Horatio State Makes Move In Ashdown

Horatio State Makes Move In Ashdown
Horatio State Bank purchased the bank property at 110 Main St. in Ashdown, shown above in 2013 when it was a First National Bank location. (© 2021 Google Maps)

A dormant bank property in the heart of Ashdown will soon have new life. Horatio State Bank bought the 5,400-SF office at 110 Main St. from Fayetteville’s Arvest Bank for $350,000 in September.

The location is the second new office for Horatio State Bank since it opened a full-service branch in Foreman five years ago.

Founded in 1905, the $240 million-asset lender operated as the Bank of Gillham until 1935.

That’s when the bank was renamed and relocated 18 miles south to Horatio after the Depression left that town without a solvent lender and city fathers invited bank officials to move there.

Horatio State Bank recorded a profit of nearly $3.7 million last year, compared with $3.3 million in 2019.

Through the first six months of 2021, net income totaled more than $1.8 million.

That was ever so slightly higher than the earnings for the first two quarters of 2020, which topped $1.7 million. Horatio State Bank is supported by a staff of 42.

The purchase of the Ashdown office is connected with Arvest’s departure from the $105 million-deposit market. That move by the $26 billion-asset lender is part of a branch sell-off that will result in Arvest exiting seven Arkansas counties: Howard, Little River, Logan, Mississippi, Montgomery, Pike and Sevier. (See Branch Sale by Arvest Opens Doors.)

Despite Arvest leaving town, the competitive field in Ashdown will increase from four to five with the addition of Magnolia’s Farmers Bank & Trust and Horatio State Bank.

They will join Regions Bank of Birmingham, Alabama, with deposits of $37.3 million (35.56%); Diamond Bank of Murfreesboro, $14.2 million (13.57%); and BancorpSouth Bank of Tupelo, Mississippi, $12.1 million (11.59%).

Farmers is buying Arvest’s branch at 960 S. Constitution Ave., home to deposits of $41.2 million, 39.28% of the Ashdown market.