During one of the nation’s most challenging financial times, a revered military man opened his own bank. In 2023, that bank will be 90.
The year it all began was 1933. The New York Yankees were reigning champs after winning the 1932 World Series. A gallon of gas cost 10 cents. And President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed all banks so they could assess their own solvency in the throes of the Great Depression.
Only one in Union County, South Carolina, remained open. In April 1933, in that time of need in South Carolina, Arthur State Bank was born.
It was the most trying year of the Great Depression. And yet, a 33-year-old South Carolina business owner turned to his father for help making his vision a reality. He wanted to open his own bank to serve a community that lost access to financial services.
Ninety years later, Major General Harry M. Arthur’s vision is alive and well in the Palmetto State.
How it all began
Through generations and technological advances, Arthur State Bank has evolved and grown. Today, it’s one of the most trusted financial institutions in the S.C. Upstate.
Harry Arthur’s father, J.D., came out of banking retirement to serve as secretary and treasurer. Harry owned a chain of department stores and hosiery mills and owned cattle herds at the time. He filled the roles of chairman and president. The two, along with two of J.D.’s other sons, guided Arthur Bank through the Depression and into a modern banking era.
Growth has been slow and steady. Soon after founding Arthur State Bank, Harry Arthur opened Woodruff State Bank. It served another South Carolina community that had lost all of its banks. Woodruff State Bank followed the Arthur model of service and growth. That tradition continues today under the Pinnacle State Bank name.
The bank bought another bank in the 1950s. Arthur State Bank acquired Carolina State Bank, originally Chesnee State Bank. It became a financial foundation in its community. In 1997, another branch opened in Clinton, S.C.
A modern era of banking
By the late 1980s, Arthur State Bank expanded to major South Carolina cities, such as:
- Rock Hill
South Carolina has 18 Arthur State Bank branches, cornerstones of their communities. As society and the industry change, so too does Arthur State Bank. But the core values remain the same: Integrity. Customer service. Community involvement.
Arthur State Bank partners with businesses and individuals. It provides top-tier financial services as big banks do, but with small-town sensibilities. Communities prosper from business loans, quick mortgage applications, and trust and wealth management.
Carlisle Oxner III is chairman of Arthur State Bank. During his tenure, he’s seen major developments in the industry.
“We’re very close to the communities we serve, and those communities depend on us,” Oxner said. “Our customers know that when they need financial help, we will be there for them.”
Markets change and technology advances. And Arthur State Bank continues to roll with the changes.
“Now your banking needs are on your phone,” Oxner said. “Arthur State Bank provides customers with many of the big bank services. We have employees in our customers’ communities who are dedicated to assisting with every financial need.”
Arthur State Bank will commemorate its anniversary all year. Visit Arthur State Bank online to learn about events and offers related to the milestone. As it was in the beginning, through its history, and today, Arthur State Bank is here to serve you. They do that with a portfolio of services, such as:
- Investment services
- Personal and business banking
Harry Arthur served as President and Chairman of the Board at Woodruff State Bank until 1988. He approached this industry with a mindset that pervades today: That a customer is not an interruption to our work, but the reason for it.
Today, branch managers, bankers, and tellers follow his philosophy. It’s why Arthur State Bank thrives as one of the state’s oldest independent community banks.
Contact Arthur State Bank for all your financial needs today.