Peachtree Bank celebrates 90th anniversary

Published 11:35 pm Friday, September 11, 2009

Maplesville and Chilton County have changed a lot since Peachtree Bank first opened in 1919.

Long called The Bank of Maplesville, Peachtree was chartered on Sept. 19, 1919, with a capital of $10,000.

The Chilton County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Business After Hours on Thursday, Sept. 17 to celebrate the bank’s anniversary. The event will take place that afternoon at the bank’s Clanton branch on Seventh Street.

Executive Bank President Clem Clapp said his bank’s success and history reflects on its relationship with customers.

“It’s just like any other business that is around for that long … it depends on our relationships with customers and the people that live here,” said Clapp. “I think that speaks well for us that people keep coming back and they like doing business with us.”

Clapp has recognized the bank’s employees, some who have worked at the bank for decades.

“It’s the stability of things. We have several longtime employees,” said Clapp. “People like seeing familiar faces.”

When the bank first opened, it was a one-man band (or bank, in this case). When that one employee was sick, the bank simply closed, according to a history of the bank.

In its long history, the bank has witnessed a lot of growth in Chilton County.

A few excerpts from its history:

By 1939, the bank’s assets would reach $100,000 at times. A sign to advertise this fact was made and placed outside on the sidewalk. On days when assets would drop back below this mark, the sign would be brought back inside.

Also early on, a would-be robber tried to dynamite open the bank’s vault.

The attempt to get in was successful, as the vault door blew through the bank’s front window and across the street. Scared, the robber ran over, leaving his derby hat, which has been kept in the vault in the generations since.

In 1961, the bank opened the county’s first drive-through window.

In 1991, the Bank of Maplesville changed its name to Peachtree Bank, before opening a branch in Clanton in March 1994.

“We’ve been able to exist, flourish, do well and enjoy the support from people that live here,” Clapp said.