The First National Bank of Dozier
March 10, 2010
In 1910, a group of businessmen led by Fox Henderson from Troy, Alabama agreed to open a bank in a small farming community located in Crenshaw County; and on March 10, 1910, The First National Bank of Dozier opened for business with a national bank charter. Henderson, a prominent entrepreneur at that time, was the bank’s first president for 8 years; yet, it is reported that he only entered the bank one time as he allowed the operations of the bank to be managed by local personnel. He was an investor and organizer of other banks located in Troy, Brundidge, Luverne, Brantley, Andalusia, Elba, and Huntsville. The Great Depression of the 1930s saw most of these banks fail; however, Dozier was the lone survivor of the banks located in Crenshaw County during that period of economic chaos.
The initial investors from Troy and Dozier provided the venture dollars needed to get started. While it took $25,000.00 of capital in 1910 to get a bank charter, in 2010 it requires about $20 million dollars of capital to get a bank started. Some examples of the cost of goods in 1910: a loaf of bread $0.05; a gallon of milk $0.28; a pound of butter $0.25; a gallon of gas $0.04; a new home (average) $3,395. The annual household income was $1,004 and those were prosperous times before the depression wrecked the economy and prices took a drastic plunge.
Since the bank opened in 1910, there have been only five bank presidents, Fox Henderson, 1910-1918; A. F. Merrill, (1918-1940); W. A. “Arnold” Merrill, (1940-1973); W. H. “Hiram” McGhee, (1973-1984); and W. B. “Willie” Smith, Jr. (1984-present). The original board members were A. F. Merrill, R. Frost, J. P. Merrill, J. I. Merrill, Fox Henderson, L. M. Bashinsky, and J. M. Henderson.
Today the bank directors are Janice P. Biggers, Linda R. Colquett, Earl McBryde, W. B. Smith, Jr., and Shaun M. Wilcox. The bank officers and employees are W. B. Smith, Jr., president; Linda R. Colquett, executive vice-president and cashier; Shaun M. Wilcox, vice-president; Janice L. Adams, assistant vice-president and assistant cashier; Priscilla S. Kimbro; Phyllis R. Ham; Amy Rodgers; Patty Hill; and Sandra Howard.
As the bank celebrates 100 years of serving our community, the stockholders, the directors, the officers, and the employees express their sincerest appreciation to all of our wonderful customers who support us with their confidence, trust, and loyalty. We are indeed thankful!
The staff of The First National Bank of Dozier