Bank of Athens

An Historical Persective

A meeting of the subscribers to stock in the proposed Bank of Athens was held in the office of Dr. D. H. Thornton on Monday, the 9th day of January 1905, at 10 o’clock A.M.  Present were A. T. Maupin, H. M. Shumate, R. G. Meador, J. F. Holroyd, J. K. Lilly, D. H. Thornton, W. H. Jennings, J. R. Bank of AthensVermillion, A. J. Oxley, L. A. Martin and H. E. Martin.

The Bank of Athens was chartered on January 25, 1905, and its incorporators were A. T. Maupin, R. G. Meador, H. M. Shumate, J. K. Lilly and J. F. Holroyd.

The Bank began business on April 7, 1905, with Capital Stock of $ 25,000.  At that time, the deposits in the Bank were secured by the stockholders to the extent of $ 50,000.  The total assets/liabilities at the close of the first day’s business were $ 16,027.41.

The officers of the Bank were:  H. M. Shumate, President;  J. F. Holroyd, Vice-President;  and M. A. Lowe, Cashier.  Members of the first Board of Directors were H. M. Shumate, J. F. Holroyd, R. G. Meador, A. T. Maupin, L. A. Martin, J. K. Lilly and D. H. Thornton. See an advertisement card dated April 10, 1905 by clicking here.

Original stockholders of the Bank were A. T. Maupin, J. F. Holroyd, Dr. G. A. Shumate, H. E. Martin, Carl Shumate, L. W. Fletcher, R. A. Shumate, R. F. Lilly, Miss Ida Shumate, W. L. Thornton, Mrs. Cora Hale, H. M. Shumate, A. C. Wiley, W. H. Jennings, Miss Nannie Shumate, Dr. William H. Holroyd, Dr. J. R. Vermillion, Dr. Samuel R. Holroyd, R. N. Vermillion, R. C. Dangerfield, J. N. Hoylman, J. H. Alvis, Joseph Caldwell, R. G. Meador, Dr. D. H. Thornton, B. P. Shumate, L. B. Farley, Mrs. M. E. Maupin, M. A. Lowe, J. K. Lilly, Dr. L. A. Martin, Mrs. Cora Kerner, J. H. Jordan and W. R. White.

Since the Bank was founded, it has conducted its business in three different locations in the Town of Athens.  In 1905, it opened for business in a room rented from Dr. D. H. Thornton for $6 per month.  This room was located on the first floor of the Thornton Building, which is now occupied by the municipal offices of the Town of Athens.

In 1921, the Bank of Athens moved into a new two-story brick building which was built on a site previously occupied by the Shumate Store.  This site is the entrance to the present Bank’s parking lot at the traffic light.  The Bank conducted its business in this building, which was expanded about 1960, until 1974.

In the early 1960’s, the resources of the Bank passed one million dollars for the first time.  It has been said that to celebrate this momentous occasion, (all) employees of the Bank, Fred Cooper, Guy B. Scyphers, Shirley Pettrey and Sam McCullough, went across the street to Jennings’ Drug Store (located on the present site of Gino’s Pizza Parlor) for milkshakes.

On December 16, 1974, the Bank of Athens moved to its present facilities on a site previously occupied by the Athens Baptist Church parsonage, the John Bailey house, a giant oak tree and the previous Bank building.  To construct these facilities, the parsonage and house were moved to their present locations, the tree was removed and the previous Bank building was later demolished, as illustrated in the slide show entitled Demolition of the Bank of Athens' Second Building.

An open house commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Bank and the opening of its new facilities was held on January 25, 1975.

While it took almost six decades for the resources of the Bank of Athens to reach $1M, during the two decades that followed, the Bank made phenomenal growth when in 1987 its resources surpassed $28M.  Also, the number of full-time employees increased from two in 1905 to fourteen in 1987.

At a Special Meeting of the shareholders of the Bank of Athens, which was held on May 18, 1987, approval was given to an Agreement and Plan of Merger pursuant to which the Bank of Athens would be merged with and into the Mercer County Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of One Valley Bancorp of West Virginia.  On July 1, 1987, it began operating as a branch of the Mercer County Bank and as one of more than thirty customer offices of One Valley Bancorp located throughout the state of West Virginia.

The officers of the Bank of Athens at this time were:  A. Glendon Hill, President and Chief Executive Officer;  Richard V. Lilly, Chairman of the Board of Directors;  and Directors Homer K. Ball, Jerry L. Beasley, Fred A. Bolton, M. D. Kirk, Jr., Joseph F. Marsh, Jr., Guy B. Scyphers and Ira M. Smith.


Harvey M. Shumate, February, 1905
Rufus G. Meador, May, 1908
Dr. David H. Thornton, May, 1910
Ambrose T. Maupin, May, 1912
James F. Holroyd, May, 1914
Dr. L. Allen Martin, May. 1915
Joseph Caldwell, May, 1917
Henderson E. Martin, May, 1918
Dr. Donzie Lilly, October, 1920
Fred V. Cooper, May, 1962
Ray B. Cheatwood, July, 1975
Guy B. Scyphers, May, 1978
A. Glendon Hill, December, 1984


Exhibit 1: Bank of Athens Lobby (ca. 1924).

Exhibit 2: Bank of Athens Lobby (ca. 1925).

Exhibit 3: Bank of Athens 50th Anniversary Historical Sketch. Click here for a PDF version (in a new window).

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