First National Bank was born out of an argument that took place on April 22, 1902. On that date, Mr. James Robert Bodine, a leading citizen of that day, had gotten very upset with the owners of the Central City Deposit Bank. While walking up the street following this unhappy episode at the bank, he met Dr. William R. McDowell. After discussing the situation, they decided then and there to organize their own bank. Dr. McDowell would serve as president and Mr. Bodine would be on the board of directors. They called their bank the Home Deposit Bank.
The first customer at the bank was Captain William Sandusky, a prominent businessman of the early 1900’s. Harry Storer made the second deposit.
The first board of directors consisted of Dr. McDowell, president; P.K. Salsurg, vice-president; Albert E. Orr, cashier; Mr. Bodine, director; Herman L. Raabe, director; and E.B. Miller, director.
When the Home Deposit Bank opened in 1902, it had resources of only $36,409.83. By 1906, the bank’s resources had nearly tripled to $92,696.07. On April 21, 1906, the Home Deposit Bank received its charter (No. 8229) as a national bank and changed its name to the First National Bank of Central City. During the period of its development, First National Bank absorbed the Gish Banking Company. The bank grew quickly, and by Dec. 31, 1942, it boasted resources of over $1 million.
Dr. McDowell held the position of president from 1902 until 1921. Other presidents were J.A. Smith, James Hoodenpyl, John Funk, Ed Holt, Jesse Moore, P.A. Shaver, Joseph Smith, Tommy Eades, William Greenwood, L. Phillip Dixon and Lanie W. Gardner who currently serves as community president.
After spending 63-years at the corner of First and Broad Streets in Central City, the bank moved into its present location at 130 W. Broad Street on March 17, 1969, a branch in Bremen opened on July 25, 1975 and 20-years later another branch opened in Greenville on July 3, 2000. In February 2015, First National Bank became First Southern National Bank.