First State Bank & Trust Company celebrates 110 Years
February, 2012, will mark the 110 year anniversary of the First State Bank & Trust Company. R. E. Trabue, known as the richest man in Carthage at the time, organized the bank in 1902 under the name Merchants & Farmers National Bank. The bank building was located on the west side of the square, and the majority of the customers were farm families who made their living with cotton, cattle and timber. Deposits at the time were $93,000.
In 1925 the bank's name changed to First State Bank, and deposits were up over $230,000. In 1927, B.F. Payne bought controlling interest in the bank and became its president a year later. During the Depression years, the bank was able to maintain a stable financial status. The discovery of natural gas in Panola County helped protect the area from the financial devastation of the times. Under the leadership of Mr. Payne, the bank achieved a milestone in 1943 having deposits that totaled over a million dollars.
In the '60's, Milton Payne, nephew of B.F. Payne, came to work at the bank and took over as president in 1962. The next year, the bank's name changed to First State Bank & Trust Company with the addition of the Trust department. Milton's brother, Jim Payne, joined the bank staff in 1967. In the next decade, the bank experienced remarkable growth and expansion. A new building at the corner of West Panola and North St. Mary streets was erected and, under the leadership of President Milton Payne, the bank's deposits tripled to over $39 million. In the '90's, Lynn Vincent was elected as President of the bank, and Jim Payne was promoted to Vice Chairman and CEO of the Board. The bank has seen continued success under its current leadership with deposits currently over $342 million. The latest addition to the bank property was the opening of the new drive thru and convenience bank in March, 2009.
Not many banks can boast of such a rich family history in their development. Of the 13 current directors of the bank, four are direct family descendents—Milton Payne, Jim Payne, Foster Murphy and David Murphy. Through its strong leadership over the years, the bank has had great success in maintaining its 5-star rating. To celebrate this success, the bank and its employees are hosting a 110 Year Anniversary Celebration on Friday, February 10, 2012, during regular business hours. The Open House event will include refreshments, anniversary hats, and gift give-aways. Jim Payne, Chairman of the Board, invites everyone to attend, "We're happy to be a part of the community for 110 years as an independent community bank. We want to show our appreciation for the support we've received through the years."