WebXtra: A century of banking service

By Philippe Djegal - email

FRANKSTON, TX (KLTV) - They have stood the test of time from World War I and II, and the Great Depression to the economic downturn in the 1980s and the one today. In Frankston, the First State Bank celebrated it's 100th year of business in East Texas.

Born and raised in Frankston, Mickye Bristow has been a First State customer for 59 years. In fact, the bank financed her first home.

"One month, we weren't able to make our payment and there was nothing ever said about not paying it or being late paying it," said Bristow. "You appreciate those things."

First State Bank of Frankston opened it's doors in 1909, and the banking industry has changed a lot over the century.

"Nowadays, when a customer goes and buys a consumer product, just about any type of consumer product, whether it's a washing machine, refrigerator, or car, travel trailer or whatever," said Russell Gideon, president of First State Bank. "The dealership that they're buying it at, tries to get them financing right there."

Jeff Austin III, chairman of the First State Bank of Frankston executive committee, says the bank has changed with the times.

"We've gone from handshakes to smiles, and those things are still here. They're very prevalent with us," said Austin III. "We've also gone from not having checks and paper drafts to now doing everything electronically."

What makes a community bank successful? Well, most of the customers we've spoken to tonight have said its consistency. The Austin family has been here for generation, and their focus on customer services, many of the customers have told us, is unmatched.

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