TexasEscapes.com  
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
TEXAS TOWNS
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas | Columns | All Things Historical

STONE FORT BANK

by Archie P. McDonald
Archie McDonald Ph.D.
East Texas is getting old enough to begin to take notice of some significant anniversaries. We have celebrated sesquicentennials of the Texas Revolution in 1986 and of Annexation in 1995, and the tri-centennial of El Camino Real in 1991. Today, we consider an anniversary of one financial institution in a single town. No claim is made that this centennial compares with those mentioned, but in one community, it is an important event. The Stone Fort Bank of Nacogdoches won its charter on February 14, 1903, and 100 years later, is still a familiar landmark in downtown Nacogdoches.

Banking was illegal for a time in Texas. Too many who left behind "Gone To Texas" messages did so because of debt and they did not want such places to follow them. So, for a time, individuals loaned money and provided private financial services.

New laws under the Texas constitution of 1876 and the need for more formal financing prompted the advent of banks. Several tried their luck in Nacogdoches, but before the Stone Fort was founded, only Commercial Bank, established in 1901, turned out to be permanent.

The founders of Stone Fort Bank included Captain I.L. Sturdevant, who came by his military title by serving as an officer in the Stone Fort Rifles, a militia unit formed in Nacogdoches during the Spanish American War. Sturdevant moved to Nacogdoches as the agent of cotton factorage, and continued to operate a cotton yard long after he became a banker. He became president of the bank in 1906 and remained affiliated with it as chairman or chairman emeritus until his death in the 1950s.

A merger with the Farmers and Merchants Bank in 1919 brought another leader, L.B. Mast, who eventually succeeded to the presidency and then the chairmanšs post until his own death. He was succeeded by Emery Monk. These three presidents oversaw operations at Stone Fort for over seven decades.

Eventually, the Stone Fort passed into corporate ownership, beginning with Texas Commerce, based in Houston, then First Commercial in Little Rock, and later Regions Bank, with central offices in Alabama.

Along the way, Stone Fort provided services that ranged from cotton to poultry loans, made possible new businesses, and, along with other financial institutions, helped thousands secure their savings and even more realize their dreams.

Banks and bankers take criticism because they expect customers to return money borrowed communities do not grow.

This is more than a birthday remembrance of a single bank. It is an acknowledgment of the crucial role all banks play in our lives.



Š
Archie P. McDonald
All Things Historical
July, 2003 column
A syndicated column in over 40 East Texas newspapers
This column is provided as a public service by the East Texas Historical Association. Archie P. McDonald is director of the Association and author of more than 20 books on Texas.


Related Topics: People | Columns | Texas Towns | Texas

Books by Archie P. McDonald - Order Here

Custom Search
TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

Texas Attractions
TEXAS FEATURES
People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes. All Rights Reserved