Timeline: From First American to One Bank

by George Waldon  on Monday, Sep. 30, 2013 12:00 am  

At top, northwest Arkansas businessmen M. David Howell Jr. and J.B. Hunt. At bottom, former One Bank CEO and president Layton "Scooter" Stuart with former EVP and COO Mike Heald. The company's mascot, a "first Amercian" Indian, was created by editorial cartoonist George Fisher.

Aug. 30, 1957: American National Bank opens for business at 124 W. Second St. in downtown North Little Rock with $612,000 in capital and nine employees.

June 9, 1960: Arkansas Federal Savings & Loan Association opens for business at 2525 Main St. in North Little Rock, backed by strong common ownership with American National.

Nov. 1, 1965: American National Bank is renamed First American National Bank. The company’s golden eagle symbol is changed to a tomahawk-wielding Indian designed by editorial cartoonist George Fisher.

Sept. 9, 1967: The bank opens its new 38,000-SF headquarters at 120 Main St. in downtown North Little Rock. The staff has grown to 67 with total assets of $26 million, making it the largest Pulaski County bank north of the Arkansas River.

March 12, 1973: Grand National Bank of Hot Springs, chartered by strong common ownership in First American and Arkansas Federal S&L, opens for business.

Aug. 1, 1983: The charter for Arkansas Federal Savings & Loan is converted to a national bank and renamed First American National Bank of Little Rock. The move is made to bypass state banking laws that limit branching and leads to a change in bank branching law for Pulaski County in 1987.

The three Little Rock branches become the foundation of the new bank, headquartered at the 400 Louisiana St. location. The former S&L headquarters in North Little Rock is converted to a branch of First American Bank of North Little Rock.

Sept. 30, 1983: The Arkansas Bank Holding Company Act goes into effect, allowing First American Bancshares Inc. to become the parent company of First American Bank of North Little Rock, First American Bank of Little Rock and Grand National Bank of Hot Springs.

March 19, 1984: Grand National Bank is renamed First American Bank of Hot Springs.

Feb. 21, 1986: Frank Lyon Co., which controls North Little Rock’s Twin City Bank, has a $24.8 million option to buy 73.5 percent of the outstanding shares of First American Bancshares Inc. The announcement notes that the option expires on March 31. Lex Golden, former CEO of Arkansas Federal S&L, is president and CEO of First American Bancshares.

May 12, 1986: Hunt & Howell Bancshares Inc., led by trucking magnate J.B. Hunt and northwest Arkansas banker M. David Howell Jr., strikes a deal to acquire First American Bancshares for more than $30 million.

The deal is financed with a $41 million loan that included refinancing $6 million of First American debt and providing $5 million in new capital.



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