1949 - 1959
Citizens Bank was charted in January, 1949 and officially opened its doors for business on July 25, 1949. Opening day deposits were an estimated $1 million. During the next seven years, phenomenal growth was experienced with deposits increasing 4 1/2 times. Forest Sartain was President of Citizens Bank until 1959.
In 1959, Citizens Bank celebrated ten years of continued growth despite a cutback in oil production which affected the area income.
In 1960, Alvin Wylie became President of Citizens Bank and would serve in this capacity for the following ten years.
In July, 1968, Citizens State opened a new drive-thru window facility. Located on a one-way alley between Rusk and South Martin, it had two drive-thru windows, both equipped to handle all normal deposit and withdrawal transactions. It was the first bank drive-thru facility in Kilgore.
In 1969, during its twentieth year in operation, the bank moved to full automation of its banking services.
In 1971, Alvin Wylie was promoted to Chairman of the Board and held that office until 1978. Larry V. Tate became the new President and remained in that capacity until 1975.
In 1972, the bank name changed from Citizens State Bank and Trust Company to Citizens Bank. The bank purchased the three lower floors of the main tower of the former Kilgore Hotel building at 301 E. Main Street. Four drive-thru lanes were constructed for the new location. The bank’s floor space of 18,000 square feet was four times greater than its previous location.
In 1973, the bank moved into its new banking facility at 301 E. Main Street, Kilgore, Texas.
In 1975, the bank became a member of Allied Bancshares, Inc., a Houston-based multi-bank holding company. The bank changed its name to Allied Citizens Bank.
In February, 1976, Wilbur F. Yates was elected President of the bank.
1981 - 1990
In 1983, Wibur F. Yates became Chairman of the Board and was still active as President.
In 1986, a group of local investors reached an agreement with Allied Bancshares, Inc. of Houston to purchase 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Allied Citizens Bank. One of the primary reasons the local group pursued the purchase was that the buyers felt a need for a locally owned and controlled bank in Kilgore.
In 1987, the bank was purchased by local investors and the name of the bank was changed to Citizens Bank. J. R. “Bobby” Parks became President and served until his death in late 1988.
In 1988, Dean Bingham became President and Larry Long became Chairman of the Board. In that same year, Citizens Bank acquired the deposits and certain assets of the defunct First National Bank of Center and established a banking center in that location.
In 1989, Citizens Bank established an oil and gas lending department and the bank became the only oil and gas bank between Dallas and Shreveport. In July of that same year, the bank celebrated the anniversary of forty years in July of 1989 since its opening day in July, 1949. The celebration included a ribbon cutting to open the expansion of the drive-thru facility.
In August of 1990, Citizens Bank acquired the deposits and certain assets of the First National Bank of Levelland and established a banking center in that location.
1991 - 2000
In 1992, Citizens Bank acquired the deposits and certain assets of the First National Bank of Yorktown and established a banking center in that location.
In January of 1993, acquired two First City banks located in Kountze and Sour Lake, Texas and established banking centers in each of those locations.
In 1997, Citizens Bank opened a new banking center in Carthage, Texas.
The Bank celebrated its 50th anniversary in July of 1999.
2001 - 2010
In February, 2001, Citizens Bank opened an in-store banking center at Brookshires’ located in Kilgore, Texas.
In August 2004, Sammy D. York was named President and CEO of Citizens Bank. In October of that same year, a loan production office was opened in Humble, Texas.
In July, 2005, a full service bank was opened in Humble, Texas.
In early 2006, Citizens Bank opened a new loan production office in the Woodlands. Citizens Bank officially opened The Woodlands Banking Center in December, 2008. The one-story building replaced a loan production office in the community.
In 2007, Citizens Bank officially opens the new Humble Banking Center facility located at 8811 FM 1960 Bypass Road, Humble, Texas.
In 2008, Citizens Bank opens the College Station loan production office.
On July 25th, 2009, Citizens Bank held a 60th birthday party in each of its banking center locations. In the Main Bank location in Kilgore, resolutions were presented by Mayor Joe Parker, Chamber of Commerce President Mike Coston, State Representative Tommy Merritt and others. Approximately 200 guests attended the Kilgore event. Other banking center locations also celebrated the anniversary by hosting receptions in their lobbies.
In September of 2009, Citizens Bank officially opens the Bryan/College Station Banking Center.
2011 - Present
In September 2013, Citizens Bank Kilgore donated $20,000 to Kilgore Habitat for Humanity ($5,000 was matched 3:1 by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas).
In April, 2014, Citizens Bank officially opens the new permanent Bryan/College Station Banking Center in Bryan, Texas.
In the spring of 2015, Citizens Bank Kilgore, in an effort to support Habitat for Humanity mission, took the lead to begin a new housing project. Employees of the bank volunteered alongside the new homeowner to provide her with a new home that was energy efficient and economical to maintain.
In the summer of 2016, Citizens Bank of Kilgore completed the Habitat for Humanity home build with employees donating over 1200 hours of their time on the project. The keys to the home were presented to the homeowners and her three small children at a special dedication ceremony.
In May, 2016, Citizens Bank Kilgore received the Cornerstone Award from the Texas Bankers Association for the Habitat Home Build. This award recognizes Texas banks for their outstanding community involvement.
In September, 2016, Citizens Bank Kilgore received the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) Best of Community Award in silver for community service. The Best of Community Banking competition is designed to honor banks for their commitment to helping their customers, neighbors and community.