Tennant recognizes Jefferson Security Bank as state’s oldest business
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant traveled to Shepherdstown, the oldest town in the state, to offer a proclamation to the oldest corporation in the state.
Jefferson Security Bank was started 146 years ago in May, 1869 under the name of Jefferson Savings Bank. Tennant praised those who established the business and those who have kept the doors open for so long.
“Many small businesses don’t last one year, let a lone 146,” the Secretary told a lobby full of guests gathered to help celebrate the day.
“Shepherdstown should be proud,” she continued. “West Virginia is proud.”
Mayor Jim Auxer praised Jefferson Security Bank for its dedication to the community.
“Whenever we ask for help, assistance, money,” Auxer said, “They always come through. They are all about the community.” Auxer went on to share that he personally opened his first checking account at JSB.
He was joined in that by Joy Lewis, who was on hand to present a certificate of recognition from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
“This bank gave Eric and I our first loan,” she commented. “Now he serves on the Board of Directors and here I am,” she continued as she represented the Governor’s office.
Tennant spent some moments talking about the history of the area at the time of JSB’s start sharing that the country was just coming out of a Civil War and would soon head into a depression. In 1869, she said, Ulysses Grant was the 18th President and the Supreme Court was enlarged from seven justices to nine. Through all that lay ahead, Jefferson Savings (Security) Bank stood strong.
“Jefferson Security Bank was created in the days of Reconstruction following the Civil War when the future of our nation was still on shaky ground,” Secretary Tennant said. “It survived the Stock Market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. In a time when community banks are becoming a rarity, Jefferson Security Bank continues to not only survive, but prosper. This is worth celebrating.”
The bank started with just $1,750.00 in total assets and has now grown to $283.9 million.
Long-time employee Dennis Barron, EVP and COO, accepted the proclamation from Tennant along with a copy of the business’s charter that was enlarged suitable for framing.
“I am proud of our history and heritage of providing service to the community,” Barron said. “In my 42 years of employment, our core values remain the same and that is to help our customers.”:
Barron went on to claim, “We do make a difference and I am so proud to be associated with and employed by Jefferson Security Bank.”
“To be part of a company that has served our community for 146 years is a privilege. Jefferson Security Bank is a local institution that has tested the limits of time. We support our customers, employees and shareholders. We’re gratified they choose to work with us,” said James M. Davis, chair of Jefferson Security Bank’s board of directors.
Jefferson Security Bank provides general banking services within its primary market area of Jefferson and Berkley counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Maryland and its secondary market of Frederick County, Virginia.