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They made their appearance in Texas towns after hotels and saloons, but before opera houses and city halls. They occupied the most prominent corners of the town square and their doors opened to both streets. Their architecture rivaled the county courthouse and many were designed by the same architects. With marble counters and bronze teller's cages, small town banks had the interior prestige of post offices. Their exteriors were Greco-Roman temples with columns that reached to the heavens. They were impregnable fortresses where the businessman kept his gold, the tradesman kept his silver and where newsboys kept their copper pennies. Then the unthinkable happened - they failed.

After the Great Depression the architectural prestige of the bank was tarnished. Their vaults were just full of paper (and forclosures) and their columns proved to be hollow. In the 50s they modernized. They added automatic doors, and time/ temperature signs that never worked properly. All across Texas these once noble buildings were left vacant or became Mexican restaurants and antique stores. Only in the downtowns of larger cities do they retain some of the dignity they once had. Here is a celebration of bank architecture in Texas - from the big cities to towns too small to have a drive-up window.
© John Troesser

Texas Banks

"A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain." - Robert Frost
  • The Beaumont Bank Building Bewilderment by Luke Warm

  • The Worthington National Bank
    Fort Worth's Burk Burnett Building

  • Corsicana - State National Bank Building

  • Texas Bank Buildings - Images:

  • Adrian - First State Bank
  • Alvin State Bank
  • Andrews - Andrews State Bank
  • Anton
  • Arlington - Worthington National Bank Building
  • Avery - First State Bank
  • Ballinger - Farmers and Merchants State Bank
  • Barstow - Ward County Bank
  • Bartlett Bank Eagle
  • Bay City - Old Bay City Bank
  • Beaumont Bank Building Bewilderment
  • Benavides - Merchants Exchange Bank
  • Benjamin
  • Big Spring - First/StateNational Bank
  • Bowie - First National Bank - Historical Marker no photo
  • Breckenridge - First National Bank
  • Britton
  • Brownsville Merchants National Bank Building
  • Calvert
  • Canyon
  • Carrollton - Former Bank of Carrollton
  • Center
  • Chillicothe - Herring & Laird Banking Co.
  • Cibolo
  • Comanche National Bank Building
  • Comfort
  • Conroe
  • Coolidge
  • Cooper - First National Bank Oldest bank in Delta County no photo
  • Corpus Christi - City National Bank 1909
  • Corsicana - State National Bank Building
  • Cottonwood
  • Eddy
  • Edinburg State Bank & Trust Co.
  • Del Rio
  • Deport 1909 First State Bank
  • El Campo
  • Electra
  • Ellinger
  • Emory
  • Eustace - First State Bank
  • Falfurrias - First National Bank
  • Falls City
  • Ferris
  • Pflugerville
  • Forestburg - First State Bank
  • Fort Hancock
  • Fort Worth -
    Continental National Bank (1905)
  • Fort Worth - The Worthington National Bank
  • Fowlerton - First State Bank
  • Fulbright
  • Glen Rose - First National Bank
  • Goree
  • Gorman
  • Grandview
  • Gustine
  • Heidenheimer
  • Hermleigh
  • Hillsboro
  • Holland
  • Honey Grove - First State Bank
  • Hull
  • Italy
  • Jacksboro
  • Jayton
  • Jean
  • Katy - Tradition Bank Bandstand
  • Kaufman
  • Lakeview
  • Littlefield
  • Leonard
  • Louise State Bank Building
  • Marfa National Bank
  • Markham
  • Matador
  • McDade
  • Memphis
  • Merkel - Former Farmers and Merchants National Bank
  • Navaota - Historical Landmark
  • Newcastle
  • Olney
  • Ozona National Bank
  • Paducah
  • Paint Rock
  • Pasadena
  • Pearsall
  • Pflugerville
  • Pharr
  • Plainview - Citizen's National Bank Building
  • Ponder
  • Port Arthur Savings Building
  • Refugio
  • Richland Springs - 1910 First State Bank Building
  • Riviera
  • Rock Island
  • Royse City
  • Sabinal
  • San Angelo - Bank & Trust Building
  • San Saba
  • Sinton
  • Spur
  • Star - Bank interior
  • Stephenville -
    The 1889 First National Bank
  • Swenson - Closed bank
  • Talpa State Bank
  • Taylor National Bank
  • Corsicana
  • Toyah
  • Truscott
  • Valley View
  • Van Alstyne
  • Walburg State Bank
  • Westminster
  • Whitewright - First national Bank
  • Wildorado State Bank
  • Windom
  • Winters - Winters State Bank

  • Bank Robberies

  • The Unflappable Flapper Bandit by Clay Coppedge

  • Bank Robberies in Wingate

  • The Bartlett Bank Robbery That Wasn't by C. F. Eckhardt
    Back during the 'hippie era' of the '60s, a group of 'unwashed intellectuals' out of Austin decided to do their bit for the Age of Aquarius by robbing a bank...

  • Santa Robber by Mike Cox
    Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” stands as an enduring classic, but truth being stranger than fiction, Texas can claim one of the nation’s more bizarre real-life holiday tales – a story of a Santa Claus gone bad...

  • The Night the Posse Chased Santa by Maggie Van Ostrand
    December 23 will mark the 79th anniversary of the bloody melodrama which was about to take place in the town of Cisco in West Central Texas, on the day before Christmas Eve 1927. I know about it because of an article written at the time by the great Texas columnist, Boyce House. He should know. He was there...

  • The Day Eastland Texas Hanged Santa Claus
    "....And to think that it happened on Mulberry Street!"

  • A criminal or a saint? You never know by Delbert Trew
    "Route 66 certainly endured its share of crime in its heyday."

  • The Day Doc Newton robbed Bonnie Parker's Bank by John Troesser

  • How Bonnie and Clyde Were Caught by Bob Bowman

  • The Bank Robbery (Dalton Gang, 1894) by Bob Bowman

  • Outlaw was Crazy Like a Fox
    The Red Fox of the Big Thicket
    by Wanda Orton

  • Garwood Bank

  • The Davis Gang, the Memoirs of Gean Kearns by Vicki Welch Ayo
    Book review by Nikki Palomino

  • Bankers & Bank Stories

  • Stone Fort Bank, Nacogdoches by Archie P. McDonald, PhD

  • “Godfather of Beaumont" by Fred B. McKinley

  • The Banker by Mike Cox
    “Money is for having, not spending.”...

  • Bankers are remembered for bark, bite by Delbert Trew
    When old-timers gather to visit, the tall tales do fly, eventually, the subject turns to bankers the men have known...

  • Oct. 21, 1822 - Texas' First Bank History Cartoon by Roger T. Moore
  • Anna Martin
  • Anna Martin, Frontier Banker by Michael Barr
    Anna Martin is an entrepreneurial legend. She is believed to be the first woman bank president in Texas and one of the first in the United States.
  • Banker Smith by Michael Barr
    Quite a few banks defaulted during the Panic of 1907, but the Bank of Fredericksburg, along with two other East Texas banks run by Banker Smith, weathered the crisis without closing doors or limiting withdrawals.

  • More Bank Buildings
  • Kansas' - Ness City 1890 Bank Building

  • Bank Vaults
  • Golden
  • Jean
  • Mount Calm
  • Shannon










































































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