First State Bank enjoys 119 years in operation

Published 5:30 pm Monday, July 16, 2018

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A crowd of well-wishers gathered at the recently constructed First State Bank building to celebrate the official grand reopening of its New Tazewell location.

“First State has had a presence in the city for some time. Our newest location is a testament to the reception within the community that the bank has enjoyed,” said Jeff Lewis, VP branch manager.

The late George H. Reese, who envisioned a banking institution that would be ‘for the people,’ brought what would become his legacy to First State Bank 119 years ago.

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His hard work seems to have paid off. The bank continues to thrive under his granddaughter, Katherine Reese, who is the current president and CEO.

First State Bank seems to have enjoyed quite the good reputation as a solid institution.

In its earlier days, many Pineville residents would bring their hard-earned dollars to First State for safekeeping because, after all, that was ‘Mr. Reese’s bank.’

Reese came onboard as a bank cashier in 1899. In just 18 short years, he had landed the position of bank president, which he retained until his death in 1951.

Even through the Great Depression, Reese moved forward with his personal policy that kept him in good stead with his customers. He confined his business activities to running the bank. This policy may have prevented him from profiting through other business ventures. However, he felt that restricting his business endeavors solely to the bank would go a long way toward preserving its integrity.

First State, formerly located inside the Rockwood Shopping Center, is now sitting atop a knoll at 502 South Broad Street, beside the Cumberland Gallery Shopping Center.

The bank has other branches located in Middlesboro, Pineville, Williamsburg and Lexington.

First State Bank offers a wide assortment of services including the traditional checking and savings accounts, consumer, residential and business lending, IRA accounts and certificates of deposits (CDs). First State also provides debit and credit cards, Internet banking, online bill pay and remote deposit services.

Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The convenient drive-thru opens at 7:30 a.m. each business day.

For more information, call 423-626-6112.