Citizens Bank History

Citizens Bank of Lafayette, Tennessee was organized under state charter on April 10, 1909. There were 83 original stockholders who purchased $100 or $200 worth of stock. It was decided the bank would be known as Citizens Bank and it was incorporated for $12,000.

On July 1, 1909, the bank opened for business at 218 Public Square in Lafayette. The bank continued to operate at this location until building a new location across the street in 1954. A modern building was constructed that featured lock boxes, a night-depository, and a drive-in window. The new building officially opened in 1957 and still operates as a branch office. In December 2004, Citizens Bank was recognized as the oldest business on the Public Square.

The bank continued to grow and additional branch offices were opened on Scottsville Road in Lafayette, in Red Boiling Springs, and in the Siloam Community. In 1994, the Siloam Branch was moved to Westmoreland.

In 1986, the stockholders of Citizens Bank voted to form a one-bank holding company, Citizens Bancorp. In 1987, Citizens Bancorp acquired Bank of Celina. Smith County Bank was acquired in 1993. The holding company also owns Town and Country Finance Company with offices in Lafayette and Carthage.

By 1998, Citizens Bank had outgrown its main office on the Public Square. A new state-of-the-art building was constructed at the corner of College Street and Highway 52 ByPass West. The new Main Office officially opened on May 24, 1998.

Continued prosperity led to Citizens Bancorp’s purchase of a majority interest in Liberty State Bank in July, 1999. Liberty State Bank has two offices in Lebanon, an office in Alexandria, an office in Smithville, and a home office in Liberty.

The Board of Directors of Citizens Bank are: Charles E. Darnell, Chairman; Peter G. Williston, Chief Executive Officer; Joe Carter, President; Mike Reese; Tom McCall; Tony Polston; Cynthia McClard; Gail Srygley; and Ransom Jones.

Citizens Bancorp’s Total Assets now exceed $380 million. We are proud of our successes and we are proud of Macon County. We have the best customers in the world.

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Smith County History

On April 21, 1892, one of the business landmarks of Carthage and Smith County began its life. Smith County Bank and Trust Company, as it was first known, was granted its Charter by the State of Tennessee with five incorporators. They were Mr. John A. Fite, President, Mr. J. H. Young, Mr. E. S. Hance, Mr. C. N. Davis, and Mr. George A. Howard. Mr. Fite served as President until his death at age 93. All of these men were of good name and very well respected.

The first building was a small, red brick building on Main Street which is now a part of the Walton Hotel building. The success of the Bank was such that in 1916, it moved from the original site to its new home opposite the Smith County Courthouse on Main Street. This building remained the home of Smith County Bank until February, 1974, when the present building was opened for business across from the Cordell Hull Bridge.

The Bank, better known as “The Old Reliable”, would soon face circumstances comparable to death with the closing of the historic institution on Friday, May 6, 1983. Citizens of Carthage and Smith County were saddened as accounting errors and a poor economy were blamed for the bank’s problems. The Charter was surrendered by the Board of Directors and the doors closed. On Monday, May 9, the Bank reopened as Smith County Bank, Branch of Murfreesboro Bank and Trust Company, later changing its name to Mid-South Bank and Trust Company. Customer confidence grew stronger as we offered new products and services, being the first bank in Smith County to introduce the Automated Teller Machine. On July 19, 1991, Mid-South Bank and Trust merged with Third National Bank, creating a new bank name in our community. We were not to remain Third National Bank for long, for as large corporations often do, another merger was soon to take place. In 1992, Third National Bank merged with SunTrust Bank.

On August 14, 1993, SunTrust Bank sold the Carthage offices to Citizens Bank of Lafayette. Our name was changed one more time, back to Smith County Bank, Branch of Citizens Bank of Lafayette, completing a full circle.

We are very proud to once again be called Smith County Bank. We are a full service Bank with fifteen full time employees. We offer ATMs in Carthage and Gordonsville, 24-Hour Telephone Banking, fixed-rate mortgages, and smiling faces. We are pleased to be part of an organization with nine branches in four counties to give you the best down home service available.

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History of the Bank of Celina

The Bank of Celina is the oldest continuous business in Clay County, Tennessee. On March 2, 1895, the following people signed the application for the Bank Charter: J.T. Anderson, L.B. Anderson, A.G. Maxwell, H.H. Kyle, M.F. Green, George W. Stephens, and A.P. Green. W.L. Brown built the first building to house the Bank of Celina out of lumber from an old store building which he had purchased from A.P. Green. This Bank was located in “Old Town”. It has since been located at three other sites including the Terry’s Drug Store building. The following committee was appointed to select a lot in “New Town” for the second bank on June 29, 1927: Frank Kyle, W.A. Marcom, and E.P. Fowler. The Bank was moved to the square in 1928. It has been at its present location since the new building was constructed on East Lake Avenue in 1970.

Since 1917, some of the members of the Board of Directors have been: W.L. Brown, H.H. Kyle, W.C. Williams, M. F Hayes, F. B Mayfield, Frank Kyle, Millard Kyle, J.B. Walker, W.A. Marcom, E.L. Young, J.A. Howard, W. Grady Sidwell, E.P. Fowler, W.F. Brown, C.C. Donaldson, R.L. Donaldson, J.H. Overstreet, C.W. Burris, Sr., M.D. Cherry, Edward Mayfield, C.M. King, M.R. Marcom, P.M. Cherry, and Frank Thurman.

In 1987, Citizens Bank of Lafayette purchased the Bank of Celina and its branch at Hermitage Springs.

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