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History of Community National Bank
Almost 60 years ago, a number of unrelated, yet fortuitous circumstances began to unfold. It was those events that unknowingly laid the foundation for what would eventually become Community National Bank.
On April 12, 1963, a group of prominent businessmen in Rossville, Georgia, submitted an application to the State Banking Department to establish a financial institution called Rossville Bank. Their names 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. Their charter was granted July 1st, 1963 and the new bank opened for business on December 13th of that year.
In Spring City, Tennessee, April of ‘64, a committee of experienced businessmen was formed to found a national bank. The names of those involved were 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. They too applied for, and received, a National Bank Charter on October 27, of that year. First National County Bank opened its doors for business on November 2, 1964.
The financial institution’s strong growth led to the opening of a full-service branch in Dayton, Tennessee in 1967. Meanwhile, the Chattanooga Valley Branch was constructed in Flintstone, Georgia in ‘71. The office was used as both a full-service branch and drive-thru until 1984, when a major renovation was completed. It opened as a full-service branch following the remodeling. The branch is a vibrant part of the bank today.
On April 8, 1977, First National County Bank became First National Bank of Rhea County, so it could reach all of its Rhea County customers. George E. Calfee purchased controlling interest in the bank and became its Chairman in June of ’82. A year later, he acquired a controlling interest in Rossville Bank where he also served as Chairman. This event created a long-lasting bond between the two banks that grew stronger over the years.
In 1986, employees of both banks were saddened by the sudden death of Mr. Calfee. His widow, Mrs. Bernice Calfee, was independently elected and served as Chairman of the Board for each bank. Under her guidance, the banks have become community leaders in their respective locations.
With increasing growth in Rhea County, First National Bank of Rhea County moved its headquarters to Dayton, Tennessee in 1986 and the name was changed to Rhea County National Bank. The newly constructed office in Dayton was completed in June of ‘86 and the bank’s Spring City Office became a full-service branch, providing continuous service to our customers in northern Rhea County. Rossville Bank experienced substantial growth and remodeled its Main Office on Chickamauga Avenue. The last expansion was in 1995, followed by the construction of the new Drive-Thru facility in ‘96.
Georgia banking laws were changed 1997, allowing branches beyond county lines of the main office. The Catoosa County Branch opened for business in October of ‘99, in Ringgold, Georgia. This location experienced growth and profitability beyond expectations. Rhea County National Bank continued to thrive.
By 2002, bank management decided to expand, building an office in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, a part of Hamilton County. Management knew they needed a name change to make the institution more competitive in this growing area. Name suggestions were made by the employees with Community National Bank being chosen to reflect the bank’s community-oriented commitment.
Our newest facility moved from the Main Office to Rhea County Highway in Spring City in 2007.
Today, Community National Bank is under the leadership of Mr. Phil Barnes, who is President and Chief Executive Officer. The combination of Rossville Bank and Community National Bank makes it possible to offer an expanded product and service line, in addition to more locations to serve customers in both Georgia and Tennessee. We never forget that we work for each of you in all the communities we serve. We’re still the same people you’ve come to know and trust over the years. 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 group that’s committed to providing you outstanding products and exceptional service.