After 100 years, the future looks bright for local bank

The Commercial Bank was established by W.D. Crothers on April 23, 1894. In 1902, Crothers and F.W. Henderson formed a banking firm known as Henderson & Crothers DBA The Commercial Bank. Up until that time, Crothers had run the bank alone. In 1904, G. Rollie White bought Henderson’s interest. On March 11, 1907, The Commercial Bank became a national bank called The Commercial National Bank of Brady. G.R. White was elected as the bank’s first president with Louis Brooks as vice president and W.D. Crothers as cashier. The bank’s first location was on the north side of the downtown square where it served until moving to its current location at the corner of Second and Blackburn Streets. It moved to the location in November 1970. In a report about moving into the new facility printed in the Brady Standard, bank president Fred Wulff issued an invitation to the entire county to attend the celebration. Staff and employees at the time included John W. Jones, vice president and director, E.L. Bodenhamer, Tommy Brook, Harry Curtis, Richard Moseley, T.G. McGregor, Curtis Norman, H.D. Winters, Wulff and Jones’ all as directors. “E.L. Bodenhamer, executive vice president, holds the longest tenure of office with 40 years service to the bank. Harl Fowler, vice president, trust officer and cashier has been with the institution 36 years. Other longtime employees are James Richard, custodian, 27 years; Charles E. Samuelson, assistant cashier, 23 years; Elbert Boswell, assistant cashier, 22 years; and Mrs. Norman Chew, assistant cashier, 19 years. ‘Other employees are Mrs. Jim Harkider, assistant cashier; Mrs. Travis Calliham, proof operator; Mrs. Tom White, head bookkeeper; Mrs. Richard Garey, Mrs. Wayne Parker, Mrs. Robbie Turk, Mrs. Raymond Blackwell and Elizabeth McSwain, all bookkeepers; and Mrs. James Wilkinson, who will be the receptionist at the new bank.” A newspaper report following the event stated that more than 2,000 persons attended the open house. “The turnout was far beyond our expectations. We were overwhelmed with the interest displayed in our new quarters,” said John W. Jones. The Commercial National Bank of Brady, N.A. is an independently-owned community bank located in the geographical center of Texas. The bank not only serves McCulloch County but also the surrounding counties of Coleman, Brown, San Saba, Mason, Menard and Concho. The Commercial Bank was established in 1894, becoming The Commercial National Bank in 1907. Only eight presidents have ever served the bank: G. Rollie White, Otto Frederick, Jack Pilon, Fred Wulff, Jr. (all deceased), John W. Jones, E.A. Connel, Robert M. Barnhill and W. Clay Jones. The Commercial National Bank is a wholly- owned subsidiary of The Commercial National Corporation, Inc. with total assets of more than $83 million as of Dec. 31, 2006. The staff numbers 29 and fulfills the accounting, bookkeeping, proof, note operations and lending departments. The primary focus of The Commercial National Bank continues to be lending and has over 500 years of accumulative lending experience in its employees. This financial institution has had a long history of being a financially strong, conservative, and independent bank.

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