Central Bank of St. Louis
Central Bank of Boone County is steeped in the history and tradition of the early Midwest. The bank began in 1857, the first to be established in this part of the state of Missouri. Moss Prewitt, a merchant in Columbia, and R.B. Price, Sr., his son-in-law, established the firm of Prewitt and Price, and became the Columbia branch of Exchange Bank of St. Louis, with $250,000 in capital.
The formation of Prewitt and Price was a direct result of increasing requests from farmers to hold money received in the sale of their products until they needed it. The bank became the principal meeting place for farmers who made it their headquarters, depositing their saddlebags in one corner of the banking room while they transacted business and received letters and messages that had been left for them.
Six years later, in 1863, the National Banking Act brought the beginning of the National Bank System, and on September 1, 1863, National Charter No. 67 was granted to this bank under the new name "First National Bank of Columbia," making it the first national bank organized in Missouri, and the third west of the Mississippi river.
During the Civil War, bank robberies were frequent. In 1864, "Bloody Bill" Anderson's guerilla warriors massacred Union soldiers at Centralia and were reported to be heading toward Columbia to rob the bank. Bank President R.B. Price took $150,000 in currency and $70,000 in gold and buried it under a gatepost on the farm of a trusted friend three miles north of Columbia.
Later in 1864, the bank gave up its original charter and did business under a state charter, which required a smaller cash reserve be kept in the bank. On January 1, 1871, after the Civil War, the bank resumed its national charter under the name "Boone County National Bank."
Many changes have occurred over the years, including joining Central Bancompany, a Jefferson City-based holding company in 1974, allowing Central Bank of Boone County to expand its services and facilities while continuing the community-based banking on which it had been founded. Then, in 2015, the bank changed its name to “Central Bank of Boone County” to more closely align itself with Central Bancompany’s large network of community banks.
First and foremost, Central Bank of Boone County is an integral part of its mid-Missouri community. Reflecting the commitment of its founders, the bank continues to provide the very best in financial services.
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