One Hundred and twenty-five years ago, two Texas pioneers, John Traylor and Dan Cogdell, founded First National Bank on the Hood County courthouse square in 1883, where it stands today. With business booming, the original partners along with E. A. Hannaford, Jesse Baker and James H. Doyle chartered the bank as The First National Bank of Granbury in 1887.
First National Bank grew steadily with Hood County over the years, and First National Bank assumed the accounts of Granbury’s City National Bank in 1928. The 1920s and 1930s were difficult years for the U.S.A. as well as Hood County as the county began to feel the effects of the Great Depression. FNB took quick steps to strengthen its financial holdings and protect its clients and customers during that time.
In 1933 FNB received its license as a Federal Reserve Bank. That same year, the U.S. Congress passed the Glass-Stegall Banking Bill, which created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The bank was then certified as a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which at that time insured individual deposits up to $5,000.
The original bank building offered a stairwell on the outside of the building. This stairwell led to offices which were rented. Houston Street didn’t exist at that time, nor did the bridge crossing the river. The bank purchased the building directly east of the original bank in the mid 1960s. Originally this building housed a livery stable and blacksmith shop, and later a dry goods store. This property later became the bank’s first drive- in teller lane by chiseling arches in the walls. Now the area houses the loan department.
In 1972 First National Bank received a state historical marker from the Texas Historical Commission, designating the bank building as a Recorded Historic Texas Landmark. In 1989 First National began its Hood County expansions by opening its first branch-bank on Highway 377. FNB now services customers with seven branches in Hood County. The current expansion and widely anticipated opening is that of a huge remodel of the branch. This expansion will house the Mortgage Group, which has been in existence since 2002.
Dan Cogdell serviced as bank president until 1935 when he resigned and was succeeded by C. H. Bencini, who served until his death one year later. Hood County native and rancher Jake Green (grandfather of Jake Caraway –current vice president and loan officer of FNB) became President and served until his death in 1948. Mr. Henry Zweifel, a director of the bank, began serving as President after Mr. Green’s death and continued for twenty-two years, until he died in 1970. John S. Luton, son-in-law of Henry Zweifel and a member of the bank’s staff in the 50s and 60s, became the president of the bank at that time. John Henry Luton (son of John S. and Doris Zweifel Luton) began his banking career in 1974. He became the bank President at the retirement of his father in 1984.
The executive officers have led the bank into the latest technology boom of each generation, but work to retain the hometown attitude, giving customers the best of both worlds.
James Hodges, the executive vice president and cashier, explains the success of First National Bank. “Our bank excels because of our loyal customers and employees. The employees strive to create excellent customer service to our community. Our goal is to maintain our small hometown feel and to treat our customers the way that we would want to be treated. It has worked so far. Of the 126 loyal employees, twenty-one have been with FNB for over twenty years and twenty-three for over ten years. Come by any of our locations and experience the FNB values and traditions. Become a part of our family.”
First National Bank is a family that has remained since 1887. Thank you for the past, the present and the future.