from the first day of business on September 5, 1905 until his death in 1911.  His obituary included that he “was public spirited in an aggressive, personal way and Linn Creek owes much of its growth and development to his enterprise.  He was positive in his friendships, liberal in any cause to which he was committed, and remarkably sagacious and farsighted in all business matters.”  He was one of the original founders of First National Bank.

   

1911 – 1937
William Franklin Claiborne

William Franklin Claiborne (W.F. Claiborne) was a Decaturville businessman, farmer and stockman, former postmaster, former Camden County clerk, collector, and Presiding Judge of the County Court.  He served as vice president of the Bank from 1906 to 1911, and president of First National from 1911 until his death in 1937.  He was born in 1855 in Camden County and lived his entire life in the Decaturville area.  His obituary noted that “ ‘Uncle Billy’ as he was called by hundreds of his admirers during the last few years of his life was not wholly occupied with business and politics for he took time to be a part of the community in developing civic organizations and promoting the community in general.” He was one of the original founders of First National Bank.

   

1937 – 1945
Charles Anderson

Charles Anderson was a Montreal farmer and businessman who served as vice president of First National from 1911 until 1937 and president from 1937 until his death in 1945.  He was born in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1854 and came to American when he was twenty years old, settling in Camden County.  He purchased a farm a year after coming to Camden County and resided on the farm from age twenty two until the time of his death at nearly ninety years old.  His obituary noted that he was “known far and near by the younger and middle age people of this section as ‘uncle Charley Swede Anderson’ and was held in high esteem by both old and young alike.’”   He also was an original founder of First National Bank.

   

1945
William Odus Esther

William Odus Esther (W.O. Esther) was a stockman, farmer, and former Camden County clerk, recorder, and collector.  W. O. Esther was born in Decaturville, MO in 1884.  He lived his whole life in Camden County.  At the urging of neighbors, he subdivided his farm to provide the site for new Linn Creek in 1930 when the Lake of the Ozarks waters flooded the original town of Linn Creek.  He was active in civic affairs, serving as one of the first members of the board of trustees of new Linn Creek and a member of the Linn Creek board of education. He was the first man to serve as president of First National who was not one of the original nine founders.  However, he had ties to the original founders as his father in law, W.F. Claiborne, was an original founder and former president of First National.

   

1945 - 1961
George W. Garrett

George W. Garrett was a farmer and businessman.  He was born in Camden County, MO in 1890 and died in 1972 having lived his whole life in Camden County.  His father, Cyrus Garrett, was one of the original founders of First National Bank.  George Garrett served as president from 1945 until 1961.  At the time of his death in 1972 George had served more than 41 years on the board of directors of First National Bank.

   

1961 - 1977
Lee W. Farmer

Lee Wendell Farmer, a life-long Camden County resident, was born in 1909 in old Linn Creek.  He worked at First National Bank as head cashier before serving from 1961 – 1977 as president.  Lee was a businessman and a founder of Farmer-Foster Insurance Company in Camdenton. He co-founded Clark Construction Company which contracted secondary roads throughout the state.  He was a former mayor of Camdenton and active in civic organizations in the community.  His father, John M. Farmer, was an original founder of First National Bank and was head cashier from the Bank’s opening in 1905 until his death in 1932.

   

1977 - 2007
Richard Goins

Richard Goins (Dick Goins) served First National Bank in various capacities during his 41 years of employment. He became president in 1977 and is the longest serving president with over thirty years in that position.  During his leadership, First National expanded service to citizens with branch banks established in the Lake of the Ozarks area.  Dick was the first president of First National Bank who was not related to one of the original nine founders of First National Bank. 

   

2007 - 2013
K. Clayton Rogers

K. Clayton Rogers, a graduate of Drury University, Springfield, MO, started his employment with First National Bank in 1990. In 2007 he was promoted to president of the bank. During his tenure, a new branch bank was established in Camdenton to provide convenient service to citizens in the area.


National Bank Notes

National Bank Notes were currency issued by banks throughout the United States from 1863 to 1935. Over 12,000 banks issued the notes. They were printed by the federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing and are still legal tender today (although they are worth more to collectors than their face value).

The National Bank Notes were similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve Notes in appearance. The exception was that the locally issued National Bank Notes included the name of the local issuing bank, the bank's federal charter number, the name of the town and state where the bank was located, and the signatures of the bank's president and cashier.

The U.S. Government authorized National Bank Notes as a way to promote local banks. Banks with a federal charter would deposit bonds in the U.S. Treasury. The banks then could print bank notes worth up to 90% of the value of the bonds. The federal government would back the value of the notes.

The National Bank Note program ended in 1935 during the great depression due to the failure of many banks and the shaken confidence of people in the banks.

The First National Bank of Linn Creek participated in the National Bank Note program. Below is a copy of a ten dollar bill National Bank Note, Series 1929, issued by the First National Bank of Linn Creek, Linn Creek, MO. Cashier John S. McCrory and bank president, W.F. Claiborne's signatures appear on the bill. Descendents of both John S. McCrory and W. F. Claiborne are on the First National Bank board of directors.

   

First National Bank Locations - Moving to Serve the Citizens

First National Bank's headquarters have moved five times - always to provide better access and service to the customers. First National also has added branch banks to increase the banking opportunities across the Lake area communities.

The initial banking headquarters of First National was established in September 1905 in old Linn Creek, MO The First National Bank of Linn Creek was located on the main business street (U.S. Highway 54). A picture of the first bank location is on the wall of the current First National Bank headquarters in Camdenton, MO.


First National Bank of Linn Creek (1905 - 1930)

With the creation of Lake of the Ozarks and the flooding of old Linn Creek, First National Bank moved to the new town, new Linn Creek, in 1930. The bank was located on the North side of the business street (U.S. Highway 54) in the middle of the block. The one-story, yellow brick building in new Linn Creek remained the banking headquarters until 1946.

In 1946 the decision was made to move the bank to Camdenton to take better advantage of the business opportunities offered by the larger, faster growing town.

First National Bank of Linn Creek and Camdenton (and later the change of name to First National Bank) has been in three different locations in Camdenton since 1946. Its first location was in the Masonic Lodge building on the East side of the square, a two-story red brick building. In the 1960s the bank was moved to the Harwood Hotel Building on the North side of the square. The building was an English Tudor style structure. A more modern screen fašade was added to the front of the building.


First National Bank's First Location in Camdenton, MO (1946-1960s)


First National Bank's Second Location in Camdenton, MO (1960s-1970s)


First National Bank's Third Location in Camdenton, MO (1970s-current)

The third and current location of First National Bank's headquarters is on North Business Route Highway 5, Camdenton, MO. First National also established branch locations in Osage Beach (Highway 54), Sunrise Beach (N. State Highway 5), Lake Ozarks (Bagnell Dam Blvd.) and the newest branch opened in 2009 on East U.S. Highway 54, Camdenton, MO.


First National Bank, East U.S. Highway 54, Camdenton, MO (2009)


Early Advertisements of First National Bank

First National Bank's 1st Ad - Published October 1905













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