The Citizens Bank Story

Citizens Bank is proud to be a locally owned, independent bank. We have been providing quality banking services to our community for over 111 years. With locations in Eldon and Versailles, MO., we take pride in offering the contemporary banking services our customers need, with a friendly, personal, hometown touch!

Our History

On December 22, 1904, a group of Eldon residents met in a room above the pool hall on Main Street and decided to open a bank with capital stock worth $12,000. S.T. Spurlock was elected the first President of the bank that became Citizens Bank of Eldon, January 20, 1905. The banking house remained in the rooms above the pool hall next to Buehler’s Drug Store, a building that still stands today.
 
With the business of banking taking more away from their other work than had been anticipated, there followed a succession of short terms for the Bank’s executives. In 1909, W. M. Harrison became President of the bank. The bank moved its banking officies to the first floor and in 1910 purchased an awning, papered the walls, repaired the top of the vault and had signs painted on its windows. Citizens Bank had become a permanent financial cornerstone of the community in 5 short years.
 
1919 was a year of progress for Citizens Bank. The Bank moved to the corner of Main and Maple with $3500 in new fixtures and the capital stock of the Bank was increased to $15,000. By 1925 the bank’s assets had grown to more than $155,000 and a new fangled device called a typewriter became a part of the modernization.
 
The Great Depression came and went with very little effect on Citizens Bank. During this time period, construction of the dam at Lake of the Ozarks was taking place. Construction payroll and the economic boom that comes with such activity permitted continued prosperity. D. Ross Harrison was elected President to succeed his father in 1947. Prior to becoming President, Ross Harrison had served two terms as Missouri Finance Commissioner and had been a bank examiner.
 
On December 23, 1953, a defective flue over the furniture store started a fire that ravaged the bank. Rescue efforts managed to save records and machinery from the bank building. Standing in the ashes of the fire was the Bank’s vault. Its 16-inch walls had kept records and valuables safe from the fire. The safe containing the currency was found intact in the building’s burned out basement. Temporary plywood counters were set up in the local hardware store and the bank was back open for business. A new modern facility was built on the site of the fire.
 
By 1971 the bank had once again outgrown its space and a new bank was constructed at 110 North Maple. The building was constructed from rock that was chiseled in Arizona and shipped in by rail. This rock, which was used as the exterior of the bank and portions of the interior, gives the bank its distinctive look. This facility continues to serve as our Main Bank today.
 
Donn Harrison Jr. served the bank for over 50 years and guided the bank as President until his death in 2004. During this time the bank added an additional branch on Hwy 54 in Eldon and expanded services to the Versailles area in 1992. In 2004, a new facility was constructed in Versailles at 700 West Newton. The bank expanded again in 2013 with a new branch in the Excelsior community. 
 
The Harrison family continues to be the majority stockholders of Citizens Bank. The family is still very involved with directing the activities of the bank, with Donn’s daughter, Jill Mergelkamp, serving on the Board of Directors.
 
From its sparce beginnings in 1905, above the pool hall to the modern facilities of today, Citizens Bank has always strived to provide quality, contemporary, banking services while maintaining a friendly, personal, hometown atmosphere. We are dedicated to the success of the communities we serve and we are proud of our contribution to the area’s prosperity and growth.
 

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