The Dublin National Bank
By Frank Chamberlain
The bank of Dublin has stood in the same location at the corner of Patrick and Elm Streets since 1882. At over 110 years old, it is advertised as being the oldest bank in Erath County. The organizers of this bank were John G. Harris, R.W. Higginbotham, H.A. Smith, and T.Y. Lewis (who was selected to be the first president.) At the time of its founding, the bank carried total assets of $105,000.
In 1919, officials decided to merge the Dublin National Bank with the Farmer’s National Bank and the Citizen’s National Bank. After this consolidation, the Dublin National Bank became the only bank in town. The building has been expanded and updated at regular intervals over the past century. The bank underwent major remodeling in 1950 and 1960. Bank officials purchased the adjoining building in 1964, creating additional room for the facilities. In 1976, the bank acquired the building that once held the recently closed Baxter’s Place department store and was once again enlarged. The most recent major addition was the 1988 completion of a motor-bank and parking area behind the building. That same year, the president of the bank had the name changed to Freedom Bank. However, the name was switched back to its original name four years later in 1992.
There have been twelve presidents to serve during the 110 years that the bank has existed. One of the most notable of these men was “Uncle Ed” Harris, who guided the bank for 22 years from 1929 until 1954. He served as president during the Depression, and is credited with keeping the bank in sound financial condition during this time of scarcity. His successor was A.E. Brooks, who served 19 years from 1955 until 1974. He is credited with overseeing most of the renovations that took place during his tenure.
Today, Dublin National is no longer the sole financial institution in the community. The First National Bank was chartered in 1985, and Texas Bank was established in 1997. Still, the original bank remains a Dublin landmark as it enters the third century of its existence.
“Dublin National Bank: ‘The Oldest Bank in Erath County’ ”, The Dublin Citizen, February 20, 2003.