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Central Bank

(Est. 1885 as Farmers and Traders Bank)


From the 1980 History of Moniteau County:

The Farmers and Traders Bank, Moniteau County's largest Independent bank was opened under State Charter dated October 19, 1885. It was the outgrowth of then prominent citizens of this community J. A. Lander, F. B. Lander, Frank Spieler, James E. Hazell, H. A. Yarnell, J. M. Inglish, R. R. Howard, J. P. Burke and John M. Williams. This meeting was held in the law office of Moore and Williams on October 3, 1885.


The Farmers and Traders Bank was capitalized initially with $25,000 with all the stock subscribed for. The bank was opened for business one-half block north of its present location in one of the buildings now [in 1980] occupied by Eckert Western Auto Associate Store. The building was then owned by J. A. Lander and the rental price was $20 per month.


The first board of directors were J. A. Lander, President; John M. Williams, Vice-President; F . B. Lander, Cashier; J. P. Burke and Frank Spieler.


The bank had good patronage from the beginning. Within three years after it was organized it was deemed advisable to increase the capitol stock and on March 7, 1889, it was increased to $60,000. Another increase was made on June 13, 1911, bringing the capital up to $75,000 where it remained until January, 1970. On that date a 100% stock dividend increased the capital to $150,000. Another 100% stock dividend was paid in 1979 bring the present [in 1980] capital stock to $300,000.


J. G. Ehrhardt became president in January 1891. G. A. Burkhardt was elected president in January, 1899. Simon Cronin who was elected Cashier in July, 1905, and who was a Director previous to that date, was elected president in 1907. Walter J. Eitzen had the longest tenure as Director in March, 1907, and was Chairman of the Board at the time of his death in June, 1978.


T. G. Ehrhardt became the fifth president of the Farmers and Traders Bank in May, 1923. H. W. Kuhn, who was elected Cashier August 28, 1908, succeeded Mr. Ehrhardt as president in 1941, and continued in this position until his death in June, 1966. Paul H. Kuester, who has been with the bank since 1947, succeeded Kuhn as president.


The present building was constructed in 1929 and 1930 and opened for business on July 2, 1930. The bank has been renovated twice to enlarge the lobby and bookkeeping areas, with 900 additional square feet being added in 1977.


Other more recent officers have been T. A. Harvey who was elected Assistant Cashier in 1928 and was Executive Vice-President at the time of his death in 1960. Alvin Rohrbach became Assistant Cashier in 1954 and was Cashier at the time of his retirement in 1970.


After securing all State and Federal regulations governing a branch facility, a branch bank was constructed at the Village Green Shopping Center in 1979, and opened for business on January 14, 1980.


Present {1980] Directors, Officer, and Personnel are: H. E. Friedmeyer, Chairman of the Board; Paul H. Kuester, President; W. E. Hess, Cashier and Secretary; Dan J. Kuhn, Assistant Cashier; H. Joe Allen, Assistant Cashier; David Hampton, Assistant Cashier; Alma Belle Chambers, Sue Vernon, Jack Wordelman, Mildred McPherson,Glenda McBroom, Arlene Dummermuth, Scott Volkart, Lu Case, Patti Less, Lu Girard, Doris Kunze and Christie Dowell.


From the 2000 History of Moniteau County:

When Farmers and Traders Bank was chartered in October 1885, it was located above what is today [2000] Bond's Pharmacy [southeast corner of South Oak & Smith Streets]. Mr. James Lander of Clarksburg was elected the first President and he was usually found making the trip to the bank riding a mule. By the late 1920's the bank outgrew its facility and purchased the lot on the [northwest] corner of South Oak and Smith Street. At the gala opening, over 1,000 people came from all over Missouri to see the great structure of white Carthage limestone. It was referred to as "One of the most attractive bank buildings in the state."


In the late 1940's, a lot west of the bank was purchased to provide customer parking. Major improvements were completed in 1966 with the addition of an uptown drive-up facility and a rear entrance. The next major expansion was the opening of the Village Green facility in 1980 with several drive-up lanes. In 1988, the bank embarked on its most ambitious expansion. The lobby was expanded by using two large arches opening onto a new customer area, a board room and private offices. All areas were provided with new furniture and furnishings.


The man whose name is still most associated with Farmers and Traders by many people in the area is the late Henry Kuhn. He started working for the bank in 1908 and became President in 1941. From that time until his death in 1966, at age 96, Mr. Kuhn seldom missed a day of work. Upon Mr. Kuhn's death, Paul Kuester was named President and is still [in 2000] on the Board of Directors.


As with bank presidents in the past, once a member of the board, directors usually served until their death. The late Walter Eitzen has the distinction of having the longest association with Farmers and Traders, serving as director for 71 years. He was also the first chairman of the board at the bank, elected in 1966. He was 95 years old at the time of his death. Mr. Eitzen was replaced by Harold Friedmeyer. Other names associated with the bank include John Kibbe, C. O. Putnam, William Todd, J. T. Lee, T. E. "Tony" Heyssel, B. F. Houser, T. A. Harvey and Alvin Rohrbach.


Mr. Kuester continued as president until his retirement in 1988. In June of 1988, an agreement was signed between the Board of Directors and Joe W. Scallorns for the purchase of the bank. The transaction was finalized in October 1988. Nine years later, Central Bancompany, Jefferson City, acquired Farmers and Traders Bank, August 1997, leaving it as a separate branch, Jeanne McPherson was named manager of the Retail Department and Rob Hoff manager of the Loan Department.



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