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History of Community National Bank
An amazing set of unrelated circumstances took place, almost simultaneously, that would lay the foundation for Community National Bank. A group of prominent businessmen in Rossville, Georgia, submitted an application to the State Banking Department on April 12, 1963, to establish a new financial institution which would be named Rossville Bank. The individuals who submitted the application were: Frank Beckum, Lamar Christian, Dr. I. M. Funderburg, Frank Gleason, R. B. Howard, Sanford E. Leake, Preston Morgan, T. J. Patrick, Sr., Harry Weill and William B. Woods. The charter was granted on July 1, 1963 and Rossville Bank opened for business on December 13, 1963.
In April of 1964 in Spring City, Tennessee, an organizing committee was formed to establish a national bank, to be known as First National County Bank. The committee was comprised of the following group of experienced businessmen: G. S. Barton, Harry T. Burn, James H. Franklin, Hugh C. Gallagher, James C. Hammon, Lawrence E. Long, A. W. Loy, Luther Reed, Creed H. Shipley and Jess R. Wassom. The committee applied for, and received, a National Bank Charter on October 27, 1964. First National County Bank opened for business on November 2, 1964. The bank’s strong growth led to the opening of a full service branch in Dayton, Tennessee in 1967.
Meanwhile, in Rossville, the Chattanooga Valley Branch was constructed in Flintstone, Georgia in 1971. The office was alternately used as a full service branch and a drive-thru only until 1984 when a major renovation was completed. It was opened as a full service branch after the remodeling and remains a vibrant part of the bank today.
In an effort to reach its entire Rhea County customer base, on April 8, 1977, First National County Bank became First National Bank of Rhea County. In June, 1982, Mr. George E. Calfee purchased controlling interest in the bank and was elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In May of 1983 Mr. Calfee also acquired controlling interest in Rossville Bank, and became Chairman of the Board. This event created a bond between the two banks that would strengthen over the years.
Both banks were saddened by the sudden death of Mr. Calfee in 1986. Mr. Calfee’s widow, Mrs. Bernice Calfee, was elected, independently, to serve as Chairman of the Board of each bank. Mrs. Bernice(Calfee) Sale has remained as Chairman of both banks since that time. Under her guidance, each bank has become a community leader in their respective locations.
With increasing growth in Rhea County, a decision was made to move First National Bank of Rhea County’s headquarters to Dayton, Tennessee, and to change the bank’s name to Rhea County National Bank on April 1, 1986. The newly constructed office in Dayton was completed in June of 1986. The bank’s Spring City Office became a full service branch to provide continuous service to our customers in the northern end of Rhea County.
Rossville Bank experienced substantial growth resulting in the remodeling of its Main Office on Chickamauga Avenue. The last expansion occurred in 1995 with the acquisition of three adjacent tracts of real estate, followed by the construction of the new Drive-Thru facility in l996. Georgia banking laws were changed in 1997 to allow branching beyond the county border of the main office. The Catoosa County Branch was opened for business on October 3, 1999, in Ringgold, Georgia. This branch has experienced growth and profitability far exceeding original expectations.
Rhea County National Bank continued to thrive and in 2002, bank management seized the opportunity to expand by building an office in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. The decision to change the bank’s name was made to allow the institution to become more competitive outside of Rhea County. Bank employees provided suggestions for the new name. Community National Bank was chosen for its representation of the bank’s community-oriented commitment. The bank’s newest facility is located in Spring City. The Spring City Branch was moved from the original Main Office building to a new location on Rhea County Highway in Spring City, in May of 2007.
Today, Community National Bank is under the leadership of Mr. J. Sherman Barnett, who is its President and Chief Executive Officer. The combination of Rossville Bank and Community National Bank allows us to offer an expanded product and service line, as well as more locations, to our customers in both Georgia and Tennessee. It is our pledge to remember that we work for all of you … in each of our communities. We are the same people that you know and have worked with over the years, and we invite you to get acquainted with all of the employees at Community National Bank’s six locations. We are a strong, solid, community-minded bank determined to fulfill our promise to you … Banking Made Easier!