The Bank opened February 4, 1901. After that first day, the total of depository accounts was overdrawn $5.25! The first bank was a rock building on the northwest corner of our present bank lot. When the current bank was constructed, that rock was used for the planters. The first President was S.C. Butler. In 1906, Karnes County National elected its first of a number of women to its Board of Directors, Mrs. Josephine H. Frost. In 1909, the Bank moved to the 200 block of Calvert Avenue where it remained for 62 years.
In 1917, J. D. “Dick” Ruckman began a 53 year career with the Bank, where he later became President. In 1920, Joe E. Yeary started to work as a bookkeeper. His career as an employee and later Vice President and Director totaled 73 years and 8 months! In 1928, the Bank bought its signature chiming clock that was later donated to City Hall in 1971.
During the first thirty years, many loans were made to people from all walks of life, including minorities, to finance farming and ranching operations, secured by liens on crops, cotton bales, cattle, horses and mules. In 1932, George Haven began a 62 year career with the Bank as janitor. Mr. Haven, or “Bub”, was well known and respected for his riding, roping and cowboy skills. During the mid 1930’s, the bank repossessed a cotton gin and operated it for several seasons.