Organizing the first bank in Bowie, Texas must have been something like the homesteading of Oklahoma. Although Bowie had existed for some time without a bank, in 1890 it suddenly occurred almost simultaneously to at least two groups that a financial institution should be organized. Although the first couple of attempts to form a bank by these two groups were unsuccessful, the Comptroller of Currency issued National Bank Charter no. 4265 to the First National Bank on March 19, 1890.
The 1920s and 1930s
Pictures inside the Bank illustrate the darker days of banking during the 1920s. In 1932, at a time when all the other banks in Bowie were closing their doors, First National Bank did not even spend the money to have its statements printed. On December 14, 1932, statements were typed and copies were prepared with carbon paper to save the cost of printing. Less than three months after this date, a nationwide bank holiday was declared. On March 15, 1933, the first day that any national bank outside of reserve cities and cities with clearing houses was permitted to open, First National Bank reopened for Business.
The 1940s and 1950s
During the 1940s and 1950s, the bank thrived. It wasn't long before the bank had a need for additional space and a number of additions were made to the original bank building at this time. In the late 1940s and early 1950s the bank continued to prosper with deposits exceeding the $1 million mark in 1940. The individual who coined the phrase, "The First Million is the hardest," must have been thinking of First National Bank. It took 50 years to get to the first million; less than three years later the $2 million milepost was passed.
The 1960s to the 1990s
The First National Bank saw continued growth during this time period. During the early 1960s, the bank built its first motor bank to make the banking experience more convenient for its customers. During the 1990s, the First National Bank of Bowie experienced substantial growth by acquiring and building four additional banking centers located in Nocona, Alvord, Henrietta and Decatur. In 1999, the combined assets of the First National Bank of Bowie achieved all-time records when it grew to over $223 million.
The 2000s and beyond. . .
Facing increased competition from other banks and with the presence of over 300 banks in Texas named First National Bank, the Board of Directors realized it needed a more distinctive name in order to capitalize on future growth in different markets. Staying true to the bank's original commitment of remaining an independent and locally owned bank in each of the communities it serves, the name "Legend Bank" was chosen. As we face a new era of providing our communities' with another 120 years of sound banking and financial services, we can say with complete confidence that at Legend Bank, the legend continues . . .