Access Your Account

Online Banking:
Login Apply

Access by Phone:
361-293-9304 | 866-962-9304

Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Mobile Devices

Switch Kit

We make it easy to switch - open an account today!

Deluxe Check Order

Personal Checks - Order & Status

Timeline & Photo Gallery

The History of Yoakum could be summed up in four words: cattle, railroads, tomatoes, leather. The Yoakum National Bank has been a part of Yoakum's development throughout all of these phases. It has survived two world wars, a major depression and is the only business that has had continuous operation in Yoakum since 1890. Ownership has always been of local origin. Over the years Yoakum National Bank has never been controlled by a single person, family, group or city bank. This is unique for banks of this size.

Yoakum National Bank looks forward to continuing to play a large part in our city's history. We thank you, our customer, for any part you may have played in our history and look forward to the opportunity of serving you in the future.

Choose a year to learn more about Yoakum National Bank's history
Yoakum was still open range land in the mid 1800's while many towns in the area flourished. It was not until July 28th, 1887 when the first train of the recently chartered S.A. and A.P. Railroad reached this area of South Texas that the city of Yoakum was born.

First National Bank was organized in 1890 with an initial capital of $50,000. The original establishment was housed in a rented building on West May Street. Some of the early stockholders were prominent in this part of Texas. B.F. Yoakum and Uriah Lott were builders of the railroad. T.C. Frost and Dan Sullivan were bankers in San Antonio. J.L. Slayden, W.B. Clarkson and W.C. Robards were the builders and owners of the Light and Water Company - one of the early plants of this type. H. Kempner, J.H. Hutchings, George Sealy and John Sealy were all prominent bankers in Galveston. Other original shareholders included Joe. P. Morris of Coleman and B.P. Stephenson of Beeville.

John M. Bennett was elected president of the new bank. As a youth, Bennett and his brother hauled corn to Taylor's army during the Mexican War. He later became trail boss, driving herds of cattle to Abilene, Kansas. He earned enough money to buy a ranch at Sweet Home and later bought a larger place in Jackson County. His son, J.M. Bennett, served the bank as chairman of the board of directors from 1926 to 1953 and his grandson, also J.M. Bennett served as chairman from 1953 to 1978. In March 1987 the election of Dave Marlow marked the fifth generation of the Bennett family to be continuously connected with the Yoakum National Bank.

In 1894 the bank purchased a building on West Grand Avenue and moved its facility to this second location which remained part of the banking home until 1971.
With the railroad being so prominent in Yoakum, Front Street was beautifully adorned with parks such as Railroad Park.

The name of the bank was changed in 1907 from First National to Yoakum National Bank. In 1916 the building next door was purchased and the bank moved to 207 West Grand Avenue.
National currency issued by Yoakum National Bank in the 1920's was signed by W. T. Brian, President and Perry Wendtland, Cashier and later by E.A. Palmer, President and Thos. A. Ridgway, Cashier. National bank notes were taken out of circulation in 1935, but some still remain in private collections.

Huth Memorial Hospital was opened in 1920. A contribution from John L. Huth, who died in 1916 at the age of ninety-three, helped to get it started. The contribution was said to be $30,000.

In 1920 Edward B. Carruth became president. He came to Yoakum in 1890 and accepted a clerical position of collector for First National Bank. He was elected assistant cashier of the bank in January, 1891 and director in 1892. He had ambitions of rubbing elbows with members of the business world and of becoming a self-made man. He was highly regarded as a complete master of the intricacies of the national banking system, a fine theoretical banker and an excellent practical banker. He served as president until 1926. W. T. Brian succeeded him and Mr. Carruth was elected to the position of chairman of the board. He served in this position until 1930 when he resigned due to illness.

The first tomatoes were grown in the Yoakum area in 1926. By 1936 tomatoes covered 3500 acres of land. At its height the tomato season saw fifteen packing sheds operating around the clock to sort out and package the green-wrap tomatoes in the thirty pound boxes for shipment to the North. The Yoakum Tom-Tom celebration was begun in 1928 to publicize the tomato business in Yoakum.

In 1926 W. T. Brian was elected president. He had been elected a director of the bank in January, 1904. In this same year he was appointed to his first bank officer title of assistant cashier by the board of directors following a meeting of the shareholders. He had been associated with the bank for over twenty-five years. He was regarded as a careful banker and a quiet person who did not have great interest in social activities. He died in 1929.
Edward A. Palmer was elected a director of the bank in January, 1912. After graduating from Yoakum High School, he joined the forces of the Yoakum National Bank at the age of sixteen. He came up through the ranks beginning in 1901 in his first job as messenger, then called a "runner". He served as president from 1930 until his death on May 27, 1950.

The Great Depression, which started in the early 1930's was all that the name implies. This was a time that was particularly difficult for banks as there was no deposit insurance. "Runs" on banks could be started with nothing more than a rumor. Yoakum National Bank stood solid through this difficult time.
In the 1940's the bank underwent its fourth housing renovation. This consisted of combining the second and third buildings, giving the bank a new modern look. This building remains part of today's downtown area.

1945 World Championship Rodeo saddles were made in Yoakum for Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York.
The fifth president of the bank was Thos. A. Ridgway who was born in the Yoakum community in 1893. After receiving minor wounds in World War I, he returned to Yoakum and opened a bookstore. Mr. Ridgway went to work for Yoakum National Bank and became an assistant cashier in 1930. He became president in 1950 after the death of Edward Palmer and retired from the bank in 1961. He passed away in 1976.
Fred C. Schiege, a native of Round Top, Texas, spent a total of forty-four years associated with the Yoakum National Bank. He worked his way up the ladder as an employee, assistant cashier and the vice-president. Upon retirement of Thos. A. Ridgway in 1961, he attained the presidency. He also served as director of the bank from June, 1950 until his death in 1972. During his tenure as president, assets of Yoakum National Bank doubled. The new building was constructed and occupied. Among his banking peers he was known as the "country banker". His conservative nature was always evident; however, sound progress was always encouraged.
It was also in the 1970's that the bank moved to its fifth location on the corner of West Grand Avenue and Irvine Street. The move to this facility took place December 11, 1971. For the new bank lobby, a showpiece vault door was purchased for the entrance of the safe deposit area. A vault door of this size is rare in today's banking environment. The plaques seen today on the outside of the bank were moved from the old bank building. The plaques along with the vault door have become symbols of the solid financial strength of the Yoakum National Bank over the years and were incorporated in the bank's logo designed in 1990 for their 100th anniversary.

Three drive-in lanes were an added feature to the new facility, providing convenient and easy banking for customers.

As Fred Schiege neared retirement, the directors began the search for a new president. The board decided to find a capable, well-known businessman in Yoakum and make him a banker. Their choice was William E. Browning. Mr. Browning received his B.A. degree from the University of Texas and his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School. Upon completion of his education, he served in the United States Air Force and returned to Yoakum in 1945 to join the family business, Elkins 5-10-25 Cents Stores. He was elected president of the bank in 1972 and served chairman of the board from January, 1979 until his death in 1985. During his thirteen year tenure, bank assets grew from 13.7 million to 60.5 million. Faced with the issues of deregulation, Mr. Browning had the foresight to restructure bank assets. This enabled the bank to achieve consistent profits at a time when many Texas banks were either unprofitable or unable to remain open.

The city of Yoakum was ninety-five years old before a museum was established to preserve the rich heritage of the area. The Yoakum Heritage Museum charter was signed on January 26, 1982. The first home of the museum was on Nelson Street. On December 1, 1986 Mrs. Mary Bell Browning deeded her former home to the museum. The home itself is a museum masterpiece and lends itself well to a setting for the preservation of Yoakum history.

The 1970's brought many changes to the banking environment. The age of computerization entered the Yoakum National Bank and many systems of bookkeeping were no longer handled manually.
In May, 1983 the first drive-thru ATM was opened in the city. This new type of banking allowed deposits, withdrawals, loan payments and many other types of banking activities to be conducted at the customer's convenience twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

After the sudden death of William Browning in May, 1985, Lawrence R. Legler was elected president. Mr. Legler a native of Fayette County, Texas, served in the United States Army in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre during World War II and with the occupation forces in Korea. He attended the University of Texas and received his B.B.A Degree in business and finance from the University of Houston later joining the forces of the South Texas National Bank of Houston. In 1961, Mr. Legler accepted a position with Yoakum National Bank and held a number of titles before becoming president and CEO in 1985. He started as assistant cashier in January, 1962 and has the unique distinction of holding the title of first assistant cashier for a short period of time early in his career. He served as a director of the bank from 1972 until his death in 1996.

Due to the success of the first ATM location an additional site was secured in 1985 at the corner of Highway 111 and 77A, at The Store. Both ATMs facilities continue to be in operation and provide twenty-four hour banking services to the community.
In 1990, the bank celebrated its 100th anniversary with many games, contests, and special activities. In 1994 a holding company, Yoakum National BancShares, was formed. Also in 1994, the Bank converted its processing of checks to an in-house system. This increased the need for more computers and more space. A building renovation was started, which allowed more room for back room processing and new larger drive-in facilities. The building expansion was completed in 1995. A customer service line was also established providing customers access to their accounts 24/7 from any phone location.

Louis F. Boening, a Yoakum Native and graduate veterinarian by professional training, became associated with the bank as a director in 1969. After serving on numerous committees and learning the banking business by association and direct contact, he became vice-chairman and then chairman of the board in 1986. The forces of banking deregulation and open market competition increased the management duties to the extent that the offices of chairman and president now have separate and expanded responsibilities. Upon the death of Lawrence Legler, he was named president in 1996.
The year 2000 approached and bank staff put in many hours preparing, analyzing, and testing its technology systems. Months of planning provided a smooth transition to the new millennium. The bank again celebrated another milestone, 110 years of continuous service to the Yoakum area. It was in 2002, the bank once again updated its services to include image technology in its back room processing.

Early history of banking reveals the enterprise was predominantly male oriented. After World War II women began to assume management positions in the banking industry. Today the industry is an equal opportunity employer for male and female personnel. In 1960, Beverly Dietrich Flemming was elected assistant cashier becoming the first woman to be an officer in the Yoakum National Bank. In 1978 Jeannette Knezek and Elorine Sitka were each elected to the position of assistant vice-president, thus moving them into the decision making category. In March 2002 Darlene Grossmann Renken became the first female president of the Yoakum National Bank. She began her banking career in 1973 with the bank working throughout the various departments and has held almost every banking title. In 1996 she became a member of the board. Today many women contribute to the bank and play a vital part.
Many changes have taken place since the doors opened in 1890. Throughout those years Yoakum National Bank has always strived to provide the very best financial services possible. Yoakum National Bank again responded to the call for additional customer services in 2006 by offering on-line banking and bill pay. With these new services a customer can check their balance, view check images, transfer money from one in-house account to another and pay bills 24/7 from the convenience of their computer. Whatever your financial needs Yoakum National Bank is here to serve.