About First National Bank

History

The First National Bank consisted of locations in Vandalia only until the year 1994. In that year, the First State Bank of Patoka and the Ramsey State Bank were purchased. Then in 2008, the bank purchased The First National Bank Mulberry Grove Banking Center and Greenville Banking Center.  All the Banks became a part of the First National Family, as well as its history.

The First National Bank of Mulberry Grove was chartered in 1904.  In 1989, a one-bank holding company, MGB Bancshares, Inc. was formed and purchased the assets of the First National Bank of Mulberry Grove.  In 1992, a branch was opened in Greenville and the banks' names changed to The First National Bank Mulberry Grove Banking Center and The First National Bank Greenville Banking Center. 

The First State Bank of Patoka was chartered in 1913, and remained an independent bank until being purchased by Farmers Bancshares, a holding company based in Valmeyer, IL, in 1987.

Ramsey National Bank was chartered in 1911, and remained independent until its purchase by the same Valmeyer holding company, also in 1987. The original bank building was destroyed by a fire in 1976. In December of 1976, the new building was opened. The new building continues to serve as the location First National Bank in Ramsey.

The deposits of the Vandalia branch of the Fifth Third bank were acquired on July 15, 2002 as well as the bank premises located at 1420 N. Eighth Street in Vandalia.  This location provides convenient access to bank services in the northern part of Vandalia.

The First National Bank's Vandalia location began in 1865.  While the name of the Bank has changed four times during that time period, the Bank has remained locally owned.

The location of the Vandalia bank has changed three times since the Bank was first opened. The original location was across from the Old State Capitol on Third Street (the current site of Vandalia Furniture). After a fire in 1895, the Bank relocated to the Fouke Building at the corner of Fourth and Gallatin (currently the home of Something Special Florist and Gift Shop). In 1910 the Bank purchased its present location, at the time the home the Dieckmann Hotel, at the corner of Fifth and Gallatin. In 1913, remodeling work began to change a portion of the Hotel into the Bank's new location. A year later, with renovations complete, the Bank moved to the corner of Fifth and Gallatin. The size of the banking facility was the west half of the present loan lobby. The banking house replaced the Hughes Barber Shop and the G. A. A. Dieckmann real estate office.

As the size of the Bank's assets grew, the physical size of the Bank also expanded. In 1945, the east half of the present loan lobby was renovated to allow for expansion.
Since the Bank's purchase in 1910, the Dieckmann Hotel had continued to operate on the second floor of the building. In 1954, the Hotel ceased operations. The Bank remodeled the second floor and converted it into office space in 1955.

In the same year, the first drive-up was added. The drive-up was located near the site of Vandalia location's customer parking. Employees accessed the drive-up through a tunnel connecting the Bank's main building and the drive-up facility. In 1966, a second drive-up facility was added.

In 1974, a new addition was constructed adjacent to the original location. The addition currently is home to the Bank's Data Processing department. A separate "motor bank" was also constructed in 1974 in the area now known as the Old Capitol Shopping Center. The motor bank remained open until 1992, when the Bank added several new drive-up lanes at the main facility.

The most recent construction project was completed in 1992. The former Save-A-Lot grocery store building was renovated into the Bank's main lobby. The teller and bookkeeping departments were also located in the new area. The loan department was expanded and moved to the former teller area. The project included individual offices for each loan officer to provide extra privacy for customers. Previous to 1992, loan officers met with customers in cubicle-type offices.

The intent of the Bank remains the same as it was in 1865. To help provide financial services for our customers, and to actively promote the well being of our communities.

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Names through the years: 1865: National Bank of Vandalia founded.
1883: renamed the Bank of Vandalia.
1895: The First National Bank of Vandalia.
1994: With the addition of the Ramsey and Patoka locations, formal name of the Bank changed to The First National Bank.

The corner of Fifth and Gallatin:

The corner of Fifth and Gallatin may be the second most historic location in Vandalia.

The following historic events have taken place at the corner:

1820 - John F. McCollum builds the first frame house in Vandalia.

1856 - August H. Dieckmann purchases the corner.

1869 - The Dieckmann Hotel was completed by Isaac Barnett. The original structure was three stories tall and at one time was considered the most modern hotel south of Chicago.

1904 - George A. A. Dieckmann remodeled the Hotel and added the two-story area that is now the south entrance to the Bank.

1910 - First National purchases the Dieckmann Hotel.

1914 - A remodeling project completed, First National Bank moves to the corner of Fifth and Gallatin.

1945 - The Bank expanded into the west half of the current loan lobby.

1956 - The basement area was vacated and renovated. The bookkeeping department was relocated to the basement; Friendship Room added.

1974 - A two-story addition was made to the building. The addition is the current home of the Electronic Data Processing department.

1992 - A major renovation project was undertaken combining the Save-a-Lot grocery store into the Bank building. The former grocery store becomes home to the Teller department, Bookkeeping and several administrative offices. The original Dieckmann Hotel building can still be identified. By looking at the Bank's west side, the three-story area comprises what was once the Hotel.