In the year 1892, the first bank in Natchitoches received its Charter from the State of Louisiana. The name was The Exchange Bank. To put that date into perspective, 1892 is the same year Thomas Edison received the patent for the two-way telegraph, and the General Electric Company (GE) was established. Exchange Bank celebrates 125 years of business on Sept. 28.
The original capital to establish The Exchange Bank was $10,000. The doors were first opened in the 600 block of Front Street in downtown Natchitoches. In 1903, The Exchange Bank constructed a new building at the corner of Front Street and St. Denis, where the bank stands today (see photo). It is interesting to note that the Board of Directors of The Exchange Bank took bids in 1902 for the construction of this building. The bids ranged from $15,000 to $16,500. All bids were rejected as being too high.
The name of the bank was changed to Exchange Bank & Trust Company around 1964 so the bank could install a trust department for the benefit of its customers. As Exchange Bank expanded its services, it outgrew the original building, which was demolished in 1971 to erect a large new building that would give sufficient room for years to come. In 1984, a 5-story addition was made to complete the landmark structure that stands today.
The $10,000 capital that the original bank began business with has now grown to the total assets of about $125 million, which is still considered a small home-town bank.
The Exchange Bank 125th Anniversary Celebration is heavily focused on social media. “25 years ago, punch and cookies in the lobby was an on-trend celebration. In 2017, our customers want to celebrate on the go, on their terms, with a click or a swipe,” stated Loan Officer and Marketing Representative Laura Lyles. At www.facebook.com/ExchangeBank318, the bank will feature anniversary videos, historical photos from bank archives, many small prizes given to Facebook followers, and three large prize baskets over the next three months. Prize baskets include an NSU tailgate package, a house party package, and a Christmas Festival package, each worth over $300. There will also be various cash prizes given away.
President and CEO Mike Newton stated, “125 years of business is an incredible accomplishment for any organization. We are thankful for those who have worked with us and supported us in the past, humbled by our customers’ continued loyalty and eagerly looking forward to the future with our great team at Exchange bank.”
Exchange Bank currently has three locations: the main office on Front Street, the branch on South Drive, and the Loan Production Office in Pineville that opened in January of this year. The Natchitoches locations are full-service banks with checking, savings, CDs, and IRAs as well as loan officers who all offer commercial, residential, and consumer lending options. Learn more at www.exchange-bank.com.
Exchange Bank Board of Directors includes J.M. Henry, III, John W. Luster, Harold J. Boutte, Sr., Sidney B. Evans III, Kirk Soileau, and Michael S. Newton. J.M.”Pat” Henry, Jr. serves as ex-officio member.