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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Bulloch opens its first county bank
roger allen
Roger Allen

The first bank to open in Bulloch County was the Bank of Statesboro, which although chartered in 1891 didn't actually open its doors for business until 1894. The bank's first President was J.L. Coleman, its Vice President was W.C. Parker, and its Head Cashier was S.C. Groover.
        The Bank of Statesboro initially set up shop inside the Simmons Building and then moved to larger Sorrier & Brannen Building. It ceased doing business in 1932. The second Bulloch County bank was the Sea Island Bank, which opened for business in 1901.
        It initially opened inside the J.A. Brannen Building, which was located on the corner of Main & Main. Its executive officers included John F. and James A. Brannen, Franklin D. and Solomon F. Olliff, William Preetorius, Madison Holland, and Robert Donaldson.
        After the Sea Island Bank bought out the privately owned Bank of Bulloch in 1917, it closed in 1931 due to financial troubles. After being allowed to reopen in 1933, it first opened inside the Kennedy & Cone Building, but then moved over to the Statesboro Mercantile Association Building.
        The next bank to open in Bulloch County was the First National Bank of Statesboro. Located at first in the Simmons Building, it soon moved to the old Sea Island Bank Building. Its President was Brooks Simmons, its Vice President was Edwin Groover, and its Head Cashier was J.E. McCroan.
        The next bank, the Bulloch County Bank, opened its doors in April of 1934. It took over the business of the Bank of Statesboro, which had recently bought out and then closed the First National Bank.
        The Bulloch County Bank's president was S.W. Lewis, and the V.P.'s were R.J. Kennedy & J.L. Mathews. The banking agent in charge of liquidating the Bank of Statesboro, W.L. DeJarnette, became the Head Cashier of the Bulloch County Bank.
        The U.S. Congress established the nation's First Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1933. The Bulloch County branch of First Federal Savings opened in 1936 at the Averitt's "In and Out Gas Station" on Main Street.
        Their financial secretary, Mrs. Jessie Averitt, worked at the family's Averitt Brothers Auto Company. After several years, First Federal moved into the old Bank of Statesboro Bank building.
        The chairman of First Federal's Bulloch branch office was S.W. Lewis; its President was Homer Smith; and its Vice President was James B. Averitt.
        Their first savings customer was young Jerry Coleman, who was given a check for twenty-five dollars, which he promptly deposited in the new bank.
        Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at rogerdodg

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